The 7 Best Garbage Disposals to Eliminate Food Waste

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

Say goodbye to smelly sinks and full trash cans!

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The 7 Best Garbage Disposals To Eliminate Food WasteVIA MERCHANT

The best garbage disposals can make life in the kitchen easier. Not only do they help keep small kitchen scraps from ending up in a landfill, but they can also prevent food from clogging up your plumbing. It’s safe to say that your garbage disposal is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen!

If it’s time to replace your garbage disposal, there are some key things to consider. While some options are meant for large sinks and high-capacity grinding, others work best in smaller, shallow sinks. Some even have added safety features or are easier to clean than others.

Regardless of what you’re looking for, Family Handyman has you covered. Check out our seven favorite garbage disposals for every kitchen and mess!

  • Insinkerator Evolution
    Best Overall Garbage Disposal
    InSinkErator Evolution Excel Garbage Disposal
    Read More
  • Waste King L 111 Garbage Disposal
    Best Budget Garbage Disposal
    Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal
    Read More
  • Insinkerator Evolution Cover Control Plus Garbage Disposal
    Best Garbage Disposal with Safety Features
    InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus Garbage Disposal
    Read More
  • Insinkerator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal
    Best Garbage Disposal for Septic Systems
    InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal
    Read More
  • Insinkerator Badger Power Series Garbage Disposal
    Best Large Capacity Garbage Disposal
    InSinkErator Badger Power Series Garbage Disposal
    Read More
  • Insinkerator Evolution Compact
    Best Garbage Disposal for Shallow Sinks
    InSinkErator Evolution Compact
    Read More
  • Insinkerator Badger 5 Standard Series Garbage Disposal
    Best Value Garbage Disposal
    InSinkErator Badger 5 Standard Series Garbage Disposal
    Read More
1 / 7
Insinkerator Evolution via merchant

Best Overall Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator Evolution Excel Garbage Disposal

If you’re looking for a garbage disposal you can rely on, check out the InSinkErator Evolution Excel. With a 1 HP motor, this powerful unit grinds up the competition (pun intended) and your unwanted food. The industry standard for a good garbage disposal motor is at least 1/2 HP, which the InSinkErator surpasses by double. And since the motor has Dura-Drive hardware, this garbage disposal operates at lower decibels than others on the market. Translation? It’s really quiet.

Stainless steel components grind through tough food scraps with ease—including beef bones.

“It has taken everything I have thrown at it and never missed a beat. It has never been jammed, had to be reset or even put into a bind from excessive items being put down it,” said Ken, a verified buyer.

Pros

  • Quiet in use
  • 7-year parts warranty
  • Powerful 1 HP motor
  • Simple installation process

Cons

  • Pricey due to quality

2 / 7
Waste King L 111 Garbage Disposal via merchant

Best Budget Garbage Disposal

Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal

With more than 3,700 five-star reviews on Amazon, the Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal proves you don’t have to break the bank for a quality garbage disposal. At under $70, this model comes pre-wired for easy installation and has an energy-efficient motor with stainless steel swivel impellers to help reduce jamming. It also has a removable splash guard, which makes cleanup a breeze.

However, it is worth noting that it may take this garbage disposal a little longer to grind up larger food scraps. This is because of the 1/3 HP motor, which is a little less powerful than the industry standard of 1/2 HP or higher. Luckily, this shouldn’t be much of an issue for day-to-day usage, but it is worth mentioning.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • 2-year warranty
  • Dishwasher hookup

Cons

  • 1/3 HP motor is less powerful than the industry standard

3 / 7
Insinkerator Evolution Cover Control Plus Garbage Disposal via merchant

Best Garbage Disposal with Safety Features

InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus Garbage Disposal

If safety is a big concern when sorting through the best garbage disposals for your kitchen, look at the InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus Garbage Disposal. It’s activated by the magnetic cover start switch, so it will run only when the cover is on, which means it doesn’t need a wall switch. This is great if you’re concerned about little hands accidentally flipping a switch they weren’t supposed to and potentially getting hurt. Additionally, this disposal has a Dura-Drive induction motor to quietly (yet powerfully) tackle difficult food like bones. It’s safe to say we’re sold!

