I think that depends on the type of lid you want to use. The lids I use can somewhat be put on by hand, but the seal does not get properly "seated" until I lightly tap around the rim with a mallet. You can certainly not get the lid off by hand. Or at least I can't. After a few uses, this causes Lowe's/Home Depot/Tractor Supply bucket to crack near the rim when either putting the lid on or removing it. That is why I was seeking a heavier duty bucket, so I could continue to use the lids that I think provide a good seal for long-term storage.You might want to stop using a mallet and just pop them on by hand.I have been using Lowes brand for years and never had a problem.I think you may be cracking them with the mallet.Good luck in the future.
Additionally, I make a lot of creamed honey using the Dyce method, where I heat my honey to 160F for 15 minutes and then immediately transfer the bucket of honey to a freezer to rapidly cool it.
I'm Hell on buckets. Need some tough ones. Going with 90 mils. Already ordered 5 just to check them out. Will report back. Thanks for comments.