We spent 17 hours analyzing 19 different garbage disposals from 7 manufacturers that are available on the market at the moment. We compared them side by side and analyzed their features such as price, noise reduction features, power, and so on.

Our verdict is that the InSinkErator Evolution Excel is the best garbage disposal for larger households as it offers a powerful 1HP Dura-drive motor, 3-stage MultiGrind technology, and because it comes with a massive 7-year “in home” limited warranty.

However, it’s not the most affordable disposal unit we have reviewed. Our budget pick, the Waste King L-3200 might be a better solution if you don’t want to spend more than $200 on a disposal unit. It’s powered by 3/4 hp motor and it’s quite small which makes it appropriate for smaller kitchens.

Our review process

Time spent reviewing
17 hours
Products considered
19
Products reviewed
6

Advantages of having a garbage disposal

There are two main advantages of having a garbage disposal.

They are eco-friendly

The food waste makes up to 20% of all household waste and creates quite a few sanitation and public health issues. It goes into the trash and ends up being burned in a waste-to-energy facility. Because the food has high water content, it takes more energy to burn it than it’s produced from the burning process.

Having a garbage disposal allows you to turn the food waste into almost a liquid state which drastically cuts down on the amount of garbage you send to the landfill each week. It reduces greenhouse gases emitted by transportation of waste to the landfill and helps use less plastic and paper to dispose food waste.

They are convenient

Many people find that a garbage disposal is a convenient and useful addition to their kitchen. Instead of scooping food out of your drain to avoid backing up your sewage system, you can actually put as much food as necessary down the drain. Then, when you turn on the garbage disposal and the water, it grinds up the food into small bits that can easily go down your pipes and into the sewer. It really does help to cut down on the amount of garbage you have to dispose of.

Batch feed vs continuous feed garbage disposal

There are two types of garbage disposals and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We believe that continuous feed disposals are more appropriate for larger households where there’s always a lot of food leftovers to grind, and batch feed disposals more appropriate for smaller households.

Continuous feed

Continuous feed disposals are more common in households. Their main feature is that they continue to run from the moment you turn it on to the moment you turn it off which makes them fast, but also doesn’t provide a lot of safety features. The main benefit of this type of disposal is that it can grind large amounts of waste faster.

Pros

  • Grinds food faster
  • Easier to use
  • Usually cheaper than batch feed

Cons

  • Not as safe as a batch feed disposal
  • Uses more water

Batch feed

Batch feed disposal runs in batches which means you need to stuff the food leftovers down the sink, close the entry, and press on the power button to grind the food. This type of design makes the disposal much safer to use, but the downside is that it takes longer to grind large amounts of waste since you can’t just stuff the food into it.

Pros

  • Safer than continuous feed disposals
  • Usually more expensive

Cons

  • Takes longer to grind the food

How much horsepower do you need

Motors of most garbage disposals on the market have four different power outputs.

1/3rd Horsepower

These lower end disposals are suitable for grinding soft foods such as cooked vegetables. Because they have very little power, they are very prone to jamming since 1/3 horsepower isn’t enough to dispose most hard foods. However, many 1/3 horsepower disposal units are very compact and can be used in smaller apartments where there’s not much space under the kitchen sink. These disposals are often used in households of 1-2 people. Another advantage of these disposals is that they are usually very affordable, but a disadvantage is that because in order to make them more affordable, manufacturers often use materials that are more prone to rust and wear.

1/2 Horsepower

These disposal units are a little bit more powerful and can grind harder foods, but they are still prone to jamming. They are powerful enough to be used by households with 2-3 people.

3/4th Horsepower

These disposals are very common in modern homes. They are powerful enough for households of 4-5 people and they often come equipped with better sound insulation which reduces the noise coming from the unit.

1 Horsepower

If you live in a large household where there’s often a lot of waste in the kitchen, the 1HP disposal is probably your best option. It’s powerful enough to grind tough food leftovers such as soft bones and it has less tendency to jam.

