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InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal In-depth Review

InSinkErator is easily the oldest brand on the market. Nowadays, most garbage disposals are built around permanent magnet motors while InSinkErator sticks with its AC induction motors. They are still highly effective with enough power and well-designed mechanics. In more economic settings, however, they’re often underwhelming.

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4-Horsepower Garbage Disposal on a countertop. Dozens of other disposal units in the background.

Overall Verdict

The InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal is a simple product with minimal features. It offers conventional values, with a little boost in power (as compared to the Badger 5 1/2 HP) and impressive build quality.

Unfortunately, the disposal’s grinding capability can be underwhelming as even thick parts of citrus peels could give it trouble. If you have the budget, there are certainly more cost-effective options on the market.

Things We Like

  • High capacity
  • Compact design
  • Affordable
  • External unjam mechanics

Things We Don’t Like

  • Mediocre performance
  • Heavy build
  • Non-removable splash guard
  • Loud operation

The Badger 5XP 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal’s appearance resembles that of the Badger 5 1/2 HP, only with a deeper bottom (because of the bigger motor, no doubt). The disposal is simply a grinding chamber attached to a motor inside a protective casing, so it’s very compact. But with all the metal details, it’s heavier than most kitchen disposers in the same power range.

We anticipate that the Badger 5XP will do better than the Badger 5 because of the more powerful motor. But the question is: by how much?

Key Specs

Type of feed
Continuous
Horsepower
3/4
Motor type
Induction
Averaged RPM
1480
Family size
3-4 people
Dimensions
L4.8 x W6.3 x H12.6 inches

Where to Buy Price at publication $141.83

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Compared to Other Garbage Disposals


Analysis and Test Results

3.6 Performance

Although the results suggest that the Badger 5XP outperformed the Badger 5, the difference in reality, especially where it counts, is not remarkable. The 5XP indeed did better at breaking up tougher materials like raw bones, where every bit of power is needed. But in overview, the disposal leaves a lot to be desired.

4.4 Scrap Mix

InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal Scrap Mix Test
15.46 ounces of fish pin bones in mess of assorted scraps from garbage disposal on digital scale on granite-looking top.
15.3 ounces of ground products from garbage disposal on digital scale on granite-looking table.
0.37-ounce piece of lemon peel from garbage disposal on digital scale on granite-looking table
Input Load
90.0 oz (2551 g)
Time
3 min 16 sec
Layer 1
15.5 oz (438 g)
Layer 2
15.3 oz (434 g)
Leftovers
0.4 oz (10 g)

The InSinkErator Badger 5XP and its 3/4-hp motor had a tough go at processing 90 ounces of random food scraps. It took quite some time to reduce everything down to a safe amount. Technically, the disposal did manage to grind down 99% of the input. Even then, the size of the leftover piece of lemon peel is everything but reassuring.

When we put the pictures that we had taken of the end products from the Badger 5’s run and the Badger XP's run, we couldn’t tell them apart. There was no apparent improvement in the output quality, and the measurements didn’t improve the outlook, either. The two garbage disposals struggled with the same type of food scraps and they shake and vibrate about the same, too.

Failed Raw Fish Scraps

InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal Raw Fish Scraps Test
8 ounces of visible pin bones in a mass of raw meat and skin from fish scraps on digital scale on granite-looking top.
2.4 ounces of visible pin bones in a mass of raw meat and skin from fish scraps on digital scale on granite-looking top.
5.51 ounces of broken fish vertebrae and shredded fish skin on digital scale on granite-looking top.
Input Load
49.4 oz (1400 g)
Time
3 min
Layer 1
8.0 oz (227 g)
Layer 2
2.4 oz (68 g)
Leftovers
5.5 oz (156 g)

The Badger 5XP is unfit to deal with raw fish scraps. After 3 minutes, it couldn’t even bring the input materials in the chamber down to a passable amount. Considering how it fared in the Scrap Mix test, this is not at all surprising.

