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Best Garbage Disposals and Buying Guide

By Gretchen Sunder, 19 Dec 2021
InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposer

InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposer

InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal

Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal

If you want to successfully dispose of your leftovers and food waste in your kitchen, garbage disposers have proven to be fitting for the task. But whether you’re buying your first disposer, or you want to replace your old one, deciding which garbage disposer is the best out there can be tough and exhausting with so many options to choose from.

In reality, you might be troubled by questions like which is the best garbage disposer to purchase and where to find the best disposer. To make your search easier, we’ve reviewed some of the best disposers, taking into consideration the different models of garbage disposers. What makes a great disposer, what features should you look for, and how much should you spend? To answer those questions, read on to get insight into which garbage disposer suits you. The different garbage disposers we’ve highlighted in this article are available at numerous retail stores, local centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

1 InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposer

The InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposer is known for being the best heavy-duty disposer which is designed with heavy-duty galvanized steel. The disposer makes use of the 0.75 horsepower motor and advanced technology to grind tough food wastes, including bones, earning it an incredible rating for speed. This disposer is also designed with a protective liner that locks in the waste, to prevent any leak.

Prime Features

  • Eight inches in width
  • 12.13 inches in height
  • 0.75 horsepower motor
  • Warranty for up to four years

What do the customers say about this product?

With more than 7,000 reviews, the InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposer has an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. More than 97% of the customers have left 4 or 5 stars reviews while the 2% left a 1-or-2 -star rating.

Those who loved the product left positive comments saying it has a slim design, powerful motor, and is durable. However, those who left negative remarks complained that it was hard to mount under the sink.

  • Perfect grinding
  • Smooth operation
  • The warranty guarantees parts and services
  • Easy maintenance 
  • The gasket is tightened thus slower draining

1 InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

Best for shallow sinks, the InSinkErator Badger 5 is run by a 0.5-horsepower motor, using the continuous feed to pulverize food wastes. The disposer has a dense design making it easier to install under any sink. The disposer comes with a pre-installed power cord, which is a rare case with InSinkErator disposals.

Additionally, this disposer is maintenance-free and has a strong motor that is ideal for pulverizing food scraps like fruits.

Prime Features

  • 6.31 inches in width
  • 11.5 inches in height
  • 0.5 horsepower motor
  • Warranty for up to two years

What do the customers say about this product?

Out of 10,000 plus reviews, the InSinkErator Badger 5 has an overall rating of 4.7 stars. More than 95% of Amazon reviewers have rated this disposer with 4 or 5 stars while 5% gave it 1 or 2 stars.

Happy customers said the disposer was very easy to install, designed with the best materials, and durable. However, unhappy customers said it is susceptible to leaks.

  • Easy installation
  • Has a brief learning curve
  • Good quality
  • Some users complained that the unit cracked

1 Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal

For those of you who need a disposer for grinding tough food scraps like banana peels or cooked meat, the Moen GXS75C Host Series is the ideal option. This disposer is loved by many especially because of its long warranty ensuring longevity.

Prime Features

  • 7.5 inches in width
  • 13.375 inches in height
  • 0.75 horsepower motor
  • Warranty for up to 10 years

What do the customers say about this product?

With over 1,600 reviewers, this disposer had an average rating of 4.7 stars. Around 93% of the customers left 4 or 5 stars while 3%  left 1 or 2 stars.

Satisfied customers loved that the splash guard was easy to detach for cleaning and the motor and chamber could handle more food than other disposers. Customers also loved that the disposer didn’t need many tools to install. Even so, some customers said they had to force food scraps into the grinder manually.

  • Long warranty
  • Quiet operation
  • Grinds tough foods
  • Can be pricy

1 Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal

The Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal has the best value when compared to many disposers, you can say it is the most affordable way of preventing kitchen clogs. It is designed with a 27.3-ounce grind chamber with a 0.5 horsepower motor that helps to grind small food wastes. The grinding chamber is designed from a corrosion-resistant polymer which helps in ensuring the disposal is durable and performs well.

Prime Features

  • 5.25 inches in width
  • 12.75 inches in height
  • 0.5 horsepower motor
  • Warranty for up to two years

What do the customers say about this product?

