Garbage Disposal Overview
Whether you’re trying to run a successful restaurant or keep your house pipes from clogging, garbage disposals work wonders in any kitchen sink. They are a crucial component to properly and effectively disposing of food waste that collects at the bottom of your sink. With the hundreds, if not thousands of different garbage disposals on the market, it’s important to be able to see through a vast majority of products and find the best one for you. So, we’ve put together a list of the top five garbage disposals you should consider when shopping for the right high quality, durable, and powerful food shredder that suits your needs.
In this list, we go into detail by comparing and contrasting five great options for the best garbage disposals currently on the market that you should consider buying. Our deep analyses explore buy price, weight, dimensions, motor strength, warranty, and any other unique features that make each garbage disposal stand out from the hundreds of different models to choose from. We also offer URL links detailing where we found our information from and where you can buy the products discussed in our list.
One important factor to keep in mind when searching for the right garbage disposal for you is the measurement of the disposal’s motor strength. Each garbage disposal’s motor has a rating in HP, or horsepower, which is the rate at which work is done and is used to determine the power of an engine.
Along with being used to rate the strength of a car’s engine, horsepower is also used to rate the power of the motor used in a garbage disposal with 1 HP equating to 33,000 pounds of force. We have included the following table that details recommended HP ratings from Justin Curtis, creator of garbage disposal repair and review blog Mr. Garbage Disposal. This table compares the number of people residing in a household to the recommended motor strength in horsepower, with 8+ people being preferred for larger established businesses such as restaurants.
|Garbage Disposal Motor Strength to People in Your Household|
|Number of people in household||Recommended motor strength (in HP)|
|1 – 2||1/3 – 1/2|
|3 – 6||1/2 – 3/4|
|5 – 8||3/4 – 1|
|Over 8||1 – 2|
One other factor to consider is a garbage disposer’s feed type, which can be either batch feed or continuous feed. Batch feed means that your disposer will grind up food in batches, requiring you to run it multiple times if you have several batches. The size of a batch is determined by the container size of this particular type of garbage disposal. The other type of disposal, continuous feed, runs constantly when turned on and will continuously grind food that you feed into it until it is powered off.
Continuous feed is largely considered to be the preferred garbage disposal type because it doesn’t require loading batches and grinding them at given intervals as batch feeds do. Rather, continuous feed disposals will grind automatically and your only job is to keep feeding it food. For this reason, we feel that the top five best garbage disposals should all be continuous feed, which is what we have included in this list.
Here are the best garbage disposals:
1. Best Overall: InSinkErator 76037H Badger 5 Garbage Disposal with Cord
InSinkErator 76037H Garbage Disposal Review
A Durable, Reliable, and Viable Choice: The Badger 5 garbage disposal is provided by InSinkErator, the world’s largest garbage disposal and instant hot water dispenser manufacturer who is commended for inventing garbage disposals. InSinkErator was founded in 1927 and has since taken the garbage disposal market by storm, with more of their units installed in American homes than all other competing brands combined. As such, InSinkErator has maintained abundant buyer trust throughout their years in operation.
The Badger 5 sports compatibility to all InSinkErator hardware, allowing for easy installation into your kitchen that likely already has compatible hardware. The Badger 5 is also made using durable, galvanized stainless steel components that are perfect for daily use. Galvanized steel parts are great to use because they have a protective coating of zinc applied to them in order to prevent corroding and rusting. With all of this in mind, the Badger 5 is a great pick for anyone looking to add or replace a garbage disposal and is in need of a disposal that can perform well as well as last for a long time.
Motor strength: 1/2 HP
Weight: 14.2 lbs
Dimensions: 6.3” L x 6.5” W x 19.5” H
- Quick and easy installation, fits easily into any InSinkErator hardware using the patented Quick Lock mechanism
- Long lasting, durable grinding components made of galvanized stainless steel
- Great buy with all the necessary components for a mid-priced garbage disposal
- Exclusive “We Come to You” 2-year warranty. A nearby service representative will personally come to your house and provide in-home warranty repair and replacement to fix defects. This makes for great customer service should you experience any issues with your Badger 5. More details about this warranty can be found on the InSinkErator website.
