Best Garbage Disposal Reviews of 2017
Having a garbage disposal installed in your home offers a number of advantages, and this website has been designed with the goal of helping you find the best garbage disposal for your lifestyle, budget, and family’s needs.
Not every garbage disposal was created equal, and it can be difficult to discern which one is right for your home. After all, a quick internet search will show you that there are hundreds of different models to choose from. You shouldn’t automatically choose the cheapest or best rated garbage disposal. You need to find the one that is right for your unique needs.
If you want to make the purchasing process easier, read our guide below!
Table of Contents
The Best Garbage Disposals
In the chart below, you will find my 5 top rated kitchen sink garbage disposals. For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on the "Read Review" link.
InSinkErator Evolution Compact
InSinkErator Badger 1
Waste King L-3200 Legend Series
InSinkErator Evolution Excel
Waste King L-2600 Legend Series
You can also click here to see over 20 waste disposals reviewed and which ones I recommend.
Garbage Disposal Types
For the most part, garbage disposals are all fairly similar. The two most basic types of food disposals are batch feed models and continuous feed models.
Batch Feed Model
The design of this type of garbage disposal requires you to “load” it with food and waste. After the unit is full, you must turn down the stopper to trigger the blades. The benefits of having a batch feed garbage disposal are listed below.
- These models are equipped with a stopper or cover, which means that you are not left with a wide hole for foreign objects to fall into or small hands to grab.
- For individuals and families who have only a small amount of waste to dispose of, this is the most efficient option.
- This model is much safer than traditional continuous feed models because you are required to fill the chamber up and cover the opening before powering the disposal on. Should you happen to drop a foreign object into the disposal, the chances of the disposal jamming are eliminated.
- If your household produces a large amount of waste on a daily basis, it will take more time to get rid of it.
- Batch feed models are more expensive than continuous feed models.
Continuous Feed Model
Just like its name indicates, this type of garbage disposal continues to run from the moment it is turned on until you decide to shut it off. Here are a few of the benefits that continuous feed models have to offer:
- For households with a large amount of food waste, a continuous feed garbage disposal is this best option. You won’t have to wait until the chamber is completely full to run it.
- This model is ideal for those who like to clean their kitchen as they work. Waste can simply be thrown into the disposal as you work.
- Continuous feed models are less expensive than batch feed models, and they tend to sell better.
- Most manufacturers of continuous feed garbage disposals recommend that you run cold water in the sink while using the disposal, so there is a possibility that your water bill will increase.
- Safety and vigilance are paramount with these disposals. If you have small children in your home, then you must be on your guard to ensure that they do not stick their hands or other small objects down the disposal. You must also be careful to ensure that you do not accidentally drop any foreign objects down the disposal. For example, if a spoon were to fall into the disposal, and the disposal was turned on, it could cause quite a bit of damage to the unit before you are able to fish it out.
Common Garbage Disposal Features
With so many different models of garbage disposals to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which one will best suit your needs, especially when you begin looking at all of the different features each model has to offer. Reading garbage disposal reviews will be much easier if you know what you are looking for. Here is a glossary of common features found on most modern garbage disposals:
- Auto Reverse Function – If a garbage disposal has the ability to spin its blades in reverse, it will help it clear any waste that might become jammed inside of the unit, which is a common problem among garbage disposals. Some models boast a blade oscillating feature to assist with clearing.
- Electric Cord – When a garbage disposal features an electric cord, it can be used in conjunction with an electrical outlet. If it does not, then it must be hard-wired, which can cost additional money.
- Quick Neck Mount – In the spirit of DIY installation, most modern garbage disposals now feature quick mount necks. However, a 1 HP garbage disposal will, on average, weigh between 15 and 30 pounds, which makes installation a two-person job.
- Horsepower Ratings – Even garbage disposals that have a basic ½ HP motor are more than capable of handling softer waste and bones; however, if your kitchen’s food waste routinely includes bones, cores, and harder vegetables, like carrots or avocados, then you need to look for a garbage disposal with a 1 HP (or higher) motor. A more powerful motor will be able to grind hard waste finer and faster, which reduces your chances of developing clogged pipes.
- Stainless Steel Grinding Chambers – Stainless steel grinding chambers are one of the hottest features on modern garbage disposals. The use of stainless steel is supposed to increase the durability and lifespan of the garbage disposal.
- Warranty - The average industry warranty on a garbage disposal is one year; however, it is not uncommon to see manufacturers’ warranties that can extend up to ten years. As a general rule of thumb, the more comprehensive and longer a warranty is, the more confidence the manufacturer has in the product they have made, but this is not always the case, so it is still important to do your homework.
