Never had a food waste disposer before and planning on getting one? Or looking to replace your thoroughly aged unit with a newer, more advanced model? Gather round! Gather round and take a look! We have them all on the rack, the best garbage disposals for you and your family.
No, seriously, we’ve been exploring the internet, digging through customer forums and plumbers’ blogs, to find as many opinions on the potential best food waste disposers as possible.
We’ve found that our perspective only is simply not adequate to devise a truly reflective review. There is a figurative jungle of garbage disposals on the market and a summary of feedback from other users would be anything but excessive.
So here it is! If this is useful to you in any way, please leave a comment or a like to let us know that we’re doing good work. That’d be much appreciated.
How to choose the best garbage disposal
First and foremost, there are a few basic aspects that consumers should definitely consider prior to a purchase.
How Noisy Are Garbage Disposals?
Noise pollution is a risk factor to health. So should one plan to make a purchase on, the noise level is to be looked at carefully, especially food disposers. We have prepared a comparison chart that will provide a clearer picture on how noisy a garbage disposal can get. Take a look. And keep in mind that the figures presented are all peak numbers.
Because personal budgets are different across the board, it’s never as simple as picking the least noisy model, isn’t it? If you like quietness, and have cash to spare, the Evolution Excel is the optimal choice. If your budget is limited and sound insulation seems redundant, however, the Waste King L-8000 or Badger 5 is not half bad.
But if one wants keep the noise level as low as possible, one might have to look into other factors. Among them is the sink. Because it is directly connected to the garbage disposer, the sink is very likely to get affected and to resonate to the vibration of the machine. In case you’d like to opt for a new sink, we have already devised a review on the best sinks of this year. Feel free to check that out.
How Much Food Waste Do You Produce?
A large volume of rubbish requires a powerful machine. You don’t want to standing and grinding garbage for more than 10 minutes, trust me. So being mindful and thinking about how much HP would be sufficient to deal with your daily load of garbage BEFORE buying a disposer is not a bad move. Here’s the general consensus:
- ⅓ or ½ HP: suitable for a small house or apartment with 1-3 people
- ¾ HP: perfect for families with 4-6 people
- 1 HP: able to take care of a family of 7-9 people
- 2 HP: 2 HP is really strong and can handle food waste for more than 9 people.
Apart from the ⅓ HP garbage disposals, the ones we have here in our review include all the available power range for residential use. Whatever your requirements may be, or however big your family is, I’m quite positive that we’ve got you covered. Take a look:
One thing to note: the chart above is devised with estimated figures. If, in your case, there are only 2 or 3 people yet big meals, like friend meetings or family dinners, are constant events, opting for the ¾ or 1 HP models is no doubt more convenient.
How Strong Do You Want Your Motor?
We don’t need strong motors solely for the load of waste, but also for the types of waste and the ground results. The finer the results, the less chance it has to clog the drain.
- ⅓ HP models are the weakest ones on the market. But they’re still quite popular and selling relatively well. It might be because these models are more affordable, or simply because 45 percent of US adult population is single and like to live in small apartments or studios that do not have the space for bigger models.
- ½ HP models are a bit stronger and are the more favored choice for small homes. The ½ and ⅓ HP motors are recommended for regular light use and are to be treated gently.
- ¾ HP motors have the strength and usually the technologies to deal with several food types that weaker units can’t, namely bones and hard, fibrous vegetables.
- 1-2 HP is tough enough to endure heavy use and has no problem dealing with hard food waste and will almost never be subject to jamming. It can also be useful to a small business.
In short, depending on the power of your machine of choice, different manner of waste may or may not be easy to pass through grind chamber. Here we have the elected best garbage disposals in a comparison chart in order to highlight the grind capability of each one of them. Take a look.
As quite clearly shown, the Evolution Excel – the most advanced residential food waste disposer at the present – is able to handle all sorts of food waste in the kitchen. Meanwhile, the Badger, as a standard unit, is more limited. Be that as it may, it can still deal with common discarded food with not much trouble.
What Size Should Your Sink Garbage Disposal Be?
As you probably know, garbage disposals come in different sizes. And evidently, the bigger the size, the stronger and more advanced the machine. It’s a bit of a cliche, I know, but it’s logical. Only a big case has enough room for a big motor with strong torque.
For instance, small garbage disposals with small design like the Badger 5 are clearly not spatially suitable to handle a 3/4 or 1 HP motor.
Plus, big motors make a lot of noise, especially with garbage disposals, so soundproofing layers are needed, which also contribute to the size of the overall frame. In short, with these machines, the bigger is likely the better.
