Although it might not be the flashiest or most thought-of accessory in your kitchen, a garbage disposal unit is indispensable. It addresses the often desperate demands of conservation and convenience by grinding up all your kitchen scraps, mainly non-compostable leftovers such as poultry, meat or fat, and sending them down the drain.
Besides eliminating the mess, garbage disposers shift food waste from the trashcan to a waste treatment system, discouraging pests and bugs. Unfortunately, with hundreds to choose from, it’s daunting to determine which unit offers the best value for your money.
Our Top Pick
When it comes to the best garbage disposal systems, no unit beats the InSinkErator Evolution Compact. Thousands of happy homeowners have made this unit our top pick. This ¾-horsepower appliance comes with a 34.6-ounce grind compartment fitted with stainless-steel components. It is perfectly sized to handle all the food waste from a huge, hungry family. This unit is a continuous-feed disposal so it’s able to handle constant streams of food.
We were particularly impressed by its speed, ability to cut through tough kitchen scraps, and fineness of grind. And although we gave it a slightly lower score for noise, many users say it isn’t too loud all thanks to its SoundSeal technology with anti-vibration tailpipe, sound insulation, and anti-vibration sink mount.
This unit is also easy to install without a pro and have sufficient power for all types of food waste.
The 7 Best Garbage Disposal Reviews
Best Overall: InSinkErator Evolution Compact Continuous Feed
Despite being one of the costlier garbage disposals, the InSinkErator Evolution Compact earns our top spot because it offers the perfect balance of power and quietness in a compact size. Measuring 8X8X12.12 inches, this unit features a space-saving design that makes it a fantastic choice for any small household with limited space.
Its powerful ¾ horsepower motor, and MultiGrind technology which delivers a two-stage grind lets you power through foods like peels, fruits, small bones, celery, and vegetables with ease. Besides, this model uses components like vibration-reducing connections and advanced-level insulation which help keep your grinding quiet.
The Evolution Compact also boasts an impressive 34.6 ounce stainless steel grinding chamber that is outfitted with stainless steel blades to resist corrosion and increase durability. This appliance is also backed by a “We Come to You” four-year warranty that includes free house calls for added peace of mind.
- Installation is easy (takes less than 15 minutes)
- It’s nearly silent when running
- Plenty of grinding power
- Compact design for limited space
- Comes with a 4-year warranty
- Stainless steel components are resistant to corrosion
- Manual reset button to reset an overload
- It’s a bit pricey
- Slow drain
Runners-Up, Best Overall: Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal, 1HP
As the runners-up for our top spot, the Waste King L-8000 impresses with its power, energy-efficiency, and compactness which make it a good addition to keep your sink and kitchen clean. Its 1 horsepower, high-speed motor jams less, is sound-insulated, and delivers great grinding power. Besides, its permanent magnet motor reaches full speed almost instantly, therefore reducing the possibility of jamming.
The unit keeps its promise of easy installation or replacement all thanks to a twist-and-lock EZ Mount design. It also comes with a pre-installed power cord so you will not have to undertake any major electrical work. And as long as the power switch is on, you will grind all food waste continuously.
In addition, we were impressed by the Waste King L-8000’s lifetime warranty which also includes a limited mechanical warranty – something you don’t see quite often.
The well-performing motor, corrosion-proof polymer grind chamber, and a relatively low sound output are some of this unit’s best perks.
- Continuous-feed system
- Lifetime warranty
- No jam issues
- This disposal cleans effortlessly
- No hard wiring is required
- Manufacturer’s manual has clear installation instructions
- The warranty doesn’t cover product leaks
- It takes up a lot of space
- The EZ Mount system isn’t sturdy enough
Best Under $100: Waste King L-111
Smaller households or buyers with tight budgets will appreciate the Legend L-111, which we recommend to those who don’t require quite as much grinding power in their kitchen waste disposal. This 1/3-horsepower, continuous-fed unit comes with stainless steel grinders and a 1,900 rpm permanent magnet motor that’s just enough for a small household.
Similar to its larger brothers, the Waste King L-111 features a front-mounted reset knob, sound-reducing insulation, a corrosion-proof grinding chamber, and removable splash guard. Besides, its pre-installed power cord ensures that you won’t do any hard wiring in your home.
With the design, this unit is compact and lightweight and helps save space under your sink. Before plugging into your power outlet, be sure to confirm the current and frequency rating – should be 4.0 Amps and 60 Hz.
- Compact and lightweight
- Cheaper alternative for small households
- Can be installed without a pro
- Comes with a cord and plug
- No electrical expertise is required
- You might need to change your sink collar when installing this unit
- Splash guard is a bit stiff and you have to push food down the unit
- Very loud
- You’ll need plumbers putty to install the drain
Best High-End: InSinkErator Evolution Excel 1.0 Hp
If you’re on a well-endowed kitchen and want to enjoy the best, this unit represents optimal standards in performance. With a powerful 1 Hp motor, you no longer have to worry about what food you shouldn’t put in the disposal; it grinds through everything. Besides, noise might never be a bother for you all thanks to the Sound Seal technology – which combines advanced unit insulation and an anti-vibration mount.