Out of around 10,000 reviews, the Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars. 88% of the customers have left 4-or-5 stars ratings while 6% left 1-or-2 stars reviews. Those who were contented with this disposer say it is silent, comes with a powerful motor, and is designed compactly. Even with its amazing features, some were unhappy saying it was a bit hard installing.

  • It is compact
  • Continuous feed feature
  • The power cord is already installed
  • The warranty covers only two years
  • Can only pulverize small portions at a time

1 Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal

The Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal is one best disposal for large sinks and is easy for any person to operate. It comes with a high-powered motor and twist-and-lock installation. It's strong 0.75 horsepower motor makes it easy for the disposer to grind large food scraps.

Prime Features

  • 7.75 inches in width
  • 13.75 inches in height
  • 0.75 powered horsepower motor
  • Warranty extended up to eight years

What do the customers say about this product?

This disposer has more than 3,400 customer reviews on Amazon with a mean rating of 4.5 stars. Out of those reviews, 89% were 4 or 5 stars, while 7% were 1 or 2 stars rating. Happy customers were glad by its mounting system, easy installation, and it didn’t make much noise while some complained that the stopper was made from plastic.

  • Quality product at an affordable price
  • Easy installation
  • Powerful grinder
  • No major issue has been recorded yet

What To Consider When Buying the Best Garbage Disposal

Before you buy a garbage disposer, it's beneficial you consider how its specifications can affect its performance. Many factors go into choosing the best disposer. For instance, how many people are in your household and if you have small children who will grab anything within reach; such factors will help you decide whether to purchase a continuous feed disposer or a batch feed garbage disposer.

The size of your family also determines the power and size of the unit -based on the amount of food processed in a day. In addition, will you install the disposer yourself or hire a pro? Answering these questions will help you decide which disposer is best for you. Here are a few factors to consider when buying the best disposer:

Grinding Technology

A disposer is compromised of a motor and an internal canister known as the grinding chamber that is equipped with sharp blades spinning at top speeds when the disposer is powered down/turned off. The garbage disposer’s base is punctured to allow ground food wastes to flow from the chamber and down the drainpipe.

Disposers are divided into two different types: the continuous feed and the batch feed unit.

The continuous feed garbage disposer runs constantly when turned on, which allows you to throw large food scraps into the grind chambers. Today many disposers on the market are continuous feed and their prices range depending on their power and quality. The prime drawback to continuous feed disposers is the possibility of someone’s hands slipping in the grinder which can cause injuries.

The batch feed garbage disposer pulverizes small food wastes and is much safer for your family and curious children. Before a batch feed disposer operates there must be a stopper in place. Safety is the prime draw for this type of disposer, but they are generally more expensive than continuous feed.

If you buy the batch feed, you can only run one load of food batches at a time. The size of the grinding chamber will differ depending on the model but will generally pulverize 2 to 4 cups of food scraps at a time.

Power

The more powerful a disposer is, the more efficiently it will pulverize food wastes. Just like many appliances that use motors, the power that a disposer generates is measured in horsepower (HP), an energy unit that was once compared to real horses.

1/3 horsepower: These are the least expensive disposers you'll find, but they are prone to clogging when they grind fibrous foods like carrots. Unless you're planning on using a disposer occasionally and grinding soft foods only, we'd advise you to buy a more powerful one.

1/2 horsepower: A 1/2 horsepower disposer is ideal for midsize households and will grind most food scraps; just make sure you don't overstuff it to ensure it doesn't jam.

3/4 horsepower: Now we can start talking about real power! A 3/4 horsepower is powerful enough to grind its way through fibrous foods with no problem and is ideal for households with a large family and considerable food scraps.

1.0 to 1.2 horsepower: These powerhouses make everything look easy, they virtually grind all food scraps you throw into it, which includes watermelon rinds.

Size

The greater the horsepower, the larger the motor, which most of the time will require you to increase the unit’s size too. While the size will differ according to the brand, the smallest horsepower disposers range from 6 to 7 inches in width and 9 to 12 inches in height. Set side by side with a powerful one disposer like the 1.0 horsepower disposer, it can go up to 13 inches in width, and 18 inches in height.

