October 14, 2022

5 Best 1/2 HP Garbage Disposal Options (our top picks)

Article updated by Molly on October 14th, 2022 / Updated the compare table and added live product pricing for each 1/2 HP garbage disposal. Made small changes to the wording of the article and format.

Garbage disposals are something most households would benefit from.

They reduce the waste you put into your garbage so there is an environmental benefit to them. They also make it much easier to keep your kitchen clean while cooking and cleaning up after dinner. But choosing the right garbage disposal can be quite a process.

There are several factors you want to look at when choosing a new garbage disposal. The first is the power of the garbage disposal. 1/2 horsepower garbage disposals are suitable for medium-sized households and will grind most food waste.

You also want to look at the material used to produce the grinding chamber. Because the grinding chamber is exposed to food waste and water, you need to ensure that the material used in this chamber will last a long time without rusting or wearing down.

Most people do not want to go to great lengths to install a garbage disposal, so looking for one with an easy, do-it-at-home installation process might be better for you than one that requires a professional to install.

Finally, the noise level of the garbage disposal is a factor for many people. A loud garbage disposal in a house with young children may not be ideal, so finding a garbage disposal with a sound-deadening feature is a good idea.

Let's look at the five best 1/2 HP garbage disposal options available to make this decision a bit easier.

We'll list our top five picks, then cover the rest in more detail.

Best 1/2 HP Garbage Disposals

SINK

Name

HP Rating

Shop

InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP

InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP

1/2

Waste King L-1001

Waste King L-1001

1/2

Waste King L-2600

Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP L-2600

1/2

Moen GX50C Garbage Disposal

Moen GX50C 1/2 HP

1/2

1. InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP

InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP

Effectiveness

The InSinkErator is among the 5 best 1/2 hp garbage disposal options because it is effective, and a market favorite. While the unit has a 1/2 horsepower motor, it can get the job done fairly well.

Everyday food scraps will be broken down easily without jamming.

The unit has a continuous feed loop, meaning you can leave it running while dumping food, thus reducing the chances of it jamming due to a sudden excess of waste in the grinding chamber.

Durability and Materials

This unit is made with galvanized steel grinding components. Galvanized steel is resistant to rust, meaning the unit will be able to stand up against exposure to food scraps and water without wear or corrosion. 

Budget

The price tag of the Badger 5 is really good value. Hovering around $100, it's right around the middle of typical retail for a 1/2 HP disposal. Check our price guide below for an updated price.

Ease of installation

The InSinkErator is fairly easy to install without needing professional help. It's a hard-wired garbage disposal, and the kit comes with instructions to assemble the unit at home.

Noise

The InSinkErator Badger 5 has been produced using SoundShield sound deadening insulation making it more quiet than cheaper disposals and other brands. This is ideal for a family looking for a strong garbage disposal without making too much noise when used.

Live Pricing (updated in Real time)

Pros

  • Great value for money. The price tag is fair, if not expected.
  • Galvanized steel components. Resistant to rust, essentially zero maintenance required.
  • 30-day return policy. If you have any issues with installation, you can contact the company at any time with their responsive customer service, and a 30-day return policy if this unit just is not for you

Cons

  • Requires hardwiring – although you can install the Badger 5 yourself, you will need to follow the instructions in order to do so correctly. Plug-in setups are far easier.

2. Waste King L-1001 Disposal, 1/2 HP

Waste King L-1001

Effectiveness

The L-1001 is among the best 1/2 HP garbage disposal options because it is very lightweight and affordable for most households. It can also save space in the cabinets below your sink because of the smaller size which.

There's also a manual reset button which will allow you to shut the disposal off in the rare case of an overload or a jam.

Smaller disposals like this one will be more susceptible to jamming.

The reset button is a good way to easily mitigate that.

Durability and Materials

The grinding chamber components are made with corrosion-resistant materials, ensuring it will last a long time before any wear and tear becomes an issue. The materials used to produce this unit are galvanized steel with a finish of stainless steel which is also rust and corrosion-resistant.

Budget

It's priced low, thereby suitable for anyone looking for a decent 1/2 HP garbage disposal on a tighter budget. The unit comes with a 2-year limited warranty meaning if you have an issue at any point that you cannot fixed, the company will help you directly to find a solution.

Ease of installation

The Waste King comes with an EZ Mount system (patented by Waste King) to make installation easy and something anyone can do without requiring professional help. It also comes with a removable splashguard for easy cleaning as an additional benefit.

The unit comes with a pre-installed power cord, meaning there is no professional electrical work required.

Noise

Smaller also means quieter, making it ideal for homes with children or just regular use without the noise irritating you.

