What are the main differences between the InSinkErator Badger 1 and Badger 5? Are there any major distinctions between these two garbage disposals?
Not surprisingly, the two units are extremely similar.
The primary difference is motor power, where the Badger 1 is weaker (1/3 HP) than the Badger 5 (1/2 HP).
Both are continuous feed with a wall switch that look identical to the naked eye. In simple terms, the Badger 5 is meant to handle a somewhat tougher and more rigorous load of waste than the Badger 1.
Here's our comparison of the main specs:
InSinkErator Badger 5
Over 10k Amazon Ratings
Horsepower Rating (HP)
InSinkerator Badger 1
About 2570 Amazon Ratings
Horsepower Rating (HP)
Motor Strength (HP rating)
As we've mentioned, the main difference here is the HP rating.
In the Badger 1, the lower HP rating takes it out of the running for handling particularly heavy payloads. We also wouldn't recommend things like fibrous veggies or fatty meats. Small bones are definitely out of the question.
Generally speaking, the Badger 1 is designed to handle smaller amounts of food at a time, perhaps for a small family or an apartment where there isn't a ton of cooking.
At 1/2 HP, the Badger 5 gives you some extra power that can handle moderate amounts of table scraps, though I still would recommend drawing the line at really fatty meats and chicken bones. Fruit pits would also be off limits.
In most other categories the two units are similar.
Each unit uses the same easy installation mechanism, and also have grinding components made of galvanized steel.
They're also both setup with a continuous feed system and can be wired in and turned on by a wall switch.
Ideal Buyer for both the Badger 1 and Badger 5
We'd recommend the Badger 1 for small kitchens, perhaps in a home or apartment with just one or two people where you don't do a ton of cooking. They're the smallest and least powerful of the Badger series, designed to save you some money, but also to handle the minimum of food waste loads.
It's also slightly quieter than the Badger 5.
The Badger 5 is better suited for moderate amounts of food waste and kitchens that serve more people, perhaps where cooking at home is more common.
Read more: Best garbage disposals overall
Concluding our InSinkErator Badger 1 VS 5 Comparison
At the end of our comparison, it's clear that the smaller motor in the Badger 1 has some significant implications.
It reduces noise slightly, but also means you're expecting a smaller, less stressful workload.
If you're comparing the two, make your decision based on how much food waste you intend to throw at the unit. If it's a lot, go with the Badger 5 with the more powerful motor. Otherwise, if you're just trying to handle the bare minimum, the Badger 1 will do the job.
For questions about the Badger 5 and Badger 1, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and we'll see you there.
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AUTHOR: Ryan is a DIYer, homeowner, and general fan of a clean, good-smelling kitchen.