Canning head space gauge

This will only be of interest to fellow canners out there. A super simple but handy tool for measuring the air space at the top of jars for canning. I wanted something that would sit on the edge of the jar as I’m filling it, vs having to hold the gauge with one hand while filling. Works with regular and wide mouth jars.
I cut the orange one from 1/4" acrylic I just picked dup from Tap Plastics and haven’t dialed in the GF settings yet (as you can see from the scorch marks).

edit- cut the red line, score the blue and black

Canning gauge


Very nice! I always eyeball it, and not always correctly! I love your idea and will make one! Thank you for sharing!


How is the great lid shortage of 2020 going? Too bad we cant laser cut lids.


I was actually sitting pretty at the start of canning season–last summer my husband had a stroke, and pickle production was negatively impacted. I had stocked up on lids to be able to produce 6 jars/week during the 2019 pickle season, and used only a dozen…my pickling this year was impacted because my main supplier of cukes was not at the farmers market this season…so, I still have some lids!


Very nice practical cut. Thanks for the share.


Thank you!


My sister cans anything and everything (that she doesn’t put in my freeze dryer). Thank you for sharing, Im going to make her a couple of these.




Nice share!


which freeze dryer do you have?

so you don’t use the funnel for filling?

I have done a LOT of canning and cannot imagine NOT using the funnel. and I even use my grandmother’s funnel from time to time. Instead of my “new” plastic one.

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yes, funnel is key for filling, but then I usually remove the funnel and top off the liquid to get the correct head space. Otherwise I tend to over fill and my lids don’t seal due to food bits between the lid and jar rim.


gotcha on the adding liquid.

I make, relish, Jelly and salsa. so I don’t really ever have “extra liquid” I use the funnel, and then take it out check the headspace and usually have to add a tiny bit more. now what I might do going forward is make a gauge that sits in the funnel… HMMMMMM

I can tell you that I use a paper towel to wipe the jar rim before I put the lid on. never NOT had a good seal. and I used to can A LOT. won back to back blue ribbons in the KY state fair a while back. Pepper Relish first year, and Pepper jelly the second. I was really pumped getting those ribbons. :slight_smile:


Thank you for the share. I’m going to visit a friend over Thanksgiving; she cans almost everything she doesn’t freeze (she’s regretting freezing so much…lost power in the Oregon fires). She will love getting some of these.

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Neat canning tool. I really like the way it goes across the jar.

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Very cool. I might make one of these for a friend of mine who does a lot of canning.

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I’ve been needing to make one of these for my sister. She makes some awesome raspberry jams and jellies. First rate for flavor but didn’t win the blue ribbon because her head space was determined to be 1/64th off of the standard.

I 3d printed funnels that bottom out at the head space depth. It works well.


Thanks for posting this. I’m new to canning since moving into a house with some fruit trees. I’ve never left headroom in the fig jam I’ve canned so far. Am I doomed? What will happen?


oooh. maybe i do need a 3d printer