Popular Brands & Models
In the United States, almost all garbage disposals on the market are manufactured by a handful of companies; although, many are branded under different names. For example, out of the top ten highest rated models on the market, InSinkErator makes eight of them. Whirlpool and WasteKing are the other two most well-known brands in the U.S. There are a wide range of models to choose from, ranging from basic $50.00 models to models equipped with all of the latest bells and whistles that can cost as much as $600.00. In most cases, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Here is a brief overview of the top brands in the U.S.
- InSinkErator – InSinkErator is a brand name that is well-known for their design and manufacturing of waste disposal systems and instant hot water dispensers. John Hammes founded the company in 1927 in Racine, Wisconsin, where their headquarters remain today. Hammes is credited with designing and producing the first “in sink” waste disposal system, and the InSinkErator is a play on the word “incinerator”. Currently, InSinkErator produces and markets garbage disposal systems under the Evolution and Badger Series brand names.
- Waste King – Manufactured in the United States, Waste King garbage disposals have won much praise for their energy efficient design. Waste King offers a wide range of garbage disposers for both residential and commercial settings. In the early 2000s, Waste King refocused their sights on providing unparalleled customer service and quality products, and their warranties are the current industry standard that others are measured by.
- KitchenAid – Although the name is most famously associated with their high quality mixers, KitchenAid garbage disposals have fared well in both professional and consumer written reviews. Founded in 1919, the KitchenAid brand is the only brand in the world that produces items strictly for the kitchen. KitchenAid offers both batch feed and continuous feed garbage disposal systems for residential and commercial settings.
- Whirlpool – Located in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the American based Whirlpool Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of home appliances. Whirlpool markets many different brands, including KitchenAid, Maytag, Jenn-Air, and Amana. Their line of in sink disposers offer an affordable entry level option for homeowners who want to install a garbage disposal in their home.
- GE– GE, which is an acronym for General Electric, is an international conglomerate whose headquarters are based in New York City, New York. The company operates in many different segments, ranging from home appliances to transportation. In terms of gross revenue, GE is the sixth largest company firm in the United States. GE garbage disposals have won praise for their powerful motors and overall durability.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal can be a cook’s best friend, and if you are in the market for a new garbage disposal, then you’ll be pleased to find out that the buying process is a simple one because your choices are limited. However, before purchasing a specific model, here are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration:
Disposal Grinding Horsepower
There are four primary models of garbage disposals on the market today:
- 1/3rd Horsepower – This lower end model is suitable only for limited use – primarily soft foods, like vegetables. These models also have a frequent tendency to jam, which is frustrating. They are suitable for 1-2 person households.
- 1/2 Horsepower – Although this model is more powerful than its 1/3rd HP cousin, its use should be limited to households of no more than 2-3 people where usage in the kitchen is low. It is recommended that you look for one with stainless steel grinding components, which will increase the unit’s longevity.
- 3/4th Horsepower – This garbage disposal model is ideal for households of 4-5 people. It is the model that you will most commonly find in modern day homes. These models are often equipped with more sound dampening features, which reduce the level of noise the unit produces when compared to its lower end cousins. Again, it is recommended that you look for a model with stainless steel grinding components.
- 1 Horsepower – If you have a large family and produce a lot of waste in the kitchen, then this is the garbage disposal model that you will want to have installed in your home. Capable of handling bones and other tough waste items, this larger capacity garbage disposal has less of a tendency to jam than any other models.
Ideally, you should invest in the highest power model that you can afford. Lower tier models simply do not perform as well, and consequently, you can expect for poorly ground waste to clog your pipes more frequently.
Garbage Disposal Switches & Connections
The majority of today’s garbage disposals are designed to dovetail with a sink’s drain outlet, which makes connecting the two components simple. There are a multitude of connection kits and adaptors available. Many models feature a power cord that is simply plugged into a nearby outlet to power the unit; however, when an outlet is not available, the unit must be hardwired, which can be significantly more expensive.
A continuous feed model features a switch that is generally mounted on the wall nearby. In rarer cases, an air pressure switch may be mounted on the countertop. These air pressure switches are considered safer than traditional flip switches because they guard against shock by isolating the electrical system away from the sink’s source of water. Batch feed garbage disposals do not require the installation or use of a switch. Safety codes in your community will dictate how far away from the sink the electrical switch must be located.
Quiet Operation Garbage Disposals
As a general rule of thumb, the heavier and bigger that a garbage disposal is, the more quietly it will operate – so long as it fits properly underneath your sink. Even though the sound dampening technology used in the design of garbage disposals has improved dramatically in the last 10 years, it is unrealistic to expect your garbage disposal to operate noise free. Under specific sinks, some disposals will be noisier than others due to the amount of vibration they produce. Ideally, you should look for a garbage disposal that features a nylon, insulated grinding chamber, like those produced by WasteKing.