Regardless, if you want a disposal unit in your kitchen, first you have to make sure that the under sink cabinet has enough room to accommodate one. Then it’s time to look at how much power would be sufficient.
In rarer cases, if you are a big family, but with a small sink cabinet, you might want to consider remodeling your kitchen counter.
Side Notes before Buying Food Disposal
Besides all of the above, there is still something of concerns that many users have experienced and recommend attention towards. I do realize that the guide is quite lengthy at this point, but bare with me as the next few words is important.
Leaking garbage disposals?
‘A leaking garbage disposal’ is not something that will surprise a lot of people, that I can be certain. Plumbing is prone to leaking – that just how it works. And it is even more so with such an appliance that is used daily like the food disposer.
As rare as it may seems, leaking from new units do happen from time to time; and it usually comes from certain places. Paying attention to them right when setting a new one up will help prevent leaking. So, here are those points of leak:
This is where leaks occur in most cases and it’s easy to see why. I won’t bore you with the details. All you need to know is that if it leaks here, there’s a problem with sealing. To seal the connection properly, there are a few tips that most experienced users and plumbers recommend:
- Use putty, not the rubber gasket, to seal the flange. And be extra with the plutty! The excess amount can be retrieved and reused.
- Refer to the manuals to make sure of the number as well as the order of the gaskets (that go underside of the sink) when setting up the mounting assembly.
The outlet is another popular spot for leaks to appear. It is the exit route of the ground result where water travel through often. Here also lies the second easiest connection of the machine, which many seems to neglect. There is only one thing to notice here: remember to use the rubber gasket and tighten the screws until snug (not too tight).
The inlet is designed be compatible with various types of hoses and tubes. It’s also why the security of the connection is unreliable . To secure such connection, one is advised to always use a hose clamp and to tighten it with a screwdriver.
Garbage disposals can also leaks from cracks on the housing case or from interior loose seals. Both of the cases usually happen after a good while of usage and the machine has come to a certain limit. However, they can come from poor quality as well.
Those mentioned are serious issues that are not expected after at least 5 years – they are so with decent products, anyway. With cheap models, that time can shorten up quite a bit. Therefore, one should make sure that they know what brand to trust and buy from, and whether a too economical unit is worth the troubles ahead.
Review of the Best Garbage Disposals 2018
Let’s have a peek at our list of the best garbage disposals of the last quarter of 2018. I do hope that after the article, you’ll have enough information to make an excellent final decision. Here they are:
- InSinkErator Evolution Excel 1.0 HP – Best to Buy 2018
- Waste King L8000 Legend 1 HP – Best Rated Garbage Disposal
- InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP – Best for Small Home
- Moen GXS75C-GX 3/4 hp – Best Moen Disposer
- InSinkErator Evolution XTR 3/4 HP – Best Quiet Garbage Disposal
- Waste King L1001 1/2 HP – Best Affordable Food Disposal
- InSinkErator Septic Assist 3/4 HP – Best Septic System Safe Disposal
Top Garbage Disposals Comparison Chart
1. InSinkErator Evolution Excel – Best Garbage Disposal To Buy of 2018
This one is a high-end model, as you can somewhat guess from the picture. Not only equipped with a strong motor and sleek design but also with top-notch technologies, the InSinkErator Evolution Excel should be a proper addition to a well endowed kitchen.
Now, the motor. The unit is with a 1 HP Dura Drive induction motor at its base. The motor is adopted across Insinkerator disposer collections, the Badger series and Evolution series alike. Once again, Dura Drive mechanism is an essential upgrade. The said drive helps the motor operate with higher efficiency and less demand for maintenance.
One thing to note is that Insinkerator garbage disposals do not vary in speed. From the Badger 1 – the lowest tier model – to the model at hand, 1725 rpm is the only rotational velocity. It does seem that over the long period of almost 80 years in the industry, Insinkerator has found the optimal number, spending more power on torque rather than pace.
That explains why at less than 2000 rpm, the Evolution Excel can still produce fine ground results. Facing 1 HP and a stainless steel grind chamber of the product, bones, seeds, fibrous waste, etc are not much different from tomatoes.
Not just the strong motor and effective velocity, the unit also offers the 3-stage Multigrind technology. Simply put, the machine will grind the same batch of food waste 3 times, thoroughly pulverizing it. By letting out only tiny particles, clogging and jamming are much less likely to happen.