- This disposal operates at a standard noise level, so it does not offer any noise reduction capabilities that some of its competitors boast
- While this is a gold standard for many garbage disposals, the Badger 5 is also one of the heavier disposals on this list. This disposals weighs more than the Waste King L-8000, which is considered to be a larger garbage disposal. We recommend that you find an object or means to prop up this disposal while you install it for convenience.
Original Retail 109.00
2. Best Limited Use: Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal Review
Best Choice for Garbage Disposals Under $100: Waste King has been a provider of kitchen supplies for over 50 years, and delivers a highly affordable garbage disposal. The L-111 is one of Waste King’s lightweight, compact, and highly affordable options (we explore some of their bulkier and more powerful counterparts in this list) and offers a condensed disposal at the cost of a lower power output. The L-111 is made of galvanized stainless steel parts, a large plus that we detailed in the Badger 5 section.
The best part about this disposal is its price. The L-111 is extremely affordable and cheap in comparison to the vast majority of other garbage disposals on the market while maintaining quality performance. Unfortunately, the L-111 has a rather low power output rating at 1/3 HP. As mentioned earlier in the table above, the recommended HP rating for household usage puts a garbage disposal like this at only a few people, and you will probably see limited grinding power out of the L-111 in comparison to the other garbage disposals on this list.
That being said, a 3/4 HP disposal still spans a large demographic of family sizes despite being a slightly underpowered machine, recommended for families of up to 5-8 people. If you have a larger-populated household or plan to have some huge piles of food scraps to grind on a regular basis, you shouldn’t count the disposal out of the game just yet. Also, the L-111’s unbeatable price demands some serious consideration from potential buyers who must adhere to a strict budget.
Motor strength: 1/3 HP
Weight: 7.5 lbs
Dimensions: 5.2” L x 5.2” W x 12.8” H
- Incredibly affordable option that is far cheaper than the other garbage disposals on this list
- Removable splash guard for easy cleaning and retrieval of dropped items
- The L-111’s light weight and small dimensions allows it to fit easily under your sink without taking up lots of space as opposed to larger disposals that will be more difficult to fit under your sink
- Waste King’s EZ Mount lock allows for easy installation and incorporates a simple-to-use twist-and-lock design
- Includes a manual reset button for emergencies. Not only will this immediately shut the disposal off, but it is also easy to reset the dispenser back into operation without any difficulties
- Galvanized stainless steel construction
- 2-Year Limited Warranty. While this is not as interactive as the “We Come to You” warranty on the Badger 5, it is still good to have nonetheless
- Weak horsepower. You would ideally look at disposals with a horsepower of at least 1/2 HP for a small family, but 1/3 HP is more of something to consider for homes with one or two occupants
- No sound insulation features
Brand Waste King
3. Best Heavy Duty: Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal Review
#1 in Heavy Duty Garbage Disposals: Another high quality unit from Waste King, the L-8000 offers a feature that both the Badger 5 and the L-111 lack: sound insulation. Waste King implements its SoundSHIELD technology into the L-8000 to suppress sound, allowing for quiet performance. This feature is great for those who do the dishes late at night and desire a garbage disposal that can grind food scraps quietly, or even for those who simply want their garbage disposal to possess the capability to run quietly when needed.
The L-8000 also shares many features with its relative, the L-111. Both disposals have EZ Mount locks from Waste King, removable splash guards for convenient cleaning, and safety manual reset buttons. Furthermore, the L-8000 features a powerful 1 HP motor that can satisfy the disposal needs of any household with well over 8 occupants living in it, doubling the power of the Badger 5’s motor while costing only slightly more. Consequently, the L-8000 will grind the food scraps from a smaller family in seconds. Need more reason to consider the L-8000? Look no further than Waste King’s limited warranty coverage on this unit spanning 20 years!
