Updated: June 8, 2015
Does Insinkerator make the Best Garbage Disposal?Review of the top Insinkerator Garbage Disposals - what to look for for your kitchen..
There is a lot to be said for under the sink garbage disposal (also called food waste disposers). It creates a lot less work for the home owner, for one thing. Instead of being thrown into a plastic bag or garbage can under the sink, food waste such as coffee grinds, fruit peels and even bones can be liquefied and put right into the sewer system (some things NOT to put in your garbage disposal? potato peelings, artichokes, grease, celery, silverware!) . That means you'll find yourself taking the garbage to the curb far less frequently. Liquefying your garbage also means you'll have less smell and insects coming in during the warmer months. And of course putting your garbage into a disposal also cuts down on environmental damage in the form of landfill usage and greenhouses gases. But which garbage disposal units work best? We're going to take a look at the Insinkerator line of garbage disposals. Insinkerator has been around for almost 90 years now. Although they have a full line of kitchen tools, they started out in garbage disposals only. As you might guess, this longevity makes them experts in the field.
Installing an Insinkerator Garbage Disposal - Insinkerator Badger
Over the decades, Insinkerator has developed several different garbage disposal products. There are two main lines sold today, the Insinkerator Badger line and the Insinkerator Evolution line, with the Evolution line being the most recently developed. We'll start with the Badger line though, which only contains three different Insinkerator garbage disposal models. On the whole, the Badger garbage disposals are smaller than the Evolution models in either horse power (which indicated grinding speed and therefore efficiency), chamber size (how much liquefied waste can be held in the disposal at a time before draining), or both. The smallest of any of the Insinkerator garbage disposal units is the Badger 1. It has a motor of only 1/3 horsepower. Like the other Badger disposals, the Badger 1 includes a 26 oz chamber. It's also the smallest in terms of dimensions, weighing 13 pounds and at a height of 11 3/8". The Badger 1 is also the least expensive of the company's models, costing anywhere from $70-$150. Next up is the Badger 5. Like the Badger 1 and the Badger XP, the Insinkerator Badger 5 has a 26 oz chamber. It is slightly bigger than the 1 however, weighing 14 pounds and standing at 12 5/8 inches. It also has more grinding power, as the motor runs at 1/2 HP. The biggest model in Insinkerator's Badger line is the Badger XP. It runs at a standard 3/4 HP, which is the same horsepower as the more evolved Insinkerator Evolution line. It also weighs in at a hefty 15 lbs. Standard warranties for the Badger series is 3 years.
Insinkerator Evolution Series Garbage Disposers - Upgrade Your KitchenNow we turn to the aptly named Evolution series. The Insinkerator Evolution lines are probably one of the best things to happen to garbage disposals in years, and that's backed by countless customer reviews. While there are few complaints about the Badger line on sites such as pricegrabber.com, the amount of noise it generates does seem to be on recurring one. The Evolution line has taken care of this problem through its patented SoundSeal plus technology. The equipment includes sound limiter insulation, Quiet Collar, a sink baffle, and anti-vibration mounts and tailpipes, all of which serve to deaden the sound.
The most popular Insinkerator garbage disposal by far is the InSinkErator Evolution Excel. As with all the garbage disposals in the Evolution line, the Excel has a longer warranty (in fact, the longest of any of the Insinkerator products) at 7 years. It is also the strongest model in the family, running at a full horsepower. Also in common with the other models in the Insinkerator Evolution line is the 40 oz chamber, which adds up to a very large capacity indeed. This is the most expensive of the Insinkerator garbage disposals, and will cost anywhere from $350 to $500 depending on where you buy it. The Evolution line also includes the Essential. The biggest difference between the Insinkerator Essential and the Excel is the horsepower; like the other models in the series the Essential operates at 3/4 horsepower, the same as the Badger XP. The Essential also has a more limited warranty, at six years. The Evolution Compact by Insinkerator is a smaller model of the Excel. It has only a 34.6 chamber, departing from the other models in the line, and is smaller both in height and weight as well. It still has the same power, but is obviously designed to fit in smaller under-sink cabinets. The Insinkerator Evolution Cover Control garbage disposal is the only batch fed model in the entire line. Batch fed means operated by a stopper placed in the unit rather than from a switch on the wall. These are great for people who have worries about items being caught in the garbage dispenser or about it being left unattended (although to be honest, those stories are almost all the stuff of myth). Finally, the Evolution Septic Assist has been designed for home owners who operate off of a septic system.
You can check out a video of the Insinkerator Evolution Excel in action here - watch it chow down on chicken bones, carrots, and other goodies -- you can hear the difference.
Reviews of the Insinkerator Garbage Disposal Models
As mentioned earlier, almost all of the reviews on all the models of Insinkerator garbage disposals are positive. Sites including Faucet Depot and Home Check give top reviews almost across the board. From Epinions, the powerful 3/4HP motor on the Insinkerator Evolution was a highlight, along with the SoundLimiter insulation to keep it quiet, and the larger 34 ounce chamber. The only real complaint we came across was for the Badger models, which can be quite noisy. However, the sound technology on the Evolution lines seems to have taken care of this problem. And the Evolution gets 4.5 out of 5 from dozens of different Amazon home customers. This is really a pretty easy choice - go with the Insinkerator Evolution line and skip the Badger. The cost of one repair call over the next few years will make up the price difference, and you get a quiter garbage disposal to boot.