Talking about jamming, if the machine jams in some rare instances, the Evolution Excel is also able to recognize the incident, then to boost the torque as well as auto-reverse the spin to free the chamber. Jamming will almost never happen.
The Insinkerator Evolution Excel is covered with a 7 years “We come to you” in-home limited warranty.
Even though it’s priced (on Amazon) at under $370, which is quite expensive, the disposal unit is considered to be best value for money by various owners.
2. Waste King L8000 – Best Rated Kitchen Garbage Disposal
Next in our list is the indisputable 1 HP, permanent magnet motor Waste King Legend L8000. The L8000 is our pick as the most well-balanced food waste disposal model for its usability and affordability.
Permanent magnet motors also make less noise when operating compared to the common induction motors. Besides, their ability to achieve maximum speed in a short instant reduces the risk of jamming.
Second is durability. All the grind components are made of stainless steel to shred even the toughest food waste and to stand against the test of time. The housing is framed with glass-filled nylon and glass-filled polyester – fiberglass, which is well-known for its rigidity, lightweight, corrosion resistance and low cost.
Finally is affordability. This is the part where things just seem somewhat unreal. Because with the usual formula that we have often seen, the Waste King L8000 is supposed to be more expensive than what it’s actually priced.
Permanent magnet motors cost more to build than induction motors, plus stainless steel is also the best choice of metal material available for home use. Yet, the machine doesn’t cost nearly as much as the other available 1 HP garbage disposals on the market.
One can either use the cost deficit to either put in their saving jar and go for the DIY installation; OR they can use it to hire professional assistance if they don’t have the time nor the motivation to go down there. Overall, it’s just too good of a deal.
To top all that, Waste King is also extremely confident about their products, to such an extent that the brand offers a lifetime limited in-home warranty to all purchases. Safe to say, this is the best and longest warranty in the industry.
The Waste King L8000 (click to read a detailed review) is perfect for a house with 8 people or fewer. Now going for around $160 on Amazon.
3. InSinkErator Badger 5 – Best Small Home Garbage Disposal
If you find comfort from famous and familiar brands, Insinkerator is the way to go. The company built the first garbage disposals and is skilled at building these machines as well as offering solutions for kitchen waste problems.
The model is powered with a ½ HP Dura Drive induction motor. Adopting Dura Drive mechanism, the motor is improved in durability and precision, therefore in efficiency. With proper use and care, the motor will be functional for a long time.
Spinning at the speed of 1725 rpm, which is not too fast nor too slow, the grind chamber can deal with soft food waste with ease. Still, solid or hard waste like bones, eggshells, or fibrous materials are going to be trying.
You should not take this to mean that the grind chamber is not fit to accomplish such tasks. It’s just that the motor simply doesn’t provide enough power for the galvanized steel impellers and grind ring to do so, at least not with bones. Another thing: though eggshells and fibrous materials CAN be reduced to mulch, the process must be slow and gentle, lest the unit be damaged and jammed.
Overall, the Insinkerator is not bad at all for such a small unit, might even be said to be the best 1/2 HP garbage disposal. It’s a little picky about the fed waste, but is durable and reasonably priced in return. You can even save a bit more by installing the unit yourself. It’s fairly easy as everything about the Badger 5 is standard and straightforward.
The Badger 5 is around $100 on Amazon, covered by an “We come to you” 2-year In-Home limited warranty and is suitable for small apartments or houses with 1-3 people.
We also discuss this particular product in another article. Have a look if you fancy an in-depth review of a classic yet popular model.
4. Moen GXS75C GX– Best Moen Food Waste Disposer
I’m sure Moen is a familiar name to all of us when a need for kitchen fixtures comes around. For years now, positive reviews after positive reviews, their faucets have been the standard that other brands are measured. Of course, we can expect no less than that with their line of garbage disposals.
Moen is relatively new to the kitchen waste disposal scene. Though that can mean Moen doesn’t have the experience necessary to device an effective machine, it can also translate to Moen having all the time they needed to observe and learn. That’ll be clear when we discuss the features of the Moen GXS75C.
First off, the well-aged, highly compatible 3-bolt mount assembly is the stabilizing connection of the unit. In comparison with the EZ mount system, the 3-bolt is the superior option when it comes to disposal units with strong motor.
Moen also choose to go with the low cost approach to the much needed automatic anti-jam mechanics: a permanent magnet motor. With only a ¾ HP motor which spins at 2700 RPM, jamming already has a much smaller room to act up – no need for complex technologies.
