August 21, 2019

5 Best Garbage Disposals for Farmhouse Sinks

Garbage Disposal Lineup (side view - small)

There isn't really a de-facto feature that would indicate the best garbage disposal for a farmhouse sink. All the best farmhouse sinks can fit a typical drain size, which most garbage disposals are designed to take the place of. In other words, a garbage disposal doesn't fit "in" your drain, but essentially becomes your drain. 

However, there are some indirect features to consider if you're buying a garbage disposal for an existing farmhouse sink or perhaps a new apron sink installation.

For example, apron sinks - especially those made out of fireclay - are often quite heavy.

This means I would recommend going with a lighter garbage disposal, just to avoid added stress on the sink and the framing supporting it. Additionally, I would recommend a quieter garbage disposal since farmhouse sinks are generally not installed in an industrial context. Nice kitchens are more enjoyable when they operate quietly, and you can get garbage disposals that will cooperate.

Lastly, we'll just try to get a unit that is powerful and provides a high value for what you pay. 

We'll get started with a table of contents and then our recommendations:

Best Garbage Disposal for Farmhouse Sinks: Top Picks

Disposal

HP

RPM

STAGES

Quiet?

InSinkErator Badger 5

InSinkerator Badger 5

1/2

??

1

No

InSinkerator 3-Stage Grinder

InSinkerator Evolution Excel

1

1725

3

Yes

Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal

Waste King L-8000

1

2800

1

Somewhat

Waste King L-1001

1/2

2600

1

Somewhat

Waste King Knight

Waste King Knight

1

2800

1

Yes

It's hard to get a garbage disposal that is all three of light, quiet, and powerful. In fact, when putting this list together, we had to prioritize one at a time. For example, the Badger is light but not quiet, while the Evolution Excel is quiet but heavier. In most cases, the weight distinction won't be a major issue for your unless your farmhouse sink wasn't installed properly. We'll go through all three garbage disposals in a little more detail to see which one would be most ideal for your situation.

1. Waste King L-8000

Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal

The L-8000 is one of Waste King's most popular units, boasting a fast 2800 RPM motor and 1 HP, strong enough to tackle heavier food waste. It's also sound insulated so it runs quieter than something like the Badger 5, all while being one of the lightest on our list at less than 12 pounds. Retailing around $130 makes it a happy medium between the high-end Excel and the economy Badger 5. 

While it's not as quiet as the Evolution series, it's going to run a lot smoother and make a lot less noise than your average unit. You won't jump when you turn it on.

We'd say this is your best garbage disposal for farmhouse sinks because it's light, quiet, and still really strong. In most situations, it's your best bet, though especially if you're in a house where you cook a lot or with more than four people.

Pros

  • Powerful, high speed motor
  • Sound insulated for quieter operation
  • Very light
  • Good balance of price and quality

Cons

  • None for the price

2. Insinkerator Badger 5

InSinkErator Badger 5

The Badger 5 by InSinkErator is light, weighing a little less than 14 pounds, and has an attractive price point which could be helpful for those that have already spent a bunch of money on their farmhouse sink.  It's a fairly standard model at 1/2 HP and one grinding stage that operates with continuous feed.

Here's what the top flange would look like when placed inside your farmhouse sink's sinkhole. 

InSinkErator Badger 5 Top Shot

A quick list of all notable features would included the following:

  • Low price point
  • Easy to install
  • Single grinding stage
  • 1/2 HP
  • Continuous feed
  • Grinders made of galvanized steel
Badger Series

The Badger 1 and 5 garbage disposals. 

This model gives you the size we're looking for, though it is going to be a bit noisier than the nicer Evolution and Excel models. It's also not recommended for really tough food scraps like chicken bones, tough meat, or extremely fibrous vegetables. This makes it a better options for smaller households and when you're installing a farmhouse sink in a more lightly used kitchen.

Pros

  • Weight and size are ideal for farmhouse sink installs
  • Extremely easy to install
  • Great price point
  • Popular model

Cons

  • Not ideal for super heavy waste
  • Not the quietest option

3. Insinkerator Evolution Excel

The Evolution Excel is one of the nicest InSinkErator models and crosses off most of our farmhouse-friendly check boxes. First, it's extremely quiet with several noise-reduction mechanisms including SoundSeal technology, though still operates in continuous feed. Second, it's quite strong with a 1 HP motor and three grinding stages. This means it can handle heavier waste, like chicken bones and fatty meats.

SoundSeal Logo

It even has a jam sensor that reverses the grinder automatically if something gets stuck. The only two downsides of this model would be the weight (around 23 pounds) and the price tag. However, when it comes to garbage disposals you pay a lot for quieter and more powerful units.

This one checks off both those boxes and if that's what you're trying to get, I wouldn't let the weight issue be a major detractor. Just check with your contractor to make sure the framing can bear the weight of the sink and the disposal unit. That would be a good best practice for all these, including the lighter models.