Pros

  • Added safety features
  • No wall switch needed
  • Quiet in use
  • Powerful 3/4 HP motor

Cons

  • Pricey

4 / 7
Insinkerator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal via merchant

Best Garbage Disposal for Septic Systems

InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal

While all disposals from InSinkErator are septic-friendly, the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist Garbage Disposal especially impresses thanks to an automatic injection of microorganisms to help break down food waste. With a long-lasting Dura-Drive induction motor and two-stage multi-grind technology, you’ll get large food scraps down with ease. It also has SoundSeal technology that makes it very quiet.

Buyers noted this corded model was fairly easy to install, but you may need to purchase a power cord (sold separately).

Pros

  • Great for septic systems
  • Quiet in use
  • 3/4 HP motor
  • 8-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Power cord sold separately

5 / 7
Insinkerator Badger Power Series Garbage Disposal via merchant

Best Large Capacity Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator Badger Power Series Garbage Disposal

For those with large sinks or those who throw a lot of food scraps down their garbage disposal, the InSinkErator Badger Power Series Garbage Disposal is a great option. It features a long-lasting, single-grind stage with a Dura-Drive induction motor. It has jam-preventing torque that will take on the toughest food scraps—even peach pits! Buyers liked the lift and latch mounting system, which makes for hassle-free sink connection and easy installation. It also has a great seven-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Tough on food scraps
  • 1 HP motor
  • Easy to install
  • Made in the USA
  • 7-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Some buyers said it was noisy

6 / 7
Insinkerator Evolution Compact via merchant

Best Garbage Disposal for Shallow Sinks

InSinkErator Evolution Compact

If you’re looking for the best garbage disposals for a shallow sink, you’ll want to check out the InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposal. The Dura-Drive induction motor is powerful in smaller sinks and offers enough power to tackle small bones. Plus, its space-saving design fits easily under the sink and is a great choice for small households, apartments or those with limited space. Additionally, it comes with a three-year warranty.

Pros

  • Great space-saving design
  • Easy to install
  • 3-year warranty
  • Powerful 3/4 HP motor

Cons

  • Some buyers noted some issues with the rubber baffle

7 / 7
Insinkerator Badger 5 Standard Series Garbage Disposal via merchant

Best Value Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator Badger 5 Standard Series Garbage Disposal

There’s plenty of bang for your buck with the InSinkErator Badger 5 Standard Series Garbage Disposal. This model has long-lasting galvanized steel components to ensure a dependable grind. The compact, space-saving design fits existing InSinkErator hardware for a quick and easy installation if it’s time to replace your older disposal. You may need a new power cord (sold separately), but buyers gave it high marks for this unit’s performance and value.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Easy to install
  • 2-year warranty
  • 1/2 HP motor

Cons

  • Power cord sold separately

What to Consider When Buying a Garbage Disposal

When sorting through the best garbage disposals, you’ll want to consider a few things, including sink size, price, warranty, motor horsepower, and noise. As a note, residential garbage disposals typically offer between 1/2 to 1 horsepower. Also, some have added safety features and noise-reducing technology. You’ll want to consider how much room is under your sink, as some models take up less space than others.

Finally, consider how easy the unit is to install (if you plan on installing it yourself) and whether it’s hardwired or a corded model.

Types of Garbage Disposals

  • Continuous feed garbage disposals will turn on and won’t stop turning until they are turned off. You can add food scraps while they are running.
  • Batch feed garbage disposals run when a stopper is placed over the disposal opening and the switch is turned on. This is a great added layer of safety for those with small children in the home.

How We Found the Best Garbage Disposals

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What is the longest-lasting garbage disposal?

If you’re looking for a garbage disposal that will last a long time, look for those made with stainless steel. Stainless steel is not only resistant to rust, but is tough on food scraps.

How much horsepower do you need for a garbage disposal?

For most homes, a garbage disposal with 1/2 to 1 horsepower is plenty. If you’re an avid cook or plan to use your garbage disposal to get rid of tough scraps such as bones and pits, look for a unit with a horsepower of 3/4 to 1.