Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
One term you’ll start hearing a lot as you start shopping for garbage disposals is horsepower. The higher the horsepower, the more powerful—and expensive—the unit. One-half horsepower (HP) is the minimum recommended size for most households and ¾ horsepower is even better for the average kitchen. Why? With the extra horsepower, you’ll be able to toss scraps like potato peels that might jam up a weaker unit.
The 900 version of the Badger features ¾ horsepower, stainless steel, corrosion-resistant grind components, and a compact design that saves space under your sink. The unit it also easy to install thanks to its Quick Lock mounting system. Should you encounter any issues, the garbage disposal also comes with a 6-year warranty that covers repairs or a full replacement if necessary.
Though it’s lower in horsepower than some of our other picks, this MOEN still offers plenty of power to grind most kitchen scraps. In addition to the ½ horsepower, it has a permanent magnet motor with high-speed 2600 RPM vortex to prevent jamming. In addition to being a good value on its own, it comes with a pre-installed power cord (with most others, you’ll have to buy one separately—incurring an added expense).
Reviewers love that this MOEN model is compact and doesn’t hog too much room under their sinks. It's also super easy to install—it even works with existing mounts, including those from competitors. Though the garbage disposal is durable and corrosion-resistant, it's also backed by MOEN's 3-year warranty. If you experience any issues, in-home service is available.
If you’re not a frequent cook or you compost most of your waste (including potentially problematic egg shells and potato peels), you may be able to get away with a lower horsepower unit like this one from InSinkErator. With a 26-ounce chamber, the 1/3 horsepower model is smaller, too, so it’s a good choice if you live in a tiny home or are otherwise short on space.
This disposal is built to last with galvanized steel parts and a heavy duty induction motor. In fact, several reviewers report that they’ve owned theirs for a decade or more before having any problems. Additional pluses? It takes just minutes to install, thanks to its quick mounting system, and it's guaranteed with a 1-year warranty that covers repairs and replacements.
Serious at-home chefs who are equally serious about cleanup will appreciate the 1-horsepower InSinkErator which can grind corn husks, bones, melon rinds, and more. The disposal is able to do so thank to what InSinkErator calls MultiGrind Plus technology. Essentially, the model has three grind stages, including an auto-reverse which pulverizes whatever you throw down the drain. All that power operates quietly, too, thanks to SoundSeal technology that is silent enough for you to continue chatting as it works.
With a large, 40-ounce capacity grind chamber, this garbage disposal does take up more room under your sink so you’ll want to measure before investing. Like many of InSinkErator's other models, the Evolution also comes with a 7-year warranty that includes parts and labor.
Grinding up food scraps is loud work—or at least it can be if your garbage disposal doesn’t have a sound guard like the Waste King 3/4 HP Continuous Garbage Disposal. Reviewer after reviewer notes that this powerful disposal is quieter than any other they've owned.
Other frequently mentioned pros are its ease of installation, the manual reset button located on the front of the unit, and that it comes with a pre-installed power cord (for many models you have to purchase one separately). It has a stainless steel grinding ring, swivel impellers, and a turntable for the ultimate in rust resistance. It also comes with a plastic drain stopper and removable splash guard for easy clean up.
If you have a septic system in your house, that doesn’t automatically rule a garbage disposal out (though check with your plumber if you have any concerns). This one is specifically designed for use with septic systems and includes a Bio-Charge citrus-scented solution that is shot into the grinding chamber each time you use it. The solution doesn’t just smell good, it contains natural microorganisms that help break down food waste to prevent overtaxing your system. (Note that the cartridge will need to be replaced every three to four months.)
Reviewers note that they were pleasantly surprised about how quietly this model operates and that they're had no issues—in some cases for years—using it with their septic system.
Best for Ease of Installation: InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
This version of the InSinkErator comes with its own pre-installed power cord and Quick Lock sink mount so installation is a breeze (and there's one less thing you have to buy). It’s compact, which also means it’s lighter and saves precious room under your sink. Despite its small footprint, the disposal is powerful with ¾ horsepower which is enough to grind down onion peels and other fibrous veggies (skip the bones, though).
If anything should go wrong, the model comes with an impressive 8-year “We Come to You” In-Home Service Warranty. If you're shopping for a disposal that's safe to use with a septic tank, InSinkErator also notes that this one is a top choice.
What do you get when you spend a little extra on your garbage disposal? The Evolution Excel from InSinkErator—one of the quietest models on the market. In addition to the sound seal technology some of its lower end models have, there’s a quiet collar sink baffle which is said to reduce noise by up to 60 percent.
Of course, there's more to this model than just its low volume. You also get a lot of strength to grind everything from melon peels to chicken bones with a full 1 horsepower and a jam-sensor circuit that increases motor torque 500 percent with continuous feed operation. Lastly it has alloy stainless steel grind components, a 40-ounce chamber, and a leak guard liner.