Pros

  • One of the quietest models available
  • 3 grinding stages
  • 1 HP gives it some muscle 
  • Auto reverse jam sensor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavier than the other models

4. Waste King L-1001

This is one of the smallest Waste King models in the L series, hovering around just seven pounds. It's also not as wide, which means you'll save some space if you have a deep sink. At 1/2 HP and 2600 RPM, it's not the most powerful option, but it could certainly handle basic food scraps if you avoid bones, fruit pits, and fatty meats. We'd recommend this one for smaller homes where you have a deeper farmhouse sink but perhaps don't cook as much. 

Waste King models are also considered safe to use with septic systems and all come with some measure of sound insulation.

Pros

  • One of the smallest options
  • Only about seven pounds
  • Great price point
  • Noise isolating material around motor

Cons

  • Not super powerful
  • Still not as quiet as the Evolution series

5. Waste King Knight (A1SPC)

Waste King Knight

The A1SPC is an attractive option largely because of the warranty which is good for lifetime in-home repairs and replacements. This is partly because it's a heavier duty disposal around 15 pounds and more powerful than most in the Waste King L series.

For farmhouse sinks in a heavily used kitchen where there's a lot of cooking, the Knight is a great pick for those that want something for the long haul, perhaps in a home where you don't plan to move.

It's easy to install, septic tank friendly and comes with its own power cord. 

Pros

  • Strong unit
  • Lifetime in-home warranty from manufacturer
  • Can handle heavier food waste
  • Low noise

Cons

  • Heavy
  • More expensive than the L series

Garbage Disposal Features for a Farmhouse or Deep Sink

To get a garbage disposal that's ideal for a farmhouse sink, you could also say you're just trying to accommodate a deep sink. In addition to what we've already mentioned, you'll want to consider the dimensions of the garbage disposal since a deep sink would imply that space could be limited inside your cabinet.

In most cases, getting the disposal to fit won't be a problem, but it might just take up a little more space than you'd like. If you want to conserve space underneath your farmhouse sink, take a look at the dimensions of the disposal and go with something smaller.

The trade off is that small garbage disposals are often less powerful.

Of the three recommendations above, the L-8000 is again the best balance of price, size, and power.

Buyers should also look at the warranties provided by each manufacturer. It's not uncommon for these units to come with lengthy warranties, even up to 20 years or for life. This is true of the Waste King L-8000 and Knight. And when they say "limited" warranty, this just means it only counts if you've purchased the product new. Used or secondhand purchases void the warranty.

Other Ways to Conserve Space with a Deep Sink

The garbage disposal isn't the only thing you can do to conserve space when installing a deep sink or a larger farmhouse sink. Here are a few additional suggestions:

Get a Sink with Only One Drain

A lot of sinks (apron or not) come as a double unit with two bins and two drains. Having two drains in a larger sink means you're sacrificing more space in the cabinet by requiring more plumbing and usually doesn't look as nice (in my opinion). In addition to getting a lighter garbage disposal, go with a farmhouse sink that has only one drain and one large basin.

De-Clutter the Cabinet Below Your SInk

The cabinet below our farmhouse sink tends to get really cluttered, making it seem like there's less space. A simple way to save space, especially with a garbage disposal attached, is to make sure that area is free from clutter and storing only critical items for that part of the kitchen (soap, garbage bags, etc.).

Tips On Using a Garbage Disposal with a Farmhouse Sink

Once you have your deep farmhouse sink and your garbage disposal of choice, what are the best practices for using the two together? Here are a few to start with.

Clean Your Disposal Regularly

A simple best practice is to clean your garbage disposal on a regular basis. This will ensure that it's properly disposing of waste and not building up gunk which can potentially create a really bad smell. While there are a number of different ways to clean a garbage disposal, the simplest method is to run a few ice cubes and lemon slices through the unit. Do this every few days and it should stay pretty clean.

Always Run Water when Using the Disposal

Some farmhouse sinks are flat, which makes it harder for water to run into the drain. If that's the case with your setup, take care to run water directly into the sinkhole when running your garbage disposal. This will prevent shaking and vibrating that could damage the sink.

Avoid Grinding Heavy Food Waste

Even the high-powered garbage disposals like the Evolution Excel shouldn't be relied on to grind things like beef bones and fruit pits. Especially if you're throwing it all in a nice, fireclay farmhouse sink, you run the risk of damaging either the disposal unit itself or the sink material. For 1 HP grinders I wouldn't recommend anything harder or heavier than a few chicken bones. Even then, I'd put bones of any kind directly in the trash.

How does a garbage disposal connect to a farmhouse sink?

Most garbage disposals will connect to nearly any sink, and are fitted directly into the sinkhole, effectively replacing any existing drain hardware. The same is true of farmhouse sinks, since their sink holes are cut exactly the same. Consult the manufacturers documentation for the proper method of connecting your garbage disposal. The type of sink isn't likely to have any impact on that method.

Conclusion

Of all that we've listed, based on pricing and quality, we'd probably recommend the Waste King L-8000 as one of the best garbage disposals for farmhouse sinks. It's strong enough to handle a fair amount of food waste, yet also light, quiet, and affordable. You should also consider that it just depends on what feature you want to prioritize. If it's weight, go with the L-1001. If it's noise, the Evolution Excel would be your best option. The L-8000 is just the best balance of all the features we're wanting. As always, be sure to consult with your licensed contractor if you aren't sure about something or if you have additional questions.

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