Waste King vs. InSinkErator Garbage Disposals
Two of the best-known manufacturers for garbage waste disposals are InSinkErator and Waste King. If you are thinking about buying a garbage disposal for the first time or would like to replace your current one, you may want to know how the disposal from these two manufacturers differ from one another.
Best Sellers: Best Garbage Disposals at Amazon
Comparison between Waste King and InSinkErator
We compared the most important features of garbage disposals. Keep in mind that this comparison is based on garbage disposals for home use.
Winner: Waste King
Let’s begin with the most important part of a garbage disposal, the motor. Both Waste King and InSinkErator use high speed electrical motors to grind up kitchen food waste. But the two manufacturers use different types of motors inside their disposers. Waste King uses a permanent magnets (PM) motor which uses magnets in and on the motor’s rotor.
This produces a consistent and instantaneous motor flux (rotation) instead of requiring a stator field to produce a constant flux through a physical connection to the rotor, as is the case in the slower induction motors used by InSinkErator. (For more technical information see this link). On average a Waste King garbage disposal reaches a RPM of 2,500 while an InSinkErator disposer only reaches a maximum of 1725 RPM, which is 30% less than the Waste King. Though InSinkErator offers some models with multiple grinding stages to make up for this disadvantage. These stages make sure that the food scraps are grinded up into small particles before it is flushed away.
Permanent magnets motors offer instant power when turned on so they jam less often in comparison to induction motors.
What this comes down to is that permanent magnet motors reach their maximum speed (RPM) immediately when turned on, while inductions motors take a few seconds to speed up. Overall, PM motors are smaller and lighter than induction motors and are considered to be more efficient and trustworthy too because they tend to jam less often. So, when it comes to the motor of a garbage disposal unit, most people would agree that Waste King takes the lead.
2. Material and Build Quality
Even though the motor is arguably the most important criteria to consider in the buying decision, it is not the only criteria that could entail a deal breaker. The build quality of your future garbage disposal for example is another criterion that needs to be considered.
Metal and plastic
Both Waste King and InSinkErator offer durable garbage disposals but one is more durable than the other. Although both brands have steel turntables and impeller in their disposals, InSinkErator’s chambers are also made of steel, while Waste King’s chambers are made of corrosion proof polymers. As for the exterior shell both brands use plastic. However, it appears as though InSinkErator’s nonbudget disposals have a shell made of more durable and high-end plastic, compared to InSinkErator’s badger line and all of Waste King’s disposals.
The mounting flange is where the difference is
The mounting flange is an important part of the food scrap disposer where we spotted a difference between the two brands. Waste King uses plastic mounts in their ‘Legend series’ and metal mounts for the ‘Legend 9000 series’. The more budget-friendly ‘Legend series’ comes with the EZ mount, such as the popular Waste King L-8000, while the ‘Legend 9000 series’ comes with the 3-bolt mounting system.
When we look at InSinkErator we see that this brand only offers garbage disposals with a stainless steel mounting flange, which is far more durable than a plastic mount.
Waste King’s sacrifice for price
Waste King offer a wide range of sizes with their garbage disposals and you can easily find really small and light disposals for small kitchen cabinets. But you can also find larger and more bulky disposals when more power is needed. However, all their disposers produce considerably more noise while turned on in comparison with the more quiet InSinkErators.
Why is that?
One of the reasons is their standard modern EZ mount, which is used for the more budget-friendly Waste King disposers. This mount flange is made of plastic and is supposed to be quick and easy to install for customers.
However, the softer plastic material allows for more vibrations, thus noise, during use compared to mounts that are made of metals, like stainless steel. Nevertheless, Waste King claims to be taking steps to decrease the noise level of their machines without having to sacrifice their lower prices. One of the adjustments Waste King has made to their newer disposers is the installation of a foam layer between the shell and the grinding chamber to reduce noise. But this insulation is still less effective than the sound insulation of InSinkErator.
Another adjustment, or option they have provided is that for a small extra cost Waste King offers their customers an old school 3-bolt mount which is made out of metal and minimizes the vibrations created during use at the cost of a more hands on installation process.
InSinkErator’s smart investment
Contrastingly, InSinkErator’s more durable build quality makes the disposal larger and heavier. But this has allowed InSinkErator to use its signature ‘SoundSeal technology’ which significantly decreases the noise level of their machines during use in the kitchen. Moreover, InSinkErator garbage disposals have a metal ‘QuickLock Sink Mount‘ for a quick installation and replacement of their garbage disposals. In summary, InSinkErator provides garbage disposals that are made of higher quality material in comparison to Waste King. However, this unavoidably also results in a higher pricing for the InSinkErator garbage disposals.
Video about the sound seal technology for InSinkErator disposers:
Winner: Waste King
While the motor and build quality can say a lot about the durability of a garbage disposal, all this doesn’t matter if the disposal is utterly overpriced. This is not the case with Waste King or InSinkErator, but there is a clear difference in price.
We found that Waste King offers garbage disposals for a lower price. Which means a lower price for the same of more horse power in comparison to InSinkErator. But you do need to compromise on the build quality of your disposal, which you don’t need to do with InSinkErator.
Different classes of food disposers
Both Waste King and InSinkErator try their best to provide garbage disposals that suit their customer’s needs and budget. While Waste King generally offers budget-friendly disposers, especially with their EZ-mount, InSinkErator has also made an attempt to sell cheaper priced, but also lower quality, disposals with the Badger series.
Even though Waste King’s prices may seem difficult to compete with, InSinkErator did make an attempt at it with their budget Badger line. This budget friendly InSinkErator has a plastic shell much like Waste King’s and doesn’t feature their ‘SoundSeel technology‘, while its motor still does not compete the permanent magnet motor that Waste King uses in their disposals. As a result of this, it appears logical to conclude that Waste King scores the point in the price department.