Live Pricing (updated in real time)

Pros

  • Pre-installed power cord – no hard-wiring required for installation
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Small form saves you space
  • Inviting price tag

Cons

  • The stopper may not hold water at times – the drain pipe can be too short for some sinks, but a dishwasher drain can be attached for easier use

3. Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP L-2600

Waste King L-2600

Effectiveness

This unit has a high-speed motor with 2600 rpm, which will ensure that everyday food scraps can be ground down quickly with minimal chances of jamming. Like the others it has a continuous feed that allows it to run until you flip the switch.

Again, the makes it less likely to jam and easier to clean. The alternative is a button system, which you have to hold down to run instead of flipping a switch.

Though some people prefer that (or both) setups.

Read more: Best Push-Button Garbage Disposals

Durability and Materials

This unit is lightweight and compact, making for easy installation without taking up too much space below your sink.

It's not as small as the 1001, but still very manageable. 

The grinding components are made of stainless steel with a corrosion proof polymer finish, which - once again - will prevent corrosion.

Budget

The price reflects the quality and features and is a fair landing spot considering similar units. As additional value added, the 2600 comes with a 5-year limited in-home warranty, which means any problems can be fixed on-site free of charge.

Ease of installation

This unit is easy to install by yourself without the need for professional electrical assistance.

For mounting, the Waste King Legend series disposals come with an EZ Mount system, making it easy for you to install by yourself. It also comes with a removable splashguard to ensure quick and easy cleaning.

This unit can quickly be connected to a dishwasher, making it easier to dispose of the broken down food scraps.

Noise

The 2600 is on the quiet side, which allows you to use it at all hours of the day without waking up the entire household.

Live Pricing (updated in real time)

Pros

  • 5-year limited warranty with in-home assistance
  • Easy installation on the electrical, mounting, and plumbing front

Cons

  • None for the price

4. Moen GX50C 1/2 HP Garbage Disposal

Moen GX50C Garbage Disposal

Effectiveness

This garbage disposal has a 2600 RPM VORTEX motor, which help give you a lot more mileage its half horsepower rating. The extra speed means it can break down food scraps a lot quicker making for less chance of jamming and an easier flush-out process.

Durability and Materials

This garbage disposal is produced using corrosion-proof polymer, which we see in some of the Waste King disposals. Same deal here.

Budget

Moen typically runs a little cheaper than Waste King, and definitely cheaper than InSinkErator, so it's good value for what you pay. It's sort of the next brand up after the big two, so we like to give them a look when Waste King and InSinkErators tend to dominate lists. Moen also provides a five-year warranty for this model.

Ease of installation

This unit is easy to install at home. The dimensions of the unit (9.69 x 9.39 x 14.88 inches) allow there to be extra space in your cabinets below your sink. Again, it's not as small as the L-1001, but it's still fairly compact.

Noise

Again we have the SoundSHIELD sound-deadening insulation, which helps keep things quiet. It's still on the noisy side, but it's hard to mitigate all noise in a garbage disposal.

Live Pricing (updated in real time)

Pros

  • Anti-corrosion materials mean years of use before wear-and-tear becomes an issue
  • SoundSHIELD technology ensures low noise levels

Cons

  • No hex hole which makes it difficult to unjam

5. Frigidaire FF05DISPC1 Garbage Disposal, 1/2 HP

Frigidaire FF05DISPC1

Effectiveness

In another break from conventional brands, this Frigidaire disposal comes with a powerful torque grinding system, allowing everyday food scraps and tougher scraps to be broken down easily.

Jamming is prevented with a lot of motor speed and cutting power. 

Even this small-form unit is 2600 RPM.

Durability and Materials

Again the steel components handle all the work. Coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and even small meat scraps are all easily broken down.

Budget

Like the L-1001 it's a smaller design, which reduces costs. It's surprising the motor is so fast, but either way we're pretty happy with the value. 

Ease of installation

The slim and compact design takes up very little space in the cabinets below your sink.

It's corded without any hard wiring, which is a plus.

Noise

There's a partial sound shell while other Frigidaire models (some of the more expensive ones), use a full sound shell. So the small size alone helps keep noise down, but we wouldn't say it's much quieter than the others in this list.

Live Pricing (updated in real time)

Pros

  • Small size is a plus
  • Always love the price points of these slim units
  • Grinding system balances speed and force to prevent jamming

Cons

  • Why only a "partial" sound shell?

Conclusion

I hope you’ve managed to narrow down what you are looking for in a new garbage disposal.

After settling on the 1/2 HP feature, you now have some additional factors to help narrow it down. 

There's no one perfect unit for everyone, so make sure and consider all of this in your context.

How big is your family? How often do you cook? How big is your kitchen?

Keep all this in mind as you shop, and leave questions in the comments section below.

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