⅝ HP vs. ¾ HP Garbage Disposals: Which One Do I Need?

Garbage disposals are a standard feature in many newly-built homes and are a popular addition to older builds. They typically come in one of four horsepower ratings: ⅓ HP, ½ HP, ¾ HP, and 1 HP. However, in recent years, a ⅝ HP model became an option. It’s a step up from the ½ HP models, yet not quite as powerful as the ¾ HP models.

So, which one is best for your home? For many families, a larger garbage disposal is necessary to handle all of the food waste. But do you need something as large as a ¾ HP model, or will a ⅝ HP garbage disposal do the trick? Let’s find out. 

What is The Difference Between A ¾ HP and ⅝ HP Garbage Disposal?

The primary difference between a ¾ HP garbage disposal and a ⅝ HP garbage disposal is the grinding power. The two options are close in grinding power, although the ⅝ HP doesn’t offer as much force as the ¾ HP. 

However, aside from this, there aren’t any other significant differences. Manufacturers initially released ⅝ HP garbage disposals as an upgraded alternative to the lesser powered ½ HP garbage disposal, so the differences between the ⅝ HP option and the ¾ HP disposal are minimal. 

That said, while the variation in grinding power is slight, it makes a difference. There are quite a few items that you cannot grind with a ⅝ HP disposal that would go down just fine in a ¾ HP garbage disposal. 

There are slight differences in pricing and warranties, with the ¾ HP models usually featuring longer warranties and higher prices. However, pricing and warranties change regularly, so this blanket statement isn’t always true. Therefore, we don’t consider these aspects in the debate on the differences between the two. 

Should I Buy A ⅝ HP or ¾ HP Garbage Disposal?

The best-sized garbage disposal for your home depends on your situation. Generally speaking, ¾ HP garbage disposals are the better choice for larger families who frequently use the unit. They can handle more leftovers and heavier use, so if you have a large family or cook frequently, a ¾ HP garbage disposal is likely your better option. 

On the other hand, a ⅝ HP garbage disposal is often better suited to individuals who cook less frequently but still need a unit that can handle the food waste of two or three people. ⅝ HP garbage disposals are essentially deluxe ½ HP disposals (plus a bit of extra power). They have similar power capabilities but extra luxuries, such as multi-stage grinding and better noise insulation.

Popular Garbage Disposals

InSinkErator Evolution 5/8-HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal

Once you decide on the best horsepower rating for your home, your next step is to find the perfect garbage disposal brand. Most popular brands (InSinkErator, Waste King, etc.) offer solid warranties, competitive pricing, and great features. 

The best ⅝ HP garbage disposals featuring the highest ratings are made by InSinkErator, a  popular garbage disposal brand. Here are our top picks for ⅝ HP garbage disposals:

  • InSinkErator SpaceSaver Garbage Disposal
  • InSinkErator Evolution Select Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator remains a top contender in the realm of ¾ HP garbage disposals, but Waste King also makes an appearance. Despite the higher horsepower rating, you can still find models friendly for restricted cabinet space. Here are our top picks for ¾ HP garbage disposals:

  • InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposal 
  • Waste King L-3200 ¾ HP Garbage Disposal 
Waste King 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Food Waste Disposer for Kitchen Sink, L-3200,…
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 3/4 HP, 2700 RPM (115 volts) permanent magnet motor is sound-insulated and…
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation with…
  • COMPACT SIZE: The low profile garbage disposal is smaller and lighter ¾ HP design is 7-3/4 inches…
  • NO ELECTRICAL EXPERTISE NEEDED: The sink disposal has a pre-installed power cord, no electrical work…

Is ¾ HP Enough Power For A Garbage Disposal?

To answer this question, there are a few things we need to consider. For example, the size of your family and how often you use the disposal are major factors in the answer. Generally, a ¾ HP disposal offers plenty of power for a family of three to five individuals. 

There’s enough power to handle larger amounts of leftovers and manage problematic waste (such as potato peels or celery, which are usually no-no’s with garbage disposals). Of course, you’ll need a good quality garbage disposal (such as those with stainless steel grind components), but these models are usually strong enough to contend with tougher waste and heavy use. 

What Is A Good Horsepower For A Garbage Disposal?

As you browse for the perfect garbage disposal for your home, there are a few factors you need to consider. Aside from brands, pricing, and warranties, you need to consider the horsepower ratings of your options. 

Garbage disposals feature horsepower ratings that represent their grinding strength. The higher the horsepower rating, the more power the unit has. So, a ¾ HP unit is more powerful than a ⅝ HP model. 

Higher-rated models generally offer better performance and smoother operation. To avoid plumbing issues resulting from poorly ground food scraps, you need to choose a model with enough power to handle the volume of food scraps your home generates. Here are a few essential factors to consider:

Household Size

One of the most important factors to consider as you search for the best horsepower rating is the size of your family. Larger units are usually better suited to bigger families with busy households, whereas smaller units are ideal for one or two people. 

The chart below offers a general overview of horsepower ratings for different family sizes. Of course, these sizes might not be best for everyone. For example, let’s say you have a family of three but enjoy hosting large gatherings or cooking large amounts of food on a regular basis. 

In this case, a ½ HP or ⅝ HP likely won’t cut it. In this scenario, a ¾ HP or 1 HP disposal is probably the better option, as these models have enough power to keep up with heavier use. 

Generally, it’s better to choose a larger horsepower rating if you’re debating between two options. This way, you won’t end up with a too-small unit that cannot handle the amount of food waste your household produces. Underpowered units may burn out faster as they try to keep up with demands, so it’s best to stick with the next size up in this case. 

1-2 People2-4 People3-6 People5-8 People8+ People
⅓ HPX– – – – 
½ HPXX– – – 
⅝ HP– XX– – 
¾ HP– – XX– 
1 HP– – – XX

Use And Frequency

Aside from the size of your family, consider how often you will use your garbage disposal and what kinds of food scraps you generate the most. A more powerful unit is likely your better option if you regularly generate tougher food scraps. 

Or, if you regularly host gatherings or frequently cook large meals, a larger unit might be your better option, as it can keep up with demands. Smaller units are best for scenarios where the unit will be lightly used by one or two people, as they don’t have the horsepower to handle more.

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