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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

10 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
208 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best InSinkErator garbage disposals

Last Updated September 2020

The modern kitchen has a highly efficient way of ridding itself of food scraps: the garbage disposal. Instead of throwing leftover food into your garbage can, you can toss it down the sink and run the disposal. A proper garbage disposal is an excellent pest control tool. The fewer scraps of food you scrape into the trash, the better.

If you’re going to equip your kitchen with a garbage disposal — and we don’t blame you at all for doing so — you’re going to want a good one. InSinkErator is a premium manufacturer of garbage disposals, and the company has a wide range of models to choose from. In fact, there are so many great InSinkErator garbage disposals available, it can be difficult to choose one. Should you get one made of galvanized steel or stainless steel? Should you look for one with whisper-quiet technology, or would you be okay with a noisier machine?

Keep reading, and we’ll help clarify your choices so you can grind with the best of them.

Grease and oil are famously incompatible with garbage disposals and pipes in general. Avoid pouring these materials down the drain, as they can build up and clog your disposal over time.

Key considerations

Size

How much room do you have under your sink? Before you do anything else, get under the sink with a tape measure to determine how much space you’ve got. With precise measurements in hand, you can begin looking at the various models InSinkErator has to offer.

Installation

InSinkErator is good about making its disposals as easy to install as possible, but you should give serious consideration to whether or not you’re able to do it (or want to do it). If not, you’ll need to hire a plumber; don’t forget to factor in that extra cost as you choose your new garbage disposal.

High-end disposal with lots of power

The stainless steel InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposal comes with a powerful motor that drives a three-stage grinder. It can chew through the toughest foods you throw at it without breaking your eardrums. It is amazingly quiet with a proprietary SoundSeal Technology that reduces the noise to a fifth of what the average garbage disposal makes.

Features

Material

Galvanized steel is a key material in many garbage disposals. It is strong, heavy, and durable. It is an inescapable fact, however, that galvanized steel isn’t permanently immune from rust. Stainless steel grinding blades, on the other hand, will withstand rust and degradation quite well. Stainless steel is more expensive than galvanized steel, but a garbage disposal with stainless steel blades will experience fewer problems over the years.

Weight

Garbage disposals are made almost exclusively from metal. Weight ranges from a low of 13 pounds to a high of over 20 pounds. The weight of a garbage disposal can impact your ease of installation. Lying on your back while holding that weight over your head in a dark, cramped space — while trying to fasten it in place by the light of a flashlight — isn’t easy.

Once everything is connected, the weight will hang from the sink, and it shouldn’t be a problem. If you plan to install it yourself, though, weight will definitely be an issue. Keep that in mind when making your decision.

Grinder stages

Standard garbage disposals have one set of grinders in them, but advances in technology have yielded disposals with multiple sets of grinders. You can choose between one-stage, two-stage, and three-stage grinders. The price increases as you go up.

The advantages to a garbage disposal with multiple grinders is obvious: the more grinder stages there are, the finer the resulting particles. This lowers the chance of any kind of blockage developing from those particles. More grinder stages also mean more moving parts, with a concomitant increase in the risk of mechanical failure. After looking it over, though, we think it’s worth it. InSinkErator builds robust products that last, and its multi-stage grinders are a solid choice.

Electric cord

Pay close attention to the description on this score. Some garbage disposal packages come with an electrical cord and some don’t. If you’re replacing an old garbage disposal, look to see if it’s an InSinkErator model. If it is, you may be able to reuse the electrical cord from it and save yourself a little money on the price of the new one. If your old disposal is from a different manufacturer, you still might be able to reuse the existing cords, but it’s not worth taking a chance on it. Unless you know for sure, get an electrical cord with your new disposal.

Horsepower

In the late 18th century, a Scottish engineer by the name of James Watt coined the term horsepower (hp) and defined it as the amount of force required to lift 550 pounds at the rate of one foot per second. Considering that a medium-size upright piano weighs around 480 to 500 pounds, that’s a lot of power.