Finally is one of the biggest issues with garbage disposal units: the noise. For a unit of its price, it’s uncommon to see one with sound isolation. However, the quality of the sound proofing is still up for debate. There are feedback on how surprising loud the unit can be, while a handful of others deem it to be “not that bad”.
Regardless of the noise, everything else of the machine is comparatively decent; that includes the easy installation with the pre-wired powered cord and the galvanized steel for the grind chamber (if you prefer stainless steel, you can check out the Moen GX75C)
All things considered, the unit is well-equipped for the task it is made for. Despite the fact that Moen is still young in the game, they do think before they act.
The Moen GXS75C is covered with a 5-year limited warranty and now offered at under $150.
5. Insinkerator Evolution XTR – Best Quiet Garbage Disposal
As the new and improved version of the one time popular Insinkerator Evolution Compact with a slight change to the housing, the Insinkerator Evolution Essential XTR inherits the attributes that once made Evolution Compact such a success.
On that ground, Insinkerator further enhances a certain feature for an overall better experience in the kitchen, bringing the machine up for the spot of the best ¾ HP garbage disposal on the market.
Let’s check all the new things that is offered with the model. SoundSeal ® has got an upgrade it deserves. Though the updated SoundSeal doesn’t make the model the quietest garbage disposal, it’s right up there, just beneath the Insinkerator Evolution Excel.
The company doesn’t specify what exact modification was applied, they do promise a much quieter performance. And that seems to hold true judging by the positive feedback on multiple forums and customer reviews.
Besides SoundSeal, the Evolution Essential XTR now comes with a SinkTop Switch ™ and a unwired power cord. As if, for some reason, selling a food disposal unit with and without power cords as two different versions didn’t pan out as well as they expected. But that’s pure speculation from my part.
Other than that, the rest of the features are the same as the good old Evolution Compact. It’s still a ¾ HP garbage disposer with an induction motor which spins at 1750 RPMs. There are no changes to the 2X MultiGrind ® Technology where food is processed through 2 stages and grinded to finer and smaller particles.
To conclude, the Evolution Essential XTR is quite a good deal, especially with a 6-year limited warranty. It’s now priced under $280.
6. Waste King L1001 – Best Affordable Food Disposal
We return to Waste King, the most affordable brand of garbage disposals on the market. Of course, the best budget pick has to be from the company. And it is the Waste King Legend L1001.
Spinning at 2600 rpm, plus a galvanized steel grind ring, stainless steel impellers and a ½ HP motor, the machine can easily take on most of your food waste with no trouble. Bones, fibrous and starchy food, however, should be treated with caution.
Like other Waste King Legend models, the hopper and grind chamber housing are constructed with fiberglass for lighter weighed yet strong and rigid frame. The polymer and nylon material is also extremely effective against corrosion.
When put in comparison with the Insinkerator Badger 5, which has the same HP, the Legend 1001 does look to be on the upper hand. The two units are basically identical in specifications, yet the L1001 is cheaper by $30-40.
Still, the Badger 5 is the better selling model on Amazon. Maybe it’s due to the full plastic case of the L1001 which appears to be less sturdy, or the fact that Insinkerator is with stronger reputation.
Anyhow, the Waste King Legend 1001 should be a good fair purchase and a suitable choice for a low budget family with from 1-3 people. It’s now around $65 on Amazon and is covered with a 2 year limited in-home warranty.
7. Insinkerator Septic Assist – Best Septic System Safe Disposal
For households with septic tanks, garbage that goes through the drain pipes should always be something to keep an eye on, especially fat, grease and oil. You might not directly pour them down the sink, but food remains might carry and bring them through the drain.break down fat, grease, oil, protein and starch.
The bottle (included) is 16 oz or 473 ml which will last for three to four months on average use. You can purchase them for $15 on Amazon when replacement is need.
Okay I think that should do for the Septic Assist feature. The machine, to no surprise, is a good one itself.
The ¾ HP Dura Drive induction motor is strong enough to manage food waste produced by a family of 4 people, and that also includes toughies like bones and fibrous foods. Plus, the 2-stage multigrind mechanism helps better pulverize garbage and prevent clogging as well.
The unit is a quiet one. Models from the Evolution series of Insinkerator are all geared with Sound Seal technology. Noise should not be a concern, not while the top-tier insulation, the anti-vibration connection and the Quiet Collar Sink Baffle are in place.
With the longevity of the Dura Drive induction motor and stainless steel grind chamber, the “We come to you” 4 year in-home limited warranty is even more assuring of peace of mind.
