A high-quality garbage disposal can add immense value to your kitchen and reduce the amount of smelly food waste in your garbage can. It will also make doing your dishes quicker and easier than ever before. Luckily for you, there are many great and affordable garbage disposals on the market.
Buying Guide for Garbage Disposals
Why buy a garbage disposal?
Garbage disposals are undoubtedly one of the most useful unsung modern inventions. Without a garbage disposal, you’ll be shocked at how quickly foodscapes accumulate in your trash can. You might also be disgusted by how quickly fruit flies and other insects arrive, attracted by the smell of decomposing food. Garbage disposals provide a safe way for you to get rid of unwanted food scraps so that you can maintain a more sanitary and pleasant-smelling kitchen. Even better, they do so in a way that’s safe for the water supply and your family, and they’re pretty easy to maintain themselves.
What should you look for in a garbage disposal?
- Motor Size: The motor size that’s right for you depends on the number of people in your household and their habits. For large families that generate a lot of food waste, a powerful 1-horsepower motor is a great choice, as this will help prevent jams by finely pulverizing large quantities of food waste. However, a smaller motor is a good choice for singles or couples, especially if it will primarily be used for disposing of soft veggies and similar waste.
- Ease of Installation: Thankfully, garbage disposal designs have improved over the years to be easier than ever to install. Finding a model that features a twist-and-lock “EZ Mount” design is a great choice, as these are very quick and easy to install yourself. While three-bolt designs are not difficult to install by any means, these are not quite as simple as EZ Mount installations. Thus, choose your new unit wisely if you struggle to install similar products in your home.
- Materials: A garbage disposal’s materials and construction will largely determine how long it might last after installation. Finding a model with durable stainless steel parts is wise since these will offer better rust resistance than other models. For this reason, take note of what the grind components, grind chamber, and cutting head are made of before you buy.
Is it worth it to invest in an ultra-quiet garbage disposal?
Depending on your needs, you might opt for an ultra-quiet garbage disposal. These can be extremely useful if you do the dishes at night or have babies or children who are easily stirred from their mid-day naps. Many high-quality garbage disposals sport well-insulated grinding chambers to ensure that escaping sound is kept to an absolute minimum. However, all garbage disposals make some noise during use, so you should set your expectations appropriately.
Our Picks for the Best Garbage Disposals
This 3/4-horsepower garbage disposal features quality stainless steel grind components and enough grinding power to meet the needs of large families.
Pros: Sporting stainless steel grind components that both get the job done and ensure long-term usability, the Moen GXS75C is made for the rigors of the modern kitchen. It’s also surprisingly quiet despite its impressive grinding power, so you won’t have to shout across the room when it’s running if you’re in the middle of a conversation.
Cons: The splash guard that comes with this garbage disposal is pretty rigid, making it so that food scraps don’t fall naturally through the guard when used. While this can get a little annoying, it also means that you’ll spend less time fishing forks and spoons out of your sink, which most people will appreciate.
Bottom Line: Although this garbage disposal is definitely on the pricey side, it more than makes up for it in terms of power and quality materials. If you have a large family that leaves behind large piles of food scraps, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better garbage disposal.
Waste Maid 1/2 HP Economy Garbage Disposal
Featuring a 1/2-horsepower motor, this garbage disposal sports the power and stainless steel grinding system of much more expensive models.
Pros: Despite the budget-friendly price tag, this garbage disposal from Waste Maid offers some really nice touches, including a corrosion-proof grinding chamber and an odor-reducing design. However, where this unit really stands out compared to other 1/2-horsepower garbage disposals is the speed and effectiveness of its grinding.
Cons: 1/2-horsepower garbage disposal motors are really not made to handle larger food scraps or large quantities of disposable garbage at once, and this product is no exception. While the price tag might be alluring, large families and those who produce a lot of food scraps are better off investing in a garbage disposal with a more powerful motor.
Bottom Line: While this is likely the best garbage disposal at its price point, many will be tempted to invest a little extra for a more powerful unit. However, for those who are fine with something dependable and basic, this garbage disposal will get the job done as long as you don’t overwork it.
Waste King Legend Series 1 HP Garbage Disposal
This garbage disposal features excellent grinding power and is a great option for families who produce large quantities of food waste.
Pros: Thanks to its powerful high-speed motor, this Waste King garbage disposal is ideal for large families who leave behind a mountain of food waste. The grind components are constructed of quality stainless steel, so you can also expect many years of faithful service before you need to replace it. Additionally, this unit sports an EZ Mount installation, making it a breeze to set up.
Cons: While the noise level is by no means deafening, this is certainly not one of the quieter garbage disposals you can buy. However, this is to be expected given how powerful the motor is. Additionally, if you lack space under the kitchen sink, be sure to take some measurements because the build size of this garbage disposal is larger than average.
Bottom Line: If your family’s food scraps have lead to jams in less powerful garbage disposals, this is the upgrade you’re looking for. Compared to other 1-horsepower garbage disposals, this one is also attractively priced, even if it’s not the quietest garbage disposal option on the market.
HISSUN 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal
Sporting a powerful motor and a stainless steel cutter head, this garbage disposal is rugged and powerful enough to meet the needs of most families.
Pros: For those with squeamish pets or noise sensitivity issues, this garbage disposal from HISSUN is incredibly quiet. This is likely due to its sealed, three-layer design that minimizes vibration better than most garbage disposals on the market. However, despite its quiet operation, its 560-watt high-speed motor is more than enough to suit the needs of most families, and its stainless steel cutter head eviscerates even larger food scraps in no time at all.
Cons: Although this garbage disposal’s three-layer design is good at minimizing noise, it does lead to a (perhaps excessively) bulky end product. While this could result in a trickier installation process for some, most homeowners should not find it overly difficult.
Bottom Line: Typically, the more powerful a garbage disposal is, the louder it will be. For this reason, this HISSUN garbage disposal is a breath of fresh air. With a powerful motor, quiet operation, and durable materials, this product leaves little to be desired.
Waste King L-111
This affordable garbage disposal is simple to install and features a manual reset button and removable splash guard.
Pros: This budget-savvy option from Waste King is ideal for those looking to get the most bang for their buck. Featuring a corrosion-proof polymer grind chamber, this continuous-feed garbage disposal punches well above the weight of its 1/3-horsepower motor in terms of grinding power. It also sports simple EZ Mount installation that even the non-handy among us should have no issues tackling on their own.
Cons: Since this garbage disposal uses galvanized steel grind materials, it’s likely to not last as long as more expensive units that feature a stainless steel grind head. Additionally, although its grinding power surpasses most other budget options, this is still not an ideal pick for the needs of a large family.
Bottom Line: If you’re on a budget but don’t want to settle for a low-powered 1/4-horsepower option at a similar price point, this is a great product to try. It probably won’t last a decade under your sink, but it’s still a reliable choice that should be good for years of dependable service.
Given the average cost of a quality garbage disposal, it’s an easy choice between making the investment or dealing with fruit flies around your garbage can. Naturally, you’ll need to invest a little extra if durability and power are your primary purchasing factors. However, regardless of your family’s needs, finding a great garbage disposal for your home is now simpler than ever.