Most garbage disposals are in the 1/2 to 3/4 hp range. That should be more than enough for most of your needs. However, you can find some great InSinkErator garbage disposals that have as much as 1 hp.

Sound suppression

This is a biggie for a lot of people. Garbage disposals make a lot of noise. InSinkErator has gone out of its way to incorporate the latest sound-suppressing technology into their line of garbage disposals — particularly the higher-priced models, which are ultra-quiet. Even InSinkErator’s lower-priced models aren’t as noisy as garbage disposals from some other manufacturers.

Switch

Garbage disposals are usually controlled from a wall switch. Some, however, come with a sink top button that is sleek and modern-looking. You’d have to drill a hole in the countertop to install it, but you’d have the freedom to install it wherever is most convenient. It’s a nice option.

EXPERT TIP

Always pour a little soap down the disposal after putting eggshells in it. Eggshells have an unfortunate tendency to stick to the pipes if they’re not washed away.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Don’t pour caustic chemicals into the disposal when it’s running. The spinning blades could throw the chemicals up into your eyes, face, nose, or mouth.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

A great way to clean your garbage disposal is with a bowl of ice cubes and a cup of rock salt. Those natural abrasives will clean away the gunk inside the disposal.


Staff  | BestReviews

InSinkErator garbage disposal prices

Under $100 is the low range for garbage disposals from InSinkErator. These will be single-stage galvanized steel grinders with 1/3 to 1/2 hp motors. Some of them won’t have a power cord, so you’ll have to reuse the existing cord if there is one.

The medium price range for InSinkErator garbage disposals lies between $100 and $200. These disposals generally have a two-stage grinder and a 1/2 to 3/4 hp motor. They are larger and heavier with stainless steel grinders instead of galvanized steel grinders. They are also much quieter than lower-priced models.

Over $200 is the expensive range for InSinkErator disposals. Some models cost over $300. Typically, these are three-stage stainless steel grinders with 3/4 to 1 hp motors and full sound-suppression technology.

A good budget disposal

If you need to save money and don’t mind a little extra noise now and then, this is the garbage disposal for you. It has a one-stage grinder powered by a 3/4 hp motor. The grinder components are stainless steel, and the outside is black steel that has been treated to withstand rust. The installation is so quick and easy you can do it yourself, saving even more money.

Tips

  • It may sound counterintuitive, but don’t use hot water when running your garbage disposal. It melts the food your garbage disposal is trying to grind up. If it melts, the food will stick instead of washing away.
  • Your garbage disposal needs to run every few days even if you don’t have food scraps to put through it. Turn on the water and start the garbage disposal for a minute to keep it from corroding or freezing up.
  • After you’ve ground up some scraps, let the disposal and water keep running for a minute to ensure all pieces have been flushed away so there won’t be clogs.

Other products we considered

We like the InSinkErator Badger 1 model. It's especially good in apartments or small houses where there isn't much room under the sink. It has a patented Quick Lock sink mount for easy installation without having to call a plumber. The low price is a nice touch, too. Don't over-stress it with huge pieces, and it should work for you for years.

We also like the InSinkErator Essential XTR garbage disposal. It's large and powerful with a two-stage grinder that chews scraps into tiny pieces. It has a special sink baffle to reduce the noises coming from inside it, which makes it extra quiet. It comes with a SinkTop Switch that is sleek and modern.

Never put glass, metal, or plastic into a garbage disposal. You’ll dull the blades and probably create a jam.

FAQ

Q. What is the largest size of waste that should be put in the garbage disposal?
A.
It depends. Meat is tough, so don’t put anything larger than a cubic inch in it. Toast, on the other hand, is softer. You can safely put a whole piece of toast down the disposal.
 

Q. How should the disposal be cleaned?
A.
Use soap and cold water. Pour some dish detergent into the drain, turn on the water, and start the disposal. While the water is running, pour some more detergent into the drain. Do this about once a month.
 

Q. Will putting citrus fruit in the disposal help it smell better?
A.
Yes, especially if you use the peel from an orange or a lemon.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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