Winner: It’s a tie
The warranty may also be a criterion you want to consider before purchasing your disposal, especially if you are unsure about the quality of the disposal you want to buy. The warranty lengths vary quite a bit for the two brand and therefore we would consider this round a tie. Generally speaking, what you pay is what you get, meaning if you are willing to invest more you will get better quality disposer with a longer product warranty.
More power usually equals longer warranty
Additionally, garbage disposal units with more horse power (HP) tend to have longer warranties. For example, InSinkErator’s budget badger line only has a 2-year warranty while their other more expensive product lines provide between 4 and 7 years of warranty. Likewise, Waste King has given their 1/3 and 1/2 HP models only 2 years of warranty, but their 1 HP model has a limited lifetime warranty. A limited warranty means that only a limited number of problems fall under the warranty. For example, damage from incorrect installation are not included in the limited life time warranty from Waste King. For more information here is a clarification document from Waste King.
Winner: Waste King
A few garbage disposals also offer optional accessories which can be very convenient to use. While Waste Kings are considered to be a basic and cost saving disposal, they do have the option of the 3-bolt mount that was mentioned earlier and they come with a power cord pre-attached by default, unlike most InSinkErator disposals. When you buy an InSinkErator it is recommended to check if a power cord is included in the packaging, otherwise you need to buy it separately.
However, InSinkErators does have the option of a convenient SinkTop switch button, similar to the Air Switch button from Moen that Waste King sells on their website. On this topic we would choose Waste King as the winner for their included cord and optional mount upgrade. Especially the preinstalled power cord is convenient for people who are looking for an easy and fast installation process.
If you are interested in seeing more accessory options for garbage disposals, we also have blog post on popular garbage disposal accessories.
Winner: 3:1 for Waste King
- Superior permanent magnet motor
- Lower average prices
- Longer average warranty
- Power cord included
- Smaller and lighter
- Air Switch & 3-bolt mount option
- Metal exterior
- Quiet (‘SoundSeal technology’)
- Optional SinkTop switch
- Manufactured in USA
- More use of plastic
- Inferior induction motor
- Larger unit
- No power cord included
- Shorter average warranty
- Higher average prices
- Heavy weight
What do consumers say?
Common consumer complaints
While from a factual perspective Waste Kings’ garbage disposals take the lead. From a consumer perspective the better build quality of InSinkErator disposals also deserves heavier weighing. This becomes apparent in consumer reviews, complaints, and problems which are useful to sift through before proceeding with your purchase. From these consumer contributions we point out a few common issues that Waste King and InSinkErator both have.
These issues include that disposers have a tendency to smell bad if they aren’t cleaned frequently, especially in Waste King disposers some customers mentioned an iessue with mold in the rubber rings.
Additionally, for both brands consumers reported clogs and jams that happened frequently or were not easily fixed. Furthermore consumers voiced their disappointment with the limited range of problems covered by the warranty of InSinkErator and Waste King after they received a defective or short-lived device or were delivered missing/defective parts.
Moreover, problems with the installation seemed to be a common complication due to “poor manuals” from Waste King and InSinkErator’s Quick Lock technology which appears to be less quick and easy than intended.
Finally people noticed that the EZ-mount isn’t very durable, because of its plastic build.
One additional issue that became apparent is that in rare cases disposers from both brands can have leaks which can damage your kitchen cupboard/cabinet, your wooden floors or worse. The cause of these leaks can be damaged material or poor installation in which case the entire disposer could come loose. In an InSinkErator disposer this damage tends to be on the inside of the machine and the motor, while Waste King disposers more commonly have a damaged exterior shell or the grinding chamber.
Overall, both manufacturers have consumer reviews on Amazon that describe all of the above-mentioned issues. While InSinkErator in rare cases have internal problems with the lesser motor causing the disposal to break or get jammed, Waste King appears to have more problems with the exterior due to the less durable material causing problems such as cracks in its plastic shell which a cause the second problem, leaks. Even though this part of the blog focused on flaws of the two garbage disposals manufacturers the positive consumer reviews and comments definitely outweigh the negative ones.
The overall impression is that consumers are very satisfied with their household food waste disposals, but what about the commercial and industrial level disposals that both brands have developed?
Waste King vs. InSinkErator on a commercial level
Heavy-duty build quality
Both Waste King and InSinkErator have developed garbage disposal units for commercial and industrial use. It is safe to say that these professional devices are built to be more robust and durable than your average household disposal. These disposals from both brands have between 2 to 5 times more power than your strongest household disposer and have a body made entirely of stainless steel and metal, which is necessary for heavy-duty food waste grinding. However, if the machines are used incorrectly or without care, maintenance, or cleaning, problems such as leaks, clogging, or jamming can still occur.
More about Waste King
Waste King was founded in the 1970s and have specialized in making garbage disposals for personal and commercial/industrial use, but also hot water faucets. They are known for their budget and compact products, as well as their permanent magnet motor, EZ mounts and 3-bolt mounts. One of their younger sub brands is Whirlaway who also sells garbage disposals and accessories for personal use. All-in-all Waste King has built a reputation for a high quality disposal motor while being able to keep the product compact and low cost.
More about InSinkErator
InSinkErator originated in Wisconsin and is a part of the biggest manufacture of garbage disposals called Emerson, who produce disposals for personal and commercial/industrial use, in addition to instant hot water taps. InSinkErator is also the inventors of the first garbage disposal in 1927. Since the 1920s they have advanced and become known for their garbage disposals with technologies such as SoundSeal and anti-vibration technology. Overall, they stand for the more high-end garbage disposals and hot water faucets.
More info? Read our Garbage Disposal Guide.
By Cara Dettmann/ 29 December 2019