1/2 Vs 3/4 HP Garbage Disposals – Detailed Comparison

We all know how convenient garbage disposals can be. It whisks away food scraps, reduces the amount of household waste, and even helps prevent nasty drain clogs.

If you’ve been doing a little homework on garbage disposals, you know they come in different horsepower ratings. You’re probably wondering if you should get a 1/2 HP or a 3/4 HP garbage disposal?

Well, today is your lucky day. We’re diving into the nitty-gritty of these two popular types, comparing their strengths and weaknesses to help you make the right choice for your home.

At a glance, a 1/2 HP garbage disposal is compact, affordable, and suitable for smaller households of one or two people who don’t produce much kitchen waste. The 3/4 HP model, on the other hand, packs more grinding power, is built better, usually offers a longer warranty, and handles a larger volume of food scraps – perfect for a mid-sized family that cooks frequently. It’s a bit pricier and larger in size, and it may run a bit quieter thanks to its usually better build.

Best 1/2 HP Garbage Disposals

Best 3/4 HP Garbage Disposals

InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposer
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposer
NOTE: Item do not come with a power cord attached, it is a separate add-on accessory.
Amazon Prime
Moen Host Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Sound Reduction for Kitchen Sink, Power Cord Included, GXS75C
Moen Host Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Sound Reduction for Kitchen Sink, Power Cord Included, GXS75C
NOISE REDUCTION: Designed with SoundSHIELD sound-deadening insulation; SEPTIC SAFE: The food disposal is safe to use with properly sized septic tanks
Amazon Prime

Differences Between 1/2 vs 3/4 HP Garbage Disposals

When you’re looking to select a new garbage disposal, you might be wondering, “how much horsepower do I need?” The answer lies in your household size and the amount of food waste you generate.

Let’s break down the differences between these two popular garbage disposal models.

Grinding Power

The 3/4 HP garbage disposal comes with more horsepower, meaning it can handle a larger load of food waste.

If your family loves cooking and has a lot of food scraps to dispose of, a 3/4 HP model might be your best bet. This model grinds food more finely, reducing the chances of clogs in your plumbing.

A 1/2 HP garbage disposal may struggle with tougher or fibrous food items such as chicken bones or corn husks. If you’re living alone or with just one other person, and your cooking is minimal, this model would be suitable for you.

Build Quality

When it comes to build quality, you often get what you pay for. The 3/4 HP models usually come with a better build than the 1/2 HP ones. They often feature more stainless steel components, which are more durable and rust-resistant than the galvanized steel found in cheaper models.

That’s not to say that 1/2 HP garbage disposals aren’t well-made. Many reliable models, like the InSinkErator Badger 5, are robust and dependable.

But for a longer-lasting appliance, a 3/4 HP disposal, like the InSinkErator Evolution, might be a safer bet.


The more powerful the garbage disposal, the longer it usually lasts. Manufacturers often offer a longer warranty for their 3/4 HP models. It’s a testament to their confidence in the durability of these machines.

But remember, a warranty is just one factor you need to consider when buying a garbage disposal.

Your household size, the amount of food waste you generate, and the types of food items you often dispose of are equally, if not more, important.


As you might expect, with more grinding power and a better build comes a higher price tag. A 3/4 HP garbage disposal will cost more upfront than a 1/2 HP model.

But don’t let the price alone dictate your decision. You might pay less now for a 1/2 HP unit, but you could end up paying more down the line if it fails prematurely or causes frequent plumbing issues due to inefficient grinding.

Noise Level

I’ll let you in on a little secret: higher horsepower models are often quieter. Why? They’re usually better insulated to reduce noise, so a 3/4 HP model could offer a more peaceful kitchen environment.

But let’s face it, all garbage disposals make noise. A 1/2 HP unit might be a tad louder, but if you’re only using the disposal occasionally, this might not be a deal-breaker.


Let’s not forget the physical size of the unit. A 3/4 HP garbage disposal will generally be larger than a 1/2 HP one due to its larger motor.

So, if you’re working with a cramped kitchen cabinet, you might want to consider the smaller 1/2 HP model.

However, if you have ample space under your sink and you’re keen on a robust unit that can handle large amounts of food waste, then the slightly larger 3/4 HP garbage disposal might be worth making room for.

1/2 vs 3/4 HP Garbage Disposals: Which One Should You Buy?

So, which one should you buy – the 1/2 HP or 3/4 HP garbage disposal? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.

If you’re a small household that doesn’t generate much food waste, the 1/2 HP unit should serve you well. It’s cost-effective and suitable for light usage.

However, for a mid-sized family that cooks frequently, you’ll find the 3/4 HP garbage disposal more up to the task. It’s more powerful, more robust, and has a longer lifespan.

And although it might be a little pricier and noisier, its ability to handle larger volumes of waste, and tougher food scraps, may be the best fit for your needs.


When comparing 1/2 vs 3/4 HP garbage disposals, which one you should get truly depends on your specific needs.

Size, horsepower, and price are all crucial factors in deciding which garbage disposal is the right choice for your home.

Remember, the goal is to find a balance that suits your lifestyle. Whether you’re a minimalist living alone or part of a bustling family of cooks, there’s a garbage disposal out there that’s the perfect match for your kitchen.

So take your time, do your research, and select the best one for you!

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