There are even more powerful garbage disposals on the market, but they are usually designed to be used for commercial purposes for situations where there’s several tens of pounds of food leftovers several times per day.

Best continuous feed disposal

InSinkErator Evolution Excel





Pros

  • Dura-Drive 1hp motor
  • Very quiet performance – SoundSeal technology
  • Three grind stages – MultiGrind
  • Large 40 oz grind chamber
  • 7-year in-home limited warranty

Cons

  • Heavy price tag


Features

We picked the InSinkErator Evolution Excel as the best disposal on our list because it comes packed with plenty of highly advanced features and because it has a powerful motor appropriate for larger households. Although the design of a disposal unit is the least of your worries since it’s mounted under the kitchen sink where it’s rarely seen, it’s still somewhat an advantage to have a disposal such as the Excel that looks modern and sleek.

Performance

The Evolution Excel is a continuous feed disposal that features a powerful 1HP dura-drive induction motor which is powerful enough to break down even the most stubborn food leftovers. The powerful motor makes it appropriate for heavy-duty use and especially useful for large households where there’s always a large amount of food leftovers.

The motor uses the InSinkErator’s MultiGrind technology which means that it works in three stages – GrindShear Ring, Tri-Action Lug System, and Undercutter Disk. Three stages of grind break down more food waste than a single stage, and turn it into a fine pulp of small particles. Because food waste is turned into almost a liquid stage, there’s much less chance of clogs and debris accumulation in the drain.

Warranty

The area where the Evolution Excel outshines most of its competition is the warranty coverage. It comes with 7-year “in-home” warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship, as well as replacement parts and labor costs. Keep in mind that this warranty is only valid for residential use!

If there’s a downside of the Evolution Excel it has to be the heavy price tag. It costs more than most disposal units on our list, but the price is not unusual considering that it features a powerful motor with 1HP.

Best budget disposal

Waste King L-3200




 

Features

Waste King L-3200 is a budget friendly garbage disposal that’s one of the most popular disposals in the Waste King Legend series. It features a powerful 3/4HP motor that can reach speeds of about 2,700 revolutions per minute and despite its compact size, it’s powerful enough to grind almost any type of food waste.

Its compact design measures 7.75 x 7.75 x 13.75 inches which makes it compact enough to be installed under most kitchen sinks. It has a lot of stainless steel components which makes it less prone to corrosion and increases durability.

Maintenance

This disposal unit features EZ mount system which makes it easy to install. The power cord is pre-installed, so there’s no electrical work required. The splashguard is easy to remove which makes it quite handy when it needs to be cleaned.

8-year warranty

The L-3200 outperforms many disposal units on the market with an amazing 8 years of limited warranty. If the unit develops a material or mechanical defect during the warranty period, it will be replaced or repaired free of charge. Just keep in mind that you have to save the receipt and be aware that the warranty doesn’t cover user faults. It’s safe to say that this is one of the longest warranties in the industry.

Pros

  • Budget friendly
  • 3/4HP motor
  • Easy to install
  • Continuous feed
  • 8-year Limited In-Home Warranty

Cons

  • Single stage


InSinkErator Evolution Compact





Pros

  • 3/4 horsepower
  • SoundSeal technology
  • 4-Year “in-home” limited warrant
  • 2 grind stages
  • Power cord is included

Cons

  • Heavy price tag


Features

The Evolution Compact is a powerful and quiet continuous feed disposer that works in batches. It’s powered by a powerful Dura-drive motor that produces 3/4 horsepower and the device itself is quite compact and small enough to be installed under small kitchen counters. It is about 10% smaller than standard-sized disposals.

