How to Buy a Garbage Disposal

There are many reasons for buying a garbage disposal. Many people buy them to help keep their kitchen cleaner and to reduce the amount of trash bound for landfills.

When shopping for a disposal, it is interesting to know that there are basically only four manufacturers who make virtually all of the garbage disposals -- and In-Sink-Erator has over 75% market share under several brand names.

Shown above, KitchenAid disposal (left) and Viking disposal (right)


  • Continuous Feed - Easy to use, just push waste down. May be more dangerous in households with children. Bones can fly out if you don’t use the stopper when turning on.
  • Batch Feed - Must load with waste before turning on. Then turn down stopper to start the motor.
  • Septic System Models - Some models have special cartridges that release a chemical to help break down food waste. The cartridges must be change every 3-6 months. These are only required for homes with septic systems that are near their waste capacity.


  • Horsepower - 1/3 can handle soft wastes such as vegetables. If you plan to be a heavy user / or put in more difficult foods such as chicken bones, consider a ¾ or 1 hp.
  • Fineness - Different unit provide different chopping levels of waste.
  • Auto-Reverse Mode - reverses chopping blades to clear waste jams
  • Warrantee Time - typically range from 1 to 10 years.
  • Warrantee Coverage - some cover parts and in-home labor, some just parts..

How to Choose

The right model of disposal depends upon what type of user you will be:

  • If you are a light user of sink disposal, almost any brand will do. Compare prices and warrantees
  • If you are a heavy user, consider a unit with a larger horse power and an auto-reverse feature
  • If noise-level is a concern, you may want to consider the Viking model.

Whichever type of user you are, be sure to read and understand the warrantee before making your purchase