The one time the size of the unit will make a difference is when your kitchen space is limited. If you own a water filtering system; for instance, the reverse osmosis unit, you might have less room space for a large system. Ensure you take measurements of the space under your sink and match it up with the garbage disposer you’re fascinated with.

Grinding Chamber Material

Most of the time the disposer is exposed to water and garbage, so it is recommended you buy a disposer that has a durable grinding chamber.

The grinding chamber can be made from different materials like stainless steel, pot metal, plastic, and galvanized steel. All materials make good grinding chambers but just like many appliances, each material has its pros and cons.

Stainless steel is the most standard. Even though it is more upfront, it will last longer than other materials – you might never have to replace the disposer. Moreover, the chamber doesn’t rust, and the stainless-steel grind parts are the easiest for cleaning.

Plastic is second as it doesn’t wear off. But in time the components will crack when the plastic starts drying out. Even with that con, those components will last for long before they crack; you should get years of service from the disposer before replacement. It is easy to clean since it lacks corrosion.

Pot metal is mostly plated or painted. With time the coating will scrape away, and the metal beneath will rust and later be covered in a white powder-like material. Although they might end up looking second-class, the thickness of the components means they are durable and can serve you for decades.

Galvanized steel has a galvanized protective coating that will begin to wear down as soon as the garbage disposer starts working. In less than one year, the grinding chamber will begin to rust, and after a few years, the components might fail.

Direct Vs Plug-in

Most disposers are designed to be directly wired into the electrical system, so many don't have power cords that can be plugged into an outlet. However, certain models are built with cords and plugs that can be attached to an outlet under the kitchen sink.

Garbage disposers that don't come with plugs can be transformed into plug-in models with the purchase of optional plug-in cords which you will buy separately.

A disposer that comes with a cord to plug into an outlet is the easiest to install, but a dangling cord underneath the sink may interfere with stored cleaners and other items which can remove the plug from the outlet.

Many disposals that are professionally installed are directly wired, meaning the wires connected are inside the junction box in the wall, which minimizes the risk of moisture interfering with the wiring.

A plug-in model can be damaged when a water leak runs down the wall, which could result in a short out and flip the circuit breaker, even though the possibility of such an incident occurring is minimal.

Although the choice of installing the disposer through direct wiring or plug-in is normally left up to the owner to decide, it is best to check in with your local building authority just in case there are regulations set up in your community.

Connecting your disposer to a non-plug unit is simple if you have experience in wiring, and instructions that come with both the disposer and the cord kit. Unlike the non-plug unit, hard wiring your disposer into the home’s electrical system is a bit complex and should be left to those with experience in that department.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a garbage disposer work?

Garbage disposers are attached beneath the kitchen sink to lay hold of the solid food as it goes down the drain. As soon as the food is inside the grinding chamber, you can turn on the machine and leave the rest to the machine as it grinds the food wastes into smaller pieces. These pieces will now pass through the pipes at ease instead of causing clogs.

How long can a garbage disposer last?

Many garbage disposers can live up to 10 years. If your disposer has a hard time grinding food scraps, makes excessive noise than usual, or regularly clogs, it might be time you replaced it.

How do you use a garbage disposer?

Start by turning on the water in your sink before you turn on the device (use cold water). Once you've turned on the disposer, moderately drop the food wastes down the drain. When you're done disposing of the food, power down the device and run cool water down the drain for a few seconds to flush the pipes.

Winding Up

The best garbage disposers should have at least one of these features;

In our research, we've ensured to recommend the best, easiest to install and gathered the top picks from different models. It is advised to buy disposal with a capacity that suits the number of users and the type of food waste you plan to dispose of. For fruit peels, a light garbage disposal should suit you, but for fibrous or hard food wastes, you will want a disposer with a powerful horsepower.

Apart from horsepower, you might want to decide whether you want the continuous feed or batch feed disposer. The difference between the two is that continuous feed will pulverize food scraps constantly, while batch will grind the food waste only if the sink is covered and closed off. For more information on garbage disposers, visit us to check out our other articles. 

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