Performance

The Evolution Compact is a continuous feed disposal which means that it continues to grind food leftovers from the moment you turn it on to the moment you turn it off. It shares a lot of its features with our top pick, the Evolution Excel, but comes in a smaller package and has a less powerful motor that works in 2 instead of 3 stages. The SoundSeal technology includes advanced insulation which reduces vibrations, blocks noises, and makes the disposer less noisy than standard devices. The secret of the SoundSeal technology is in the rubber fittings that connect the sink and pipes, and in the InSinkErator sink baffle that traps noises inside of the disposal.

The Multigrind technology works in two stages to ensure that the waste breaks down in very small particles which reduces chances of drain clogs.

Installation and warranty

Just like its bigger brother, the Evolution Compact features Quick lock installation system which makes it quite easy to install. All the Quick Lock components needed for installation are included in the package, so there’s no need to use any professional tools.

There’s a 4-Year In-Home Limited Warranty which includes free house calls, and parts and labor services fulfilled through a network of 1500 service agents from all across the U.S.

Best batch feed disposal

InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus





Pros

  •  7-year limited warranty
  • Batch feed
  • 3/4 HP dura drive motor
  • Very quiet – SoundSeal technology

Cons

  • Heavy price tag


Features

The Cover Control Plus is another disposal from the Evolution Series that shares a lot of the same features with the Compact and Excel. It has the same SoundSeal technology, a powerful 3/4HP motor, and the same in-home full service limited warranty for parts and labor as the Excel. The main difference is that the Cover Control Plus works in batches which makes it much safer to use, but also makes it slower when it comes to grinding large amounts of food waste.

Performance

The Cover Control Plus is a batch feed disposer. To start the motor, you have to fill the disposal with the food waste, turn on the cold water, cover the sink opening with the magnetic cover switch and rotate the cover switch until the in-built magnets align with the two magnets in the unit. Once the four magnets align, the disposer will turn on and start grinding the food that’s in it. Once the food is disposed, open the magnetic cover and repeat the process until there’s no more food to grind.

This technology allows an extra piece of mind and makes the Cover Control Plus much safer to use than using a continuous-feed garbage disposal.

Downside

The downside of the Evolution Cover Control Plus is the heavy price tag. It’s more expensive than most disposals we managed to get our hands on.

Moen GX50C





Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Affordable
  • 2600 RPM Vortex motor
  • Power cord is pre-installed
  • Universal Xpress Mount system

Cons

  • Only 1/2 horsepower
  • Noisy


Features

There are many garbage disposal units that produce only 1/2 horsepower on the market, but we’re hesitant to recommend one. Most of them don’t have the power to chew through tough foods which means they are more prone to jams. The Moen GX50C is one of the rare exceptions in this area because although it features a motor that only has 1/2 horsepower, it rotates at 2600 RPM which makes it comparable to many 3/4 horsepower units on the market when it comes to power. It’s backed by a 4-year limited warranty with in-house service.

Performance

The GX50C is powered by a high-speed permanent magnet Vortex motor. It operates at full speed from the moment it’s turned on and reaches speeds of up to 2,600 RPM which boosts its performance even though it only has 1/2 horsepower of maximum power.

Installation

The GX50C features universal Xpress Mount which makes it easy to install to most existing 3-bolt mounting assemblies, including InSinkErator brand.

Downsides

The 1/2 HP motor is clearly a downside that turns many consumers away, especially those living in large households where disposal unit with less than 1 HP motor is out of the question. Another downside of the Moen GX50C is that it produces much more more noise than more advanced units we have reviewed.

Waste King A1SPC Knight





Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Exclusive Silencer technology
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • One of the heaviest disposals we have reviewed
  • No multi-stage chambers


Features

The A1SPC Knight is a continuous feed disposal unit that features a powerful 1HP motor.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the 1HP motor smashed through almost anything that’s thrown down the sink. The motor spins at 2,700 RPM and features Waste King’s One Pass technology which offers more power per pound than most disposals in the same price range.