5.7 Raw Chicken Scraps

InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal Raw Chicken Scraps Test
0.67 ounces of crushed chicken bone, shredded tendon, and fatty tissue on digital scale on granite-looking top.
1.49 ounces of crushed chicken bone and cartilage, and shredded tendon and meat on digital scale on granite-looking top.
0.98 ounces of shredded fatty tissue and broken cartilage from chicken scraps on digital scale on granite-looking top.
Input Load
7.4 oz (210 g)
Time
3 min
Layer 1
0.7 oz (19 g)
Layer 2
1.5 oz (42 g)
Leftovers
1.0 oz (28 g)

The Badger 5XP delivered more interesting data when we let it process uncooked chicken bones. The disposal managed to crush all of the boney parts in the input; the stringy and spongy soft tissues, however, were a mess. It seemed that the disposal’s capability stopped at stripping those tissues off of the bones.

7.8 Design

The Badger 5XP is basically a stronger Badger 5. It takes everything that the Badger 5 offers, namely strong craftsmanship and durable parts, and runs them on a beefier AC motor. Unfortunately, the benefits of the extra power don’t translate very well and leave the disposal’s grinding performance with a lot to be desired. 

In our opinion, the InSinkErator Badger 5XP is more of an alternative than an upgrade.

In the Box

Badger 5XP with 3-Bolt Mount, box, register slip, user manual, stopper, elbow tube, rubber gasket, flange, bolts, and wrench.
  • InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal
  • 3-Bolt Mount assembly 
  • Stopper
  • Discharge tube
  • Flange and bolts
  • Jam-Buster Wrench
  • Documentation

The Badger 5XP comes in a nice enough box with zero spot varnishing. While lacking that finishing coat makes the box less sturdy (you can see the box we received had already been dented from shipping), that’s much better for composting. All text on the box, in the manual, or on the registration slip is in English and Spanish.

Dimensions

Badger 5XP with mount assembly and elbow tube. Showing 6.3-inch width, 12.6-inch height, 3.5-inch depth to dishwasher outlet, 6.6-inch depth to outlet, 4.8-inch distance to elbow tube.
Length
4.8" (12.2 cm)
Width
6.3" (16.0 cm)
Height
12.6" (32.0 cm)
Weight
14.0 lbs (6.4 kg)

The Badger 5XP consumes very little space under the sink as a 3/4-hp unit. If you’ve seen or held the Badger 5 before, add roughly an inch to the body and about 2 pounds to the overall weight.

Mount Assembly

3-Bolt mounting assembly for garbage disposals with “insinkerator” engravings placed on white platform with stopper in position.
3-Bolt mounting assembly for garbage disposals with “insinkerator” engravings placed on white platform with stopper in position.
Backup flange, mounting ring, snap ring, fiber gasket, cushion mount, sink flange, stopper, lower mounting ring.
  • Backup flange
  • Mounting ring
  • Snap ring
  • Fiber gasket
  • Cushion mount
  • Sink flange
  • Stopper
  • Lower mounting ring

The rigid design of 3-bolt mounting systems is particularly good at supporting heavy units. That’s why you often see big models using it, and here with the Badger 5XP. Depending on how handy you are, working with the 3-bolt design can be either easy or challenging. It’s not too complicated that expertise is required, but if this is your first-ever project, it might take some time to get it done right.

Power Cord

Bottom view of InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP garbage disposal without power cord.
Length
NaN" (NaN cm)
Type
n/a

The Badger 5XP unit that we have doesn’t come with a pre-installed power cord so it’s more suitable for hardwiring than the (factory) corded version.

Accessories: Discharge Set

Standard outlet/discharge set for garbage disposals on white top, showing elbow pipe, rubber gasket, flange, and bolts.
Width
3.3" (8.3 cm)
Length
5.3" (13.3 cm)
Material
PVC

The discharge set includes an elbow outlet tube, a rubber gasket, a metal flange, and bolts. The tube is 1.5 inches in diameter, and the bolts have slotted drives with 3/8-inch hex heads. So either a flathead screwdriver or a wrench would work on them.

Accessories: Wrenchette

Wrenchette/Jam-buster wrench for garbage disposals by InSinkErator, displayed on granite-looking top.
Width
NaN" (NaN cm)
Length
5.0" (12.7 cm)
Material
Metal

Every InSinkErator garbage disposal comes with a Jam-Buster wrench, also called a wrenchette, for installation as well as accessing the unjam mechanics.