The InSinkErator Evolution Excel is also the epitome of top-notch garbage disposal technology as it comes with a jam-sensor circuit as well as an auto-reverse grind mechanism to grind through any jam. The machine’s multi-grind technology offers a 3-stage grinding process to break down all your leftovers.
The 40 ounce grind chamber will easily accommodate larger volumes of kitchen waste. This gadget also has a 7-Year-In-Home Warranty so you can enjoy peace of mind using this machine. Even though it is quite pricey, the Evolution Excel is worth the money.
- Jam-sensor circuit senses an imminent clog and engages
- Strong motor
- 7-year warranty
- It has three grind stages
- Nice looking unit
- Splash shield removes easily for cleaning
- Installation instruction are clear
- The cutting blades easily catch rust
- The dishwasher connection disk isn’t easy to remove
- You might experience some difficulty attaching the disposer to the flange
Best for Small Homes: InSinkErator GID-143010 Badger ⅓ HP
If you are a small household but want to roll with the top brands in the industry, then the InSinkErator Badger 1 is the garbage disposal you should buy. You obviously won’t need a lot of grinding power and the Badger 1 offers 1/3 horsepower. Besides, the 26-ounce grind chamber accommodates all your kitchen waste.
This unit also comes equipped with a patented Quick Lock sink mount that makes it easy for you to install and replace it. The maintenance-free induction motors also guarantee consistent grinding performance. Affordable, reliable, and compact, this unit is assembled in the USA and makes for a reliable choice when size of household and affordability are considerations.
- Has proven to be strong and reliable
- Interior parts are galvanized
- Sturdy build
- Easy to unjam from the underside
- Comes with a set of installation tools
- Doesn’t come with a cable cord and organizer
- The 2-year warranty is shorter than other than other units from the same brand
- It’s quite noisy
- It isn’t compatible with most dishwashers
- The material housing the motor is easily corroded
Best Compact: Whirlaway 291 ½ Horsepower Garbage Disposer
Featuring a space-saving, incredibly compact design, the Whirlaway 291 is a low-cost option for anyone who wants to enjoy the features of higher-end disposal models. Measuring 13.6X6.1X6 inches and weighing 8.7 pounds, this unit fits in almost every under sink cabinet.
The machines boasts thoughtfully built-in durability courtesy of corrosion resistant materials that will not suffer rust or need regular maintenance. It also features a splash guard that prevents waste from spilling all over your kitchen. And since it is removable, cleaning this unit becomes a breeze. This garbage disposer also features a PLUMB EZ mount systems that allows for simple installation.
If you want to connect this unit to your dishwasher, you should consider buying the Waste King Universal Dishwasher Connector, Sink Stopper, and Splash Guard for the EZ mount garbage disposals.
- Super compact design
- Few tools are required for installation
- It is inexpensive
- The blue color looks nice
- Great value for money
- Timely shipment on purchase
- Installation guidelines are scattered
- No power cord included
- You might need to hire a plumber to install the unit
Moen is quite a big name in the household industry, from kitchen fixtures to faucets, they almost have it all. And although they are new in the kitchen waste disposal space, their line of garbage disposal units is quite impressive. The GXS75C comes with ¾ horsepower, 2700 RPM motor to powerfully grind through all kitchen scraps and minimize jamming.
This unit features the Universal Xpress Mount which is often common with three-bolt mounting assemblies. All you need to do is position your garbage disposal, twist it, and then lock it firmly in place. Besides, its compact and incredibly lightweight design makes it ideal for the minimalist kitchen.
This disposal features a Soundshield that reduces noise levels even when the powerful motor is at work. It also comes with a pre-installed power cord so you won’t have to hardwire it into your home’s electrical wiring system or buy a cord separately.
Although it’s noisier that most other disposals on this list, everything else about this unit is comparatively decent, including a galvanized grind chamber, easy installation, and great power.
- Powerful motor
- Comes with a five-year warranty
- It looks nice under your sink
- Stainless steel grinding plate
- Lighter than other disposals
- Great for small sinks
- Not very quiet
- A little splash seems to come off the top
- The non-standard drain pipe might be difficult to find if there is need to replace
- This unit draws too much current on startup
What Are The Benefits of Garbage Disposals?
Putting your food waste down the drain is a modern convenience that they offer because of their ability to grind food into small pieces which won’t clog your drains. But that’s not all you can get from a garbage disposal. Here are a few reasons why they are awesome:
1. Better Environment
A garbage disposal unit shreds all particles and sediments in your sink, so it creates a better living environment since you won’t have rotting waste all over your kitchen and yard. Additionally, it is better hygiene for the home, without the health hazards or stink from the toxic and contaminating smell. With them, you will enjoy a better household.
What’s even better is that by passing those small scraps of food into the garbage disposal unit, you will save a bag of trash from filling the landfill.
