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 Much Food Waste Do You Produce?
A large volume of rubbish requires a powerful machine. You don’t want to get stuck grinding garbage for more than 10 minutes, trust me. So you need to be mindful and think how much H.P would be sufficient to deal with your daily load of garbage. Here’s the general consensus:
- ⅓ or ½ HP: suitable for a home with 1-2 people
- ½ to ¾ HP: perfect for families with 3-5 people
- ¾ to 1 HP: for 5-8 people, though I would recommend a full 1 HP
- 1 to 2 HP: 2 HP is really strong and can handle food waste for more than 8 people
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 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.
How Big Is Your Base Cabinet?
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 cliche, I know, but logical.
Only a big case has enough room for a big motor with strong torque. 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 host 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.
Review of the Best Garbage Disposals 2018
Let’s have a peek at our list of the best garbage disposals of 2018.
|Garbage Disposals||Strength||Our Pick as...||Quietness|
|Waste King L8000 |
|1 HP||Best to Buy in 2018||Pretty quiet|
|Insinkerator Badger 5||½ HP||Best for Home||Not so much|
|Insinkerator Evolution Excel||1 HP||Best Deluxe Disposer||Extra quiet|
|Waste King L1001||½ HP||Best Affordable Disposal||Not too noisy|
|Insinkerator Septic Assist||¾ HP||Best Septic Safe Disposal||Quiet|
1. Waste King L8000 – Best Garbage Disposer Of 2018
First in our list is the indisputable Waste King Legend Series L8000, resting at #2 among Amazon’s best selling garbage disposals. The L8000 is also our #1 pick for this list for its outstanding ability, durability and affordability.
First is ability. With a 1 HP permanent magnet motor and a turnplate spinning at 2800 rpm, the machine does a wonderful job at taking on all the food waste you can possibly imagine – well most of it anyway, likely 98-99% of all food waste types (the unit can even handle chicken bones.)
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 is only $10 more than the Badger 5 from Insinkerator. 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 product is perfect for a house with 8 people or fewer. Now less than $120 on Amazon.
2. Insinkerator Badger 5 – Best Food Waste Disposer For Home
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 Badger series is made to assist average households. With a sturdy structure, a durable motor and acceptable strength, the Badger 5 can be seen as the standard food waste disposer unit of the entire industry.
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. 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 of a 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 machine 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.
3. Insinkerator Evolution Excel – Best Deluxe Disposer
As the title implies, this one is a high-end model. Not only equipped with a strong motor and sleek design but also with top-notch technologies, the Insinkerator Excel Evolution should be a proper addition to a well endowed kitchen.
Let’s talk noise first. To those who prefer subtlety, noise is concerned as an issue, and it is, fair to say, a by-product trait of garbage disposals. However, with the Evolution Excel, noise should not be a bother because of the Sound Seal technology – a combination of advanced insulation and anti-vibration mount and tail pipe.
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. 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 power on stronger torque.
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.
Available on Amazon at under $370.
4. Waste King L1001 – Best Affordable Garbage 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.
As opposed to Insinkerator, whose faith lies in induction motors, Waste King’s choice is permanent magnet motors, which are quieter and much faster.
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.
5. Insinkerator Septic Assist – Best Septic 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.
With septic tanks, fat, grease and cooking oil are incredibly troublesome. The Insinkerator Evolution Septic Assist with Bio-charge technology, approved by the Department of Health of Washington State, is designed to handle such potential troublemakers, using a natural microorganism which provides enzyme to 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 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.