The grinding chamber is made of glass-filled nylon which makes it impossible to attract rust. All the stainless steel grinding components are insulated which reduces noise coming out of the motor. The Waste King claims that their silencer technology uses the same materials that are used to sound-proof music studios.

It seems that the Waste King always puts the money where the mouth is and it really shows in the warranty coverage you get with their disposal units. The Knight is backed by a limited mechanical warranty which means that if the unit develops a mechanical or material defect, you will get it replaced in your home without additional costs. Just keep in mind that the warranty is only valid to the original purchaser, and you probably need to keep the receipt.

Downsides

The A1SPC Knight doesn’t have multi-grind technology, so it only works in a single stage. However, this shouldn’t be an issue since the motor is powerful enough to grind the food in a single continuous batch. Another issue is that

FAQ

How much horsepower do I need?What goes in a garbage disposal?What doesn't belong in a garbage disposal?What's the lifespan of an average garbage disposal?Do I need a compact disposal unit?Does more horsepower mean more noise?
It depends on how much you plan on using the disposal unit. If you live in a small household or in a studio apartment, a compact garbage disposal with 1/2 horsepower will probably be your best choice. If you live in a large household, you will probably need a garbage disposal with at least 1 horsepower motor to efficiently grind large amounts of food leftovers.
This is a short list of things an average garbage disposal can handle:

  • Cold water (solidifies grease, hot water can cause overheating)
  • Small bits of food
  • Breads (in smaller pieces)
  • Cooked vegetables and meat
  • Egg shels
  • Ice cubes and rock salt
This is a short list of things that don’t belong into a garbage disposals:

  • Bones, fruit pits (can cause blade damages)
  • Pasta and rice (can clog pipes in larger amounts)
  • Greasy foods (can cause clogs)
  • Stringy vegetables (can wrap around the blades and stop them eventually)
  • Other (jewelry, wood, fingers, shrimp shells…)
Most garbage disposals last at least 10 years, depending on the amount of wear and tear a garbage disposal experiences. Many manufacturers offer at least 5 years of warranty against defects and malfunctions, so it’s safe to say that even manufacturers expect disposals to last several years.
The difference between compact and standard garbage disposal in size is up to 15%. Before you buy a new unit, make sure that it will fit under the kitchen sink.

Most manufacturers will tell you the exact dimensions of their disposals, so make sure that you measure everything before you waste your money on a device that won’t fit under your kitchen sink.

In theory yes. But the reality is that most high-performance disposal units come equipped with more advanced sound insulation that helps mute the sounds from the motor. So don’t be surprised if 1+HP unit produces much less noise than a 1/2HP unit.

Conclusion

It’s important to realize that a garbage disposal may not be the perfect answer for all scenarios. For example, some homes have old enough pipes that even ground up food bits can cause problems in the plumbing. There are a few things you need to be careful of when operating your disposal as well. First, it’s important to only turn on the disposal when the water is running – they are built to have water running through the when turned on and won’t work efficiently otherwise. You also need to be careful that metal objects such as silverware don’t go down the drain and get caught in your disposal: disposals are only meant for soft organic materials. Turning on the disposal with a fork down the drain will not only mangle the fork but also has the potential to destroy your disposal. If a piece of silverware does go down the drain, be especially careful when retrieving it by hand! Here are some different types and options available:

Whether you call it a garbage disposal or a waste disposer, this kitchen appliance mechanically grinds up biodegradable food and scraps it into fine particles that can flow safely down your sink pipes. It is an environmentally friendly way to provide convenient kitchen clean up, reduce food wastes and their associated smells, and increase kitchen sanitation. Units are available in a variety of styles, capacities, motor sizes, corrosion resistance levels, power sources, and warranties, so be sure that you choose the one that is right for your needs.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the amazing article. We used to have a small 1/3HP garbage disposal and it jammed at least once per week. It went into the trash after 10 painful years of use and we’re looking for a more powerful one, probably the Waste King L-3200.

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