6.5 Grind Chamber

Top view of grinding components in InSinkErator Badger 5XP looking at layout of flywheel and impellers.
Top view of grinding components in InSinkErator Badger 5XP looking at layout of flywheel and impellers.
Precutter/grater ring in InSinkErator Badger 5XP showing layout of cutters and grinding teeth.
Grinding components in InSinkErator Badger 5XP showing design of flywheel and impeller(s).
Capacity
32 fl.oz.
Verticality
4.5" (11.4 cm)
Flywheel
5.3" (13.3 cm)
Assembly Material
Galvanized steel
Layout
Basic

The InSinkErator Badger 5XP has the exact same chamber as the Badger 5 1/2 HP, from capacity rating to the grinding components. They both offer rather generous holding chambers and use galvanized steel for most of the grinder assembly. Similar to the Badger 5, the 5XP’s chamber is unnecessarily narrow because of the fixed baffle piece.

8.0 Motor

Horsepower
3/4
Speed
1725 RPM
Real Speed
1480 RPM
Voltage
120 V (60 Hz)
Current
9.5 A
Wattage
1140 W
Heat
N/a
Reverse
No

InSinkErator’s induction motors operate at slow speeds and are at the mercy of materials getting stuck if the food scraps get too tough. Luckily, the high torque of the 5XP helps lower the risk of such jamming compared to weaker units.

Induction motors also run hot and they tend to short-circuit much more often than permanent magnet motors, especially when you leave them on for too long or when the load is too heavy; so keep that in mind if your family cooks regularly.

8.5 Build Quality

InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal, with 3-Bolt Mount assembly on top and outlet/discharge set in place.
Noise Reduction
No
Vibration Reduction
No

It’s fair to say that InSinkErator garbage disposals have the best construction quality on the market. The Badger 5XP for example, with its full-metal construction supported by experienced craftsmanship, can easily last up to ten years of service, provided that you don’t abuse it.

What the disposal lacks are features that smooth out the experience. There is no sound treatment and no anti-vibration in place, so if the foods are crunchy then prepare yourself for a bumpy ride. That said, if you mainly cook with produce, discards from fruits and veggies are little to no trouble.

7.7 Usability

The Power Badger series is InSinkErator packing more power into the original Badger design. Besides their generous holding capacity, models in the series are known for their durability and affordability. 

Running the Badger 5XP 3/4 HP through performance evaluation wasn’t as effortless as we had hoped. But to be fair, our experience with the disposal could have been much smoother if we hadn’t decided to add raw animal bones to our tests because that was where it struggled the most.

8.0 Ease of Use

One thing we realized after testing a bunch of InSinkErator garbage disposals is that the low rotational velocity of the induction motor works much better with InSinkErator’s MultiGrind chamber design, which is exclusive to the Evolution Series. And by better, we mean producing better output quality in general and dealing with bones more effectively. Neither the Standard Badger Series nor the Power Badger Series—specifically, the Badger 5XP—has that. 

Regardless, like the rest in the series, the 5XP has a comfortable holding chamber. If you’re a family of three whose main kitchen scraps are from produce, the disposal can hold its own pretty well.

7.5 Installation

The two most challenging aspects of setting the Badger 5XP up is its hefty weight and somewhat complex mounting pieces. If you’re okay with those, then there’s nothing else to worry about other than the plumbing. The product itself doesn’t take up much room, so you should find enough space even in smaller cabinets. It’s basically a grinder unit that attaches to the sink drain.

8.0 Smooth Operation

The Badger 5XP did not have a good run in performance evaluation. Most of the tough scraps—namely the fruit pits and the bones—seemed to challenge the disposal, if not the strength of its body frame than the effectiveness of its grinder chamber. Even citrus fruits like lemons, if not sliced up enough beforehand, could give the grinder a hard time.

5.0 Unjam Mechanics

Bottom view of InSinkErator Badger garbage disposal showing jam-buster wrench in manual unjam slot.
External
Yes
Auto Unjam
No

You can use the included jam-buster wrench, or any Allen wrench with the appropriate size, to turn the flywheel (in the chamber) via a socket on the bottom of the disposal.

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