Are Ball And Kerr Canning Lids The Same?

Canning is a popular way to preserve fruits, vegetables, and other foods at home. During the canning process, foods are placed in jars and heated to a temperature that destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes. This prevents spoilage so that the food can be shelf-stable and safe to eat for 1 to 5 years or longer.

An important part of the canning process is having the right lid to create a vacuum seal on the jar. This seal prevents air from getting in and bacteria or mold from contaminating the food. The two most common brands of canning jars and lids are Ball and Kerr. Many home canners have both Ball and Kerr jars in their kitchen and wonder if the lids are interchangeable between the two brands.

This article will examine the history of Ball and Kerr jars, manufacturing processes, lid types, fit and interchangeability, safety, availability, pricing, and customer reviews. The goal is to provide a definitive answer on whether Ball and Kerr lids can be used interchangeably for home canning.

History of Ball & Kerr Brands

Ball Corporation, which produces Ball brand canning jars, was founded in 1880 by the five Ball brothers in Buffalo, New York. The Ball brothers began manufacturing glass home-canning jars in 1884 after obtaining the licensing rights to John Mason’s 1858 patent for the mason jar design (

The Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corporation, which produces Kerr brand canning jars, was founded in 1903 by Alexander H. Kerr in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Kerr obtained exclusive rights to manufacture and sell an improved, self-sealing mason jar design patented by Lewis Andrus (

Both companies have over a century of history manufacturing mason jars for home canning purposes. Ball and Kerr brand jars remain two of the most popular and trusted canning jar brands today.

Manufacturing Process

Both Ball and Kerr canning lids are manufactured in the United States. Ball lids are made in Wisconsin, while Kerr lids are made in Tennessee. The main materials used to create the lids are tin-plated steel and a food-safe rubber compound.

The tin-plated steel forms the outer rim and center sealing surface of the lid. The rubber compound is used to create the gasket on the underside of the lid. This pliable gasket allows the lid to seal against the glass mason jar during canning.

The manufacturing process starts with coils of tin-plated steel being stamped into lid shapes. The rubber gasket is then applied to the center underside of each lid. The embossed lettering that identifies Ball or Kerr is also stamped onto the lids during manufacturing. After inspection, the finished lids are packaged and shipped to be sold commercially.[Source:]

Lid Types

Ball and Kerr offer several varieties of lids for their mason jars. The main types are regular mouth and wide mouth lids. Regular mouth lids fit regular mouth jars which have a 2.25 inch opening. Wide mouth lids fit wide mouth jars which have a 3 inch opening. This allows wide mouth jars to more easily fit larger food items or hand utensils inside.

Standard lids for both jar types consist of a flat round metal lid held in place by a metal screw band during processing. There are also plastic storage lids that can be used after the jar is opened. Decorative wooden lids are also available which allow jars to be used for crafts and home decor when not actively preserving foods.

Both brands offer the standard and wide mouth varieties in packs of various sizes. The lids and bands are completely interchangeable between the two brands as they share the same sizing and threading. So Ball and Kerr lids and bands can be mixed and matched as needed. See

Fit & Interchangeability

Ball and Kerr canning lids are fully interchangeable and compatible with each other’s mason jars. As noted on Amazon, “Kerr & Ball jar lids are interchangeable.” Additionally, according to All American Canner, “Bands, caps and lids are interchangeable with Ball or Kerr jars.” This interchangeability extends across regular mouth and wide mouth jar openings. Both brands use the same standard mason jar threads and sealing mechanisms, allowing their lids and bands to be mixed and matched as needed.

Home canners do not need to stick to a single brand and can freely combine Ball and Kerr lids, bands, and jars when preparing foods for canning. The lids will securely seal either brand of mason jar after processing. So there is no issue using Kerr lids on Ball jars or vice versa. The key compatibility is in the threaded openings, which both brands adhere to.