Motor strength: 1 HP
Weight: 11.94 lbs
Dimensions: 8.5” L x 7.5” W x 16” H
- Powerful 1 HP motor that can satisfy large households of 8+ occupants. This is also a perfect option for managing the food scraps of larger establishments such as restaurants and hotels
- Sound-insulated using Waste King’s SoundSHIELD technology for extra-quiet operation
- Incorporates the same EZ Mount locking mechanism as the L-111 from Waste King
- Manual reset safety button that will immediately turn off the unit. Easy reactivation allows for a useful feature to have in case of emergency
- Removable splash guard allows you to clean the inside of the unit easily and retrieve lost items
- Galvanized stainless steel components make for a durable unit. The L-8000’s reliability is further advanced with its extensive warranty should any defects arise for your unit
- Whopping 20-Year Limited Warranty, ensuring your L-8000 runs reliably for long-term usage
- The L-8000’s size demands decent storage space under your sink. As such, you’ll need to clear out more space to fit the L-8000 than you would otherwise with a smaller garbage disposal unit like the L-111
Brand Waste King
4. Best Compact Disposal: InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposal
InSinkErator Compact Garbage Disposal Review
Get a Quieter and Tougher Grind: In response to Waste King’s L-8000, InSinkErator offers its own disposal with sound insulation technology, but takes it a step further by incorporating a unique “2-Stage Mutligrind Technology” which stacks two galvanized stainless steel grinders on top of each other. This feature is intended to grind down tougher food scraps that your typical garbage disposal is unable to manage.
As a small knockback, the Evolution Compact has slightly less horsepower than the L-8000, but its slightly weaker 3/4 HP will still manage any household with up to eight residents with no issues.
In the end, is the Evolution Compact a better fit for you than the L-8000? If you have higher confidence in the InSinkErator brand, who invented the garbage disposal back in 1927 and has since refined their line of products, you may prefer this installment of InSinkErator’s noise-reducing disposal line. Furthermore, if you believe the Multigrind Technology feature is something that you will find especially useful at the cost of slightly less power output than the L-8000, then this disposal is for you.
Another added benefit of this disposal is that it is very versatile and easy to swap out with any InSinkErator hardware, which again, most US homes consist of as opposed to other name brand kitchen hardware suppliers.
On the flipside, you may favor the L-8000’s remarkably cheaper price, stronger motor rated at 1 HP, safety manual reset button, or its extended 20-Year Limited Warranty.
Motor strength: 3/4 HP
Weight: 19.12 lbs
Dimensions: 8” L x 8” W x 12.1” H
- Noise-reducing “SoundSeal” Technology for a hushed noise level when in use
- “2-Stage Multigrind Technology” grinds tough food scraps by utilizing two grinders stacked on top of each other for optimized garbage shredding performance
- Constructed from high quality galvanized stainless steel parts
- Easy and quick installation
- 4-year in-home warranty
- Despite having a unique multigrind feature, the Evolution Compact falls short to the L-8000 in several other aspects: it has a significantly higher price, slightly weaker horsepower, and a shorter warranty in comparison
5. Best Medium Use: Waste King L-2600 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Waste King L-2600 Garbage Disposal Review
The Stronger, Sound-Insulated Response to the L-111: The L-2600 from Waste King offers a couple trade-offs with the L-111. While the L-2600 has a stronger motor, sound insulation, and a longer-lasting warranty, it lacks the smaller compact size and much cheaper price that the L-111 offers. With these trade-offs in mind, those who desire sound insulation and a mid-strength motor should look to this disposal while its little brother, the L-111, should be considered more for lighter usage with no sound insulation.
Furthermore, the L-2600 has some typical features that other Waste King disposals share: manual safety reset button, convenient removable splashguard, and EZ Mount lock. While these features are great to have, the L-2600 does differ from its relatives as it appears to lack galvanized parts; we were unable to find any mention of galvanized components for the L-2600, leading us to assume that it is not constructed of galvanized parts. This, unfortunately, offers less protection against rusting and corrosion in the steel used for construction. It’s important to note that this applies to the disposal’s steel components, particularly its grinder. The non-steel components such as the glass-filled nylon grinding chamber is not affected by this lack of galvanization and Waste King maintains that this chamber is corrosion-proof.