The Insinkerator Evolution Septic Assist is now offering at less than $270 on Amazon.
What is The Best Garbage Disposal Brand?
On the market right now, there are many companies that have their own garbage disposal line. After all, the machine is one of the most useful gadget, according to the citizen of the US.
Though it’s a positive thing to have several manufacturers in competition with each other, a problem spawns: what are the brands that a user can rely on? After some research, these below are the most favorable ones.
Founded by the inventor of garbage disposal – John W. Hammes, Insinkerator has been among the top brands ever since it’s first established. With the long history of building and developing the appliance, the company can be said to understand it better than all the other brands.
Insinkerator’s garbage disposal collection ranges from the models of ⅓ HP to 1 HP, with technologies that enhance the performance of the machine and the experience of the owner. Customer service, which is reviewed to be fair, contributes further to why one should consider the company to be trustworthy.
Been in the industry for 50 years or so, Waste King gradually works itself up to the position that it is today, with series of best seller products that satisfy numerous households. The company build their machines with usability, affordability and power in aim, producing products that embody the combination of the three.
For home solution, food waste disposers from Waste King have both the 3-bolt and EZ mount version while casing motors from ⅓ HP to 1 HP of strength. In general, these products from the company are made to serve in the lower price range, compared to Insinkerator models.
Even though Moen is not exactly specialized in food waste disposal solutions, the company is still a big brand with a reputation to keep. While going for a line of garbage disposal was a risky move, their line of garbage disposals has not been inadequate.
Moen food waste disposal collection is indeed not broad, but it suffices. It has models with the necessary variety of motor powers, from ⅓ HP to 1 HP, and with exclusive technologies that give the line its own place.
What Problems Should You Expect?
We think it’s often a good thing to know what awaits. So here’s a brief of the potential future issues of a garbage disposal.
This is a by-product issue. There have been some, though still few, complaints about this. However, it may not be that bothersome to you at the beginning, but once you’ve seen what quieter food waste disposers can do, it will mentally become a slowly growing issue (and mental health is just as important and pressing as physical health.)
Though, this matter with noise usually revolves around the ⅓ and ½ HP units. They are manufactured to be affordable, plus the weak motors don’t seem noisy to some, so sound-cancellation is not going to be featured, unlike other models of the high-end.
Over a certain period of time, these machines will get jammed. That’s just a fact. Even with the models designed to be jam-free, they could still sometimes act up. So you can imagine what would happen with the low or medium priced units.
Luckily, fixing jam is not too difficult of a process. And the causes of jamming usually involve reckless and abusive usage. If you follow the suggested instructions, there should not be too much trouble.
Garbage disposals are part of the kitchen sink drain pipes so clogs are supposed to happen from time to time.
The problem is a bit harder to deal with than jamming. With jamming, you can positively fix it with a simple allen wrench. However, clogs are usually in the drain pipes rather than in the machine.
It does not mean you can’t deal with it yourself. It just means that the operation would need a little more effort. There are a few extra steps, but not too complicated. Otherwise, service is to be called.
Instructions And Suggestions From Designers
Garbage disposals are built to work with running cold water. Don’t ever forget that. Water helps lubricate the plate and impellers, ensuring the ground food flows straight through the chamber and the pipes.
Manufacturers always recommend certain steps on how to operate and how to maintain the machine at. Let’s take a look.
Once again, water is important to the process.
- Run cold water
- Turn on the disposer
- Slowly insert food waste into the machine
- After grinding is complete, turn the disposer off and run water for a few more seconds to flush the drain line
There are things you should not do in order to prevent the disposal unit from malfunctioning.
- Don’t pour grease or fat down the disposer. Instead, put it in a jar and dispose later in the trash.
- Don’t use hot water mid-process. However, it’s okay to drain hot water between sessions.
- Don’t grind large amounts of eggshells or fibrous materials
- Don’t turn off the machine until only the sound of motor and water is heard.
After a few months, food particles may build up in the chamber and cause odor. Once you smell something different from the sink hole, it’s time to clean the machines’ interior.
We can do so with water and baking soda. Other than that, cleaning products recommended by the manufacturers are also a good option.
- Place stopper, fill the sink to half with warm water
- Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with the water
- Turn the disposer on and remove the stopper at the same time.
Once in a while, we can try scouring the grind chamber by grinding hard materials such as small bones or ice. Doing so will knock off the potential remains from the grind ring and impellers. Plus, ice helps solidify certain substances, which makes it easier to flush them down with water.