2. Quicker Cleanup
Let’s face it; no one wants to take out trash filled with the wet gunk from food or other waste items. By using this unit to shred and flush down leftover bits and smelly sediments of food, you will have an easier time cleaning up the dishes and segregating trash in your house.
Besides, no roaches or bugs will come in your way if you pulverize your kitchen waste rather than put it in the trash can, which attracts pests. You will no longer have bacteria or need a garbage can below your kitchen sink, which smells and looks icky with time.
3. Less Stink In Your House
Since you’ll no longer throw kitchen dirt and food waste in the trash, you will have little to worry about the odor or amount of rotting garbage wafting in your home. The neighborhood won’t scrunch their noses in disgust as well.
4. Fewer Plumbing Problems
For most households, blocked kitchen sinks and drains are a nightmare especially when they’re not careful with what they wash or send down the drain. With a good garbage disposal, however, you will not have clogged sinks or plumbing problems because all food waste is ground into small particles that go down the drain smoothly.
How To Select a Garbage Disposal for Your Kitchen?
Before choosing a unit, here are a few things to consider:
1. Type of Unit
Garbage disposals come in two types; continuous-feed and batch-feed, which simply indicates the way you load food waste into the grinding chamber.
- Continuous-feed: Just as the name suggests, this type of garbage disposal operates continuously, letting you turn it on and load your food waste gradually while it’s running. This model is easy to use because you can add new food waste as the old waste is ground and sent down the drain.
- Batch-feed: This unit grinds food waste in small batches and is a safer option for families with curious kids. A stopper is secured in place before running this unit. With this type of disposal, you only run one load of waste at a time. Although the size of the grinding chamber varies with the manufacturer, you’ll typically grind up to 4 cups of food waste at a time.
2. Power options
The more powerful your unit is, the more efficiently it grinds your food waste. Here are the common power options for your garbage disposal:
- 1/3 Horsepower: Although they are the most economical units, they are the weakest and often clog when grinding the fibrous foods.
- ½ Horsepower: This disposal is a bit stronger than its predecessor and is ideal for a mid-size household that has more food waste.
- ¾ Horsepower: With this unit, you get more power and technology to easily chew through fibrous foods and bones without any clog. It is the right choice for a household with a large family and substantial food waste.
- 1-2 Horsepower: This powerhouse endures all heavy use and grinds through every food waste thrown its way without jamming. And you must part with anything between $150 and $500 to own this workhorse.
3. Plug-in Vs. Direct-Wired
A majority of garbage disposal units are designed to wire directly into a home’s electrical wiring system. However, there are a few models with a power cord to plug into an electrical outlet below the sink. Models that lack attached plugs could be transformed into plug-in models by buying optional plug-in cords.
While it’s entirely your choice to install either a plug-in or direct wired disposal, it is advisable that confirm with the local building authority about any regulations or codes you must adhere to. A direct-wired unit requires professional installation while the plug-in unit is rather straightforward to install.
A higher horsepower translates into a bigger motor, and this will obviously increase the size of your garbage disposal. You need to consider the size of your unit if there’s limited space below your kitchen sink. If you have a reverse osmosis system, for instance, the space under your sink may be insufficient.
Be sure to measure the space below your sink before settling on a garbage disposal.
5. Noise Factor
Noisy garbage disposals are a huge turnoff for many, but the modern-day models are quieter with some emitting little more than a mere hum. The integration of sound-proofing technology, insulation, and padded mounts to reduce vibration helps reduce the noise produced by it.
You will obviously not see a model’s noise factor on the manufacturer’s manual so a pre-purchase test or reading through customer reviews would help.
6. Anti-Jamming Feature
Grinding blades jam when there’s too much food packed in the unit. A quick fix for this problem would be turning off the machine to remove the jammed food manually. However, some units now come with an anti-jamming feature that detects a clog in the blades and reverses them to clear all waste that is stuck
7.Stainless-Steel Grinding Chamber
Quality garbage disposal units often feature stainless steel grinding components such as a stainless-steel grinding chamber, armature shaft or dual-swivel impellers. This feature purportedly adds to the durability of your unit since it doesn’t give in to touch bone grinds. Besides, stainless steel is corrosion proof and won’t suffer water damage.
For a stink-free kitchen or clog-free drains, you must be sure to dispose of your kitchen waste correctly and the garbage disposal will come in handy. From a better living environment to fewer plumbing problems to quicker cleanup, the benefits of a garbage disposal unit are irresistible.
While there are many products to choose from, the InSinkErator Evolution Compact Continuous Feed is our top pick for this category. We were particularly impressed by its great grinding power, SoundSeal technology to reduce noise, a stainless steel grind chamber, and its continuous-feed mechanism.
You can share your views or leave us a comment in the section below. We are happy to hear what you have to say.
Amanda writes for Consumers Base and many other authority websites. She loves to explore new things. She has excellent literal ability and an eye for the finer details in life which makes her content amazing.