Motor strength: 1/2 HP
Weight: 7.8 lbs
Dimensions: 6.8” L x 6.8” W x 13.5” H
- Sound insulation
- Front-mounted reset button
- Removable splashguard for easy cleaning and retrieval of dropped items
- Utilizes Waste King’s EZ Mount locking mechanism for quick and convenient installation or replacement, with all the necessary hardware included
- While not as small as the L-111, the L-2600 has small dimensions in comparison to many other garbage disposals and weighs only slightly more than the L-111. This is useful for saving up on storage space under your sink
- 5-Year Limited Warranty
- While constructed using stainless steel components, this disposal doesn’t appear to have galvanized parts. Without this protective layer of zinc, the parts are more susceptible to rusting and corrosion than its competitors that do have galvanized components
- While the L-2600 has numerous perks over the L-111, it is almost twice as expensive and has larger dimensions, making it slightly harder to fit under your sink
Brand Waste King
Garbage Disposal Buying Guide
Your garbage disposal is often one of the most underappreciated appliances in the kitchen. We often don’t think about it. In fact, most of us turn it on by accident while trying to flip a light in the kitchen. Otherwise, you might not even know its there. That is until you go to use it, and all you hear is – silence.
Your garbage disposal is used to manage food waste. So long as it’s not a bone, most items on your plate can be thrown into one. Flip the switch, and listen to the motor work. Suddenly, everything whole is now small enough to fit down the drain easily. However, for whatever reason, you’re in the market for a new one. Like most people, you haven’t a clue where to start with garbage disposals. Here are a few tips to help you find the right garbage disposal to suit your needs.
What Do I Need To Know?
You may not think there is much to know about these little noisy monsters under the sink. But, buy the wrong garbage disposal and you’ll find yourself right back at square one. Below are just a few things you’ll need to consider when buying a new garbage disposal.
Garbage Disposal Horsepower
The most common horsepower available to you for a garbage disposal will be ⅓, ½, ¾, and 1. This may not seem like much, but it will all make a world of difference when it comes to food in the sink. The higher the horsepower, the bigger the chopping power. However, if you’re living alone, a full horsepower garbage disposal might be a bit of overkill.
Manufactures encourage you to take your family size into consideration. A family of 3 and a family of 8 are going to need a completely different beast under the sink. The smaller the family, the smaller the horsepower. The larger the family, the larger the horsepower. Taking family size into consideration will ensure you’re not rushing out to buy another one of these in less than a year.
Batch Feed or Continuous
Both options here will have their advantages and disadvantages. This will always come down to personal preference and need. A Batch Feed garbage disposal operates with a cover in place. This means that the disposal will not start unless you have the cover over the drain. You might have to start and stop your chopping process if you’ve got a lot of food to chop, but you run a substantially lower risk of injury this way.
A continuous feed disposal is just what it sounds like. The ability to take an onslaught of unfinished second helpings. The continues garbage disposal may be the most common and is operated entirely by a switch.
Vibration and Noise
Nothing can ruin the quiet zen one might feel after a great meal like the loud clanking of a garbage disposal at work. This is why most consumers prefer their disposal to operate on the quieter side. This difference between a loud band and a silent hum might be your initial choice between a Batch Feed or Continuous disposal. Being that a Batch Feed disposal will only operate with a cover, that same cover comes with a perk. The cover will muffle much of the sound generated during the grinding process.
This doesn’t mean every Continuous disposal is going to vibrate the windows in your home when you use it. The noise and vibration of each model will vary greatly, and it’s something you’ll have to heavily consider when choosing your new disposal.
Located just underneath your garbage disposal is a small water reservoir used to contain foul odor. The reservoir is what is known as a p-trap. The water in the traps keeps the smells from the drain from creeping up in the sink. However, small pieces of food can settle at the bottom of the trap and begin to rot. Using a disposal with enough power to break down food into tiny pieces can help with this problem.
If you’re still having issues, you can turn off your sink and allow the food to settle in the trap. Once it’s settled, run the water full power for just a few moments. That should force the food out of the trap and down the drain for good.
Garbage Disposals and Septic Tanks
It’s under considerable debate as to whether or not a garbage disposal should be used with a septic system. Some city municipalities will argue that garbage disposals add too much solid waste to your septic system. Of course, garbage disposal manufacturers have come with a nifty solution to help this issue.
Some garbage disposals come equipped with a special system to address the unique problem of septic systems. Replaceable cartridges can be used to inject small microbes into the food waste as its being processed and flushed into the septic tank. This aids substantially in the breaking down of solid wastes. These small cartridges range from $10-$15 but could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
We hope our buying guide has helped in understanding what a garbage disposal is and what the best garbage disposal is for you.