Tired of uneaten food scraps that end up stinking up the house or attracting pests while they sit in the trash can? A convenient garbage disposal can grind food waste into pieces so tiny that they can go right down the drain of your kitchen sink instead.
Most garbage disposals are continuous-feed, which means they can keep running as you drop in new food waste. They’re convenient, but they may pose a safety risk to curious kids who stick their fingers down the drain. They also typically require a... wall-mounted power switch. The other kind of garbage disposals, batch-feed models, must be loaded up with food scraps before users activate them with a magnetized stopper. They’re safer for use around kids and can usually be powered by a simple outlet and power cord, but they may not be as convenient for families with a lot of food waste.
Whatever type of garbage disposal you pick, experts warn against expecting them to grind up very fibrous food waste like celery, banana peels or corn husks. Steer clear of putting pasta and rice down the disposal, too, since these foods can expand and block pipes. Grease is another obvious no-no, as are any non-food items.
Need recommendations? Here are six of the best garbage disposals for residential use:
Thousands of happy owners have made the InSinkErator Evolution Compact garbage disposal a best-seller. This 3/4-horsepower unit has a 34.6-ounce grind chamber with stainless-steel grind components, and reviewers say it’s the perfect size to handle food waste from a large, hungry family. This model is a continuous-feed disposal, so it can handle a constant stream of food, too.
Experts give this InSinkErator very good marks for speed, fineness of grind, and ability to cut through tough vegetable... scraps. It gets slightly lower marks for noise, but most owners say it’s not too loud thanks to SoundSeal technology with sound insulation, an anti-vibration sink mount and an anti-vibration tailpipe. Several owners say it was easy enough to install without a professional and has plenty of power for all kinds of food waste. A few complain that the rubber baffle means their sink drains too slowly, and some say they’ve had issues with leaks or other durability issues. Fortunately, this model is backed by a four-year in-home warranty, so if something goes wrong, service agents will come to you.
Another very popular garbage disposal, the Waste King Legend is beloved for its sturdy build and easy installation. Like the InSinkErator, it’s a 3/4-horsepower unit with stainless-steel grinders that can stand the test of time, and because it’s a continuous-feed model, users can keep it running as they’re adding food waste – convenient for most families.
Features on the Waste King include a front-mounted reset button, a removable splash guard, and sound insulation meant to reduce noise during... operation. Most reviewers say noise is typical for a garbage disposal, though some complain of a loud click when it’s first turned on. However, almost all are happy with the motor’s power, saying the blades blow through lots of food waste without jamming. They also say it’s fairly easy to install thanks to an EZ Mount system that includes necessary hardware. It’s backed by an impressive 10-year in-home mechanical warranty that means repairs are done in home, and there is a lifetime warranty protecting against corrosion.
Smaller households or buyers with small budgets will appreciate the Waste King Legend L-111, recommended by hundreds of owners who say it’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t need quite as much power in their garbage disposal. This continuous-feed model is a 1/3-horsepower unit with stainless steel grinders and a 1,900 rpm motor, and many owners say it’s a great fit for smaller kitchens or apartments where big dinners aren’t a nightly affair.
Like larger Waste King models, this one features... sound-reducing insulation, a front-mounted reset button, a removable splash guard and a corrosion-proof grinding chamber. Reviewers say it’s easy to install even without a pro, and some say the upside to getting a less-powerful disposal is a quieter motor, too. Most are pleased with the power, but some say the splash guard is a little stiff, meaning they have to more actively push food waste down into the disposal. This model is backed by a two-year in-home repair warranty.
Whether you’re finishing a high-end kitchen remodel or simply want a top-of-the-line garbage disposal that will offer the best performance, reviewers say the ultra-quiet KitchenAid Superba is worth a look. It has a 3/4-horsepower, 1,725 rpm motor and a 40-ounce grind chamber that can handle a lot of food waste, even from large family dinners. It’s continuous feed, which allows for constant use without worries about burnt-out motors.
Experts give the KitchenAid Superba top marks for fineness of... grind and very good ones for speed, noise and ability to handle vegetable scraps. Features include two-stage grinding, overload protection and manual reset. It also has SoundSeal technology that KitchenAid says makes it 40 percent quieter than standard garbage disposals, and reviewers confirm that it is definitely a step up from most other models when it comes to noise. One owner even says this disposal can run in an open kitchen without disturbing nearby conversations – an important consideration for users who have wide-open floor plans. Another reviewer says it’s so quiet that it almost sounds like it isn’t working. It’s backed by a five-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
If there are a lot of curious little fingers around the house, a batch-feed garbage disposal with a stopper can offer peace of mind. Owners say one of the best batch-feed disposals is this InSinkErator Evolution model, which has a 3/4-horsepower motor and a 40-ounce stainless steel grind chamber. The disposal will only come on when the magnetic stopper is inserted, so no wall switch is needed.
This InSinkErator is fast – it gets top marks in expert tests for speed, and very good ones for... fineness, noise and ability to shred vegetable scraps. Other features include two-stage grinding and SoundSeal technology that means less noise, and owners say they agree that this model is very quiet compared with other disposals. Some do complain that the stopper is flimsy and doesn’t always easily kick on the disposal, however. Installation is easy thanks to a Quick Lock sink mount, reviewers report, but no power cord comes with this model. It’s backed by a seven-year in-home warranty.
Got a whole lot of mouths to feed? Need a garbage disposal that can stand up to a large, constant stream of food waste? Reviewers say this pricey InSinkErator Pro is worth the investment over smaller, less powerful garbage disposals. It has a 1.1-horsepower, 1,725 rpm motor and a 40-ounce stainless steel grind chamber to handle large amounts of food waste at one time. Experts give it top marks for fineness, very good ones for noise and handling of vegetable scraps, and good ones for noise.
This... InSinkErator has three-stage MultiGrind technology that means it can break down even large chunks of food, and unlike many cheaper disposals, it has an auto-reverse and jam sensor features that can clear out food that has become stuck. SoundSeal technology including a Quiet Collar Sink Baffle cuts down on annoying vibrations and excess noise, and owners confirm that it’s a very quiet disposal, especially considering its power. They also say it’s easy to install, but note that the power cord must be purchased separately. If something goes wrong, this InSinkErator has one of the best warranties out there—12 years of in-home service.
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