Safety & Performance

Both Ball and Kerr canning lids are very safe to use for home canning when proper procedures are followed. According to trusted sources like Mid-Atlantic Homestead, Ball and Kerr lids perform equally well in terms of sealing jars for canning. There is no significant difference in safety between the two brands.

Some users on forums like Reddit’s r/Canning have noted that Kerr lids seem to have a slightly higher seal failure rate compared to Ball. However, many also report having great success with Kerr lids. When following proper headspace, processing time, and cooling procedures, both lid brands can safely seal jars for storing canned goods.

The important thing is to always inspect jars after processing and cooling to ensure lids have properly sealed. As long as jars seal correctly, there should be no difference in safety or storage results between Ball and Kerr lids.


Ball and Kerr brand canning jars and lids are widely available at most major retailers that sell canning supplies, including Walmart, Target,Amazon and local grocery stores. However, there are some differences in availability between the two brands:

ball jars may have wider availability, while kerr jars tend to be more budget-friendly

Ball jars and lids tend to be more widely available at big box stores like Walmart and Target. They have a strong retail presence across North America. According to Reddit users, Ball products can be easier to find in stock than Kerr at times [1].

Kerr brand is owned by Newell Brands, which also owns Rubbermaid and other brands. Kerr jars may be more commonly found at some retailers in Canada versus the USA. However, they are still readily available online from major retailers like Amazon [2].

Both brands have wide distribution, but Ball may have a slight edge when it comes to in-store availability at major big box retailers in the U.S.


When comparing prices between Ball and Kerr lids, most sources indicate that Kerr lids tend to be more affordable. According to one Reddit thread, prices recently have been around $4/dozen for regular Kerr lids and $5/dozen for wide mouth Kerr lids. In comparison, prices for Ball lids are often $0.50 to $1 more per dozen (Reddit).

Major retailers like Walmart and Amazon also show Kerr lids priced lower than Ball in many cases. For example, on a 12-pack of regular mouth Kerr lids is $3.98 compared to $4.98 for a similar Ball lid product. The gap is even wider for some wide mouth options, with Kerr priced at $4.98 and Ball at $6.98 for a 12-pack (Walmart).

While there are some sales and variability, most sources point to Kerr being the more budget-friendly option between the two brands. However, Ball lids are still competitively priced, and the small difference may not make a significant impact for occasional home canners. For those doing large batch canning, the per lid savings of choosing Kerr could add up over time.

Customer Reviews

Overall, customers seem very satisfied with the performance, quality and
interchangeability of Ball and Kerr lids. Many reviewers report that they have used both brands interchangeably for many years without any issues.

On Reddit, several users report that they don’t notice much difference between the two:

“They’re both made by the same company (at the same factory IIRC), so it doesn’t make a difference.” (Source)

On YouTube, reviews indicate Ball and Kerr lids seal jars properly and are durable:

“I’ve used both Ball and Kerr lids for canning over the years and have never had a problem with either failing to seal.” (YouTube Review)

Some Amazon reviews mention preferring one brand over the other for minor differences in quality or availability, but most agree both get the job done well.


In summary, Ball and Kerr canning lids are very similar and largely interchangeable. They share a common history under the same parent company, use the same manufacturing process and materials, and produce lids that function the same way. The main differences are in some of the decorative styles and lid types unique to each brand. Both brands produce high-quality, reliable canning lids that home canners trust for safe food preservation.

When it comes to choosing between Ball and Kerr lids, either brand is a good option that will safely seal your mason jars for water bath or pressure canning. Ball lids may offer a greater diversity of styles, while Kerr lids can sometimes be less expensive. But for most purposes, the two brands can be used interchangeably without issue. The most important thing is making sure to follow proper canning procedures and guidelines.

For home canners, the best approach is often to use whichever brand is most readily available or affordable in your area. As long as the lids are unused and undamaged, Ball and Kerr lids can be mixed and matched within a batch of jars during canning. Both brands produce high-quality products that will reliably preserve your fruits, vegetables, salsas, jams, and more.

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