I’m Mike and as an experienced plumber I’ve compared features and written dozens of garbage disposal reviews to help you find the best model with the features for your kitchen and helping you find great discounts and deals. If you are looking for a guide to help compare garbage disposers or there’s an emergency because you’ve just clogged your disposer by pushing through tough chicken bones, then my site can help!
I have included technical articles describing the way different disposers work, their main components and how to be an informed consumer. To help you navigate the different makes, I’ve written full reviews of some of the best garbage disposal units together with advice on where to find disposers at the best price. It’s easy comparing features by using my interactive chart of the best garbage disposals. I’ve also written reviews and analysis of the top waste disposal units on the market to help you decide which one is right for you.
Take a look at my reviews or, if you’re in hurry, the Waste King L-8000 is now the #1 best-selling unit.
The two main manufacturers trade under the Waste King disposal and InSinkErator disposal brands and each have product ranges with features that can be confusing – so I’ve written the best garbage disposal reviews to help you choose the right one.
Top Garbage Disposal Units
Looking for inspiration or still can’t decide between the various models? Check my full comparison guide or here’s my view of some of the best waste disposals on the market.
Best Garbage Disposer Overall: Waste King 8000 Legend Series
The Waste King L-8000 is consistently given excellent reviews and ratings from existing users – and tops the list for most popular unit. It’s also the #1 best-selling unit on Amazon – which is a great achievement for this versatile, powerful disposer.
High Power Garbage Disposals (1-HP and higher)
If you’re looking for a powerful disposer to deal with the food waste from a large family, the InSinkErator Evolution Excel is hard to beat – yes, it’s expensive but it’s got great build quality and durable grinding components. If you’re looking for the same quality but on a tighter budget, there’s a compact version that’s great value for money
Everyday Garbage Disposal Units (1/2-HP and higher)
If you’ve looking for a standard, everyday disposer that will deal with the waste from a normal size family, not cost too much and prove quiet and reliable, then it’s hard to ignore the Waste King L-2600.
Best Cheap Garbage Disposers
If you’re on a tight budget and the dollar price wins over power then there are plenty of units to tempt you. Our choice is the budget Waste King L-111 which, despite the price has a decent set of features and warranty.
Top Environmental Disposer
If you want to be sure that your food waste decomposes as quickly as possible, the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist will inject microbes into the waste as it passes through the disposer and into the plumbing. It’s one of the best units at helping deal with issues of organic food waste.
I’m sure that like me, you’ve got personal preferences about your kitchen setup – so when you’re looking for a new unit, my requirements will be different from yours, but here’s my guide to the top features to look for.
A garbage disposal unit, or garburator, fits neatly under your kitchen sink, and shreds food waste using a high torque electric motor spinning special grinding wheels to reduce food to tiny particles that can pass through normal plumbing. The main pricing difference is due to the power of the unit’s electric motor – stated as horsepower and generally in the 1/3 to 1 HP range, and the quality of the grinding components (cheaper units use galvanized steel, premium units use stainless steel components). A more powerful motor can grind and crush tough food waste without jamming.
Thanks to their convenience, the popularity of units keeps growing: with over 50% of homes in the US fitted with a disposer, and are growing in popularity in the UK and countries such as Sweden (which encourages their installation to help increase the production of biogas as a natural fuel bi-product).
Replacing Your Disposer
Food waste disposers don’t last forever: sometimes the electric motor will burn out or they simply go wrong and that’s when you’ll need to start thinking about buying a replacement. The good news is that it’s a very straightforward process to replace a unit – and the major manufacturers have standardized on a twist-and-lock fitting process that allows anyone with basic DIY skills to replace a unit (make sure that you call a qualified electrician if the disposer does not have a flex with a plug but needs to be wired in to your electrical system).
To help fine a new model, if you’re like me, you’ll hit the web and look for garbage disposal reviews, do plenty of research, talk to your friends and neighbors, and then find the lowest price for and buy the best waste disposer on the market.
On this website, I’ve put together just about everything you’ll need to help you if you’re looking to buy a new food waste disposer: from garbage disposal reviews to a unique table of features that will help you choose the right model for your home at the best price (with savings of over 60%). And to help save you time researching, I’ve pulled together pages of tips, how to fix a jammed disposal unit, and how to install a sink garbage disposal unit in your kitchen.