When purchasing a garbage disposal for your home, one of the most important things you’ll need to pay attention to is the manufacturer’s warranty. On average, a top rated food disposal system will last between 10 and 15 years, especially if you take particular care to ensure that it doesn’t become clogged.
Manufacturers’ warranties for garbage disposals range from one year through the lifetime of the unit. One of the best warranties in the industry is the one offered by WasteKing on all of their garbage disposals. Should your disposal system fail due to material defect or mechanical effort during the purchaser’s lifetime, WasteKing will replace the unit for free. Similarly, InSinkErator offers a comprehensive 7 year, parts and labor warranty for their Evolution series of garbage disposals. In general, the more confidence a manufacturer has in the product they’ve created, the more comprehensive their warranty will be.
Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Garbage Disposal
Before making the decision to buy a specific waste disposal model, there are four basic questions you need to ask yourself.
1. Does my community allow garbage disposals? If your home is hooked up to a municipal water and sewer system, you should contact your community sewer provider to learn what their policies are regarding garbage disposals. Some towns and cities require a homeowner to get a permit before being allowed to install a new food disposal system. Others have outright outlawed the use of disposals due to limited sewer and water capacity. For example, an increasing number of cities in California has banned the installation of new garbage disposers in homes due to the ongoing drought the state is suffering from.
2. Can my septic tank handle the load? If your home is hooked up to a septic tank, then the municipality that you live in may require you to upgrade your septic tank system if you decide to install a garbage disposal. A local building inspector will be able to tell you if you’ll need too. Also, you must take into account that you will be required to empty your septic tank more often.
3. Is my plumbing capable of handling the task? If your current plumbing frequently clogs or backs up, then you should NOT install a new garbage disposer. The additional waste that a garbage disposal creates will only increase the chances of one or both happening. Before installing a waste disposer, you’ll need to have the source of the problem identified and fixed.
4. Is installing a garbage disposal worth the additional water expense? On average, a modern faucet runs 2.5 gallons of water per minute, or 900 gallons per year based upon the average annual household usage in the U.S. Depending on how often you use your disposerl, your home’s water usage, and water bill, will rise. This is one factor you’ll need to consider before deciding whether or not to buy a garbage disposal.
Why Garbage Disposals Are Awesome
If you don’t already have a kitchen disposal system installed in your home, now is the time to consider purchasing and installing one! In fact, we’re willing to bet that, once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
Whisper Quiet Operation
Modern food waste disposers are equipped with options for quiet grinding. The loud, noisy models are a thing of the past. Even when the garbage disposal is being used, you won’t have to worry about the noise bothering someone in the next room.
Most people don’t think about the fact that garbage disposals are eco-friendly. By investing in a sink food disposer, you’ll be reducing the amount of trash that you leave on the curb for pickup. This means that less trash will be buried in your town’s local landfill. Conserving landfill space is a national concern, and it is one of multiple reasons why recycling is so important. Even though it might not seem like a lot to you, every conservation effort matters.
If you’re like most people who cook, your kitchen probably looks like a disaster zone after preparing a meal for your family and eating it. The cleanup process is going to go much more quickly if you can stuff leftover food waste down the drain. Most garbage disposals have a switch located near the kitchen sink. All that you have to do is turn the faucet’s cold water on, flip the switch, and put the remaining leftovers in the drain.
The bottom line is that a high quality waste disposer offers a variety of benefits for your household and the environment. Investing in one will save you a considerable amount of time and money.
Recommended Best Sellers
- HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 1/2 HP, 2600 rpm permanent magnet motor jams less
- EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable...
- 5 YEAR PROTECTION: 5-year Limited In-Home Warranty
- NO ELECTRICAL EXPERTISE NEEDED: Pre-installed power cord, no electrical work required
- 26 oz. Grind chamber with galvanized steel grind system
- 3/4 Horsepower Dura-Drive Induction Motor
- We come to You 3- Year In-Home Limited Warranty
- Power cord not included
- HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: 0.3-horsepower motor with 1900 rpm
- QUIET: Insulated stainless steel grinding components reduce noise of the garbage disposals
- DURABILITY: The disposal is made from corrosion proof stainless steel and rust-free grinding...
- INCLUDED IN THE BOX: garbage disposer, 36-inch power cord, and removable splash guard so it's easy...
We hope this guide has assisted you in finding the best garbage disposal for your kitchen. It is not intended to be an exhaustive guide, but rather an aid to help you make an informed decision. We have avoided reviewing specific waste disposal system models in this guide because it is our belief that it is most important for you to understand how they work, their various features, and their benefits in order for you to make the best decision. This will help you in finding the disposal system that is perfect for your home’s own unique needs. Of course, you’re encouraged to check out different waste disposer reviews to ensure that you’re buying a high quality product, but ratings shouldn’t be the only guideline you use to find the best garbage disposal. Best of luck!