The biggest difference between the ball and canister shell is the shape of the effect that is produced upon explosion. Since the pyrotechnic stars are placed around the edges of the ball in, the spherical ball shell will generally break in a perfect circular pattern. Due to its oblong shape, the canister shell will break in a more unpredictable pattern. The effect from a canister shell may be a wider pattern, and may be shaped like an oval or even a bowtie.

The circular ball shell generally has a maximum load of 40 grams (lift charge + chemical composition). The lower cost ball shells, like Festival Balls, generally have a total 15-25 grams. A premium ball shell will have up to 40 grams. Another difference between a premium ball shell and the lower cost shells is the quality of the chemicals used to make the colors and effects. The premium shells will have more vivid colors and effects.
Canister shells have become very popular because the maximum load can be up to 60 grams. They are quite powerful and produce huge bursts and impressive effects. Our favorite 60 gram shells are Ultimate Force, which can only be found at Miracle Fireworks. The very biggest and loudest. There is no other like it.