A garbage disposal or food waste disposer is a compact, cylinder-shaped unit that fits under your kitchen sink (normally attaching straight onto the plug hole). The unit has a power electric motor that spins a grinding system that can chop up and grind food waste as it’s pushed into the sink’s plug hole. Since a food waste disposer is normally attached directly to the bottom of the sink, the manufacturers have devised quick-fit ways of bolting the units under the drain and then connecting them to the trap in your sink’s plumbing. The disposer also needs to be wired in to the electric supply and to a switch (often mounted on the wall or in a special hole drilled into the sink) to control its operation.
The original models were incredibly noisy in use, making it hard to hear yourself think, let alone hold a conversation. The latest garbage disposers use nylon grinding chambers and have special insulation panels to reduce the noise considerably when grinding anything from corn cobs to chicken bones.
Clean Regularly to Avoid Jamming
It’s a very convenient alternative to just throwing food waste into the trash can – and the disposer will grind up pretty much any food from chicken bones to corncobs. If you’re pushing through a lot of fatty food waste, you should also look to clean your disposal unit regularly using a good garbage disposal cleaner to remove the build-up and reduce potential odors. (If your unit has got clogged up or jammed, read our guides to help fix your problem.)
Connections to The Sewage System
In general, if your house is on a sewage system, then the ground food waste will be sent via your sewage pipes to the local municipal wastewater processing plant where it’s normally processed back into bio-solids that can be used as fertilizer or bio-fuel.
If your municipal district requires you to pre-process the waste, or if you are connected to a private cesspit or storage tank, then you should look at some of the specialist disposers that are designed to work in a more environmentally-friendly way and avoid blockages – they do this by starting the natural process of waste decomposition as soon as the food is ground down. These models include a separate tank connected to the disposer that injects bio culture into the food waste to help break it down as it moves through the sewage system.
Find the Best Model
At the top of this page you’ll see the interactive chart I put together. It highlights the key features of food waste disposers. Use this as a starting point to either find a direct replacement for your existing model or to choose an upgraded model with a more powerful motor, or one that’s quieter in operation.
I’d recommend that you use the Comparison Guide above to help you make the right buying decision… but also look at the individual reviews of disposers on this site from manufacturers including Waste King, InSinkErator, Whirlpool and Whirlaway.
How Much HorsePower Do I Need?
When you’re buying a new disposal unit, there are some key factors to look out for. Read our guide to features for additional information to help you with your research. One of the main measures of any unit is the power of the motor (I list the power of each model in my comparison guide).
Garbage Disposal Horsepower (HP)
The standard measure is horsepower (HP) that will give you an idea of the power of the electric motor inside the unit that chops and grinds the food. The greater the power, the greater the ability of the unit to cope with lots of use and bigger, harder items (like bones):
- 0.50 horsepower garbage disposal: this and the smaller 0.30 hp units are designed for light use, normally designed to cope with the food waste produced by an individual.
- 0.75 horsepower garbage disposals: these units are designed for typical family use.
- 1.00 horsepower garbage disposals: these are heavy-duty units that are designed for large families and offices.
Continuous Feed vs Batch Feed
There are two main types of operating mode for disposers: continuous feed and batch feed. Each has its own benefits and problems – and there’s often a price difference between the two so it’s worth being sure that you select the model with the feed system that you need for your installation.
Continuous feed garbage disposer
A continuous feed garbage disposer is the most commonly used operating method – the unit needs to be switched on (this can be automatically via a sensor or more commonly via a switch mounted on the sink or on the wall near the sink). And don’t forget you need to turn on the water when using the unit or the disposer will jam very quickly. Check out my list of the top ten continuous feed garbage disposal units.
Batch feed disposer
With a batch feed disposer, you push food waste into the unit, then insert a plug into the plug hole switches on the motor in the unit which grinds the waste. This means that on a typical session after a meal you might ‘load’ the food disposer several times. Take a look at our guide to the best batch feed garbage disposal units.
Make the Right Buying Decision
I’ve written my reviews to provide good, helpful advice that will give you enough information to choose the best model for your needs. Whichever unit you decide on, you’ll find a good garbage disposer transforms how you dispose of food waste, quiet, powerful and not too expensive.
If you’re planning on installing it yourself, the twist-on fittings of all the modern brands make it really easy – though you’d be advised to get an electrician in if it’s one of the few units that needs to be hard-wired rather than a normal electric plug.
Lastly, don’t forget the maintenance! I’ve looked at a range of products to help you prevent blockages – but if you completely stuck take a look at my article on fixing a blocked disposal unit.