InsinkErator Badger 5 Reviewed and Buyer’s Guide

InsinkErator is one of the top brands when it comes to waste disposal products and they have some of the most popular and high quality models in the market. The company has been around for more than 75 years now and they actually the first pioneers of sink garbage disposal.

The Badger 5 is no doubt their best-selling unit, but aside from its friendly price, does it really offer anything better than its predecessors?

Well, that’s what we are going to look at in this comprehensive review. We are going to dig deeper into the unit to see the specific factors that makes it stand out apart from just being pocket friendly.

If you are thinking of getting this InSinkErator waste disposer, then you might want to go through this detail review.

Key Features

  • Plastic outer shell
  • Galvanised steel grind chamber
  • Quick lock sink mount
  • ½ HP Durra-Drive induction motor,
  • 26-ounce grind chamber
  • Inlet connection for Dishwasher
  • A jam-buster wrench
  • 2 year In-Home limited warranty
  • Anti-Vibration Connection
  • Manual reset button


Best Features that makes it stand out

1. Build quality and Design

The InSinkErator is much smaller than many other garbage disposal units you will find in the market. It has a compact size measuring around 7 x 7 x 13 inches, which means it will easily fit under most sinks.

The outer shell is made of plastic, but not the regular weak plastic. It’s strong and the inside of the unit plus the parts of the grinding system are made of a sturdy galvanised steel. The whole construction is solid and while galvanised steel is not that rust resistant like stainless steel, this one is quite robust and can take years of service before giving in.

Once installed, the unit is very sturdy. It doesn’t shake and the design makes it even easy to operate it as you get to power it on/off with just a flick of a wall switch.

2. Performance

When it comes to performance, the Badger 5 does not disappoint despite its budget-friendly price.

3. The Motor

It features 0.5 horsepower Dura-Drive induction motor and a single stage grind system. The motor operates at 1725 rpm. It’s not the most powerful on the market, but it does offer an effective amount of power.

The Dura Drive technology in particular is actually an upgrade to the drives. It consists of improvements in precision and durability which translates to improvement in the efficiency of the motors. This has been one of the top five driving mechanisms in the last 50 years and has been widely adopted by many different manufactures in various fields.

The 0.5 HP motor of the Badger 5 provides enough amount of power to handle almost any type of food waste.

4.The Grind System

There’s pretty much no food waste that the Badger 5 can’t grind to mulch. The grinding system is a combination of a grinding ring, two impellers and a spinning plate. This is a highly effective grind system for chopping waste food considering that there are many units that only rely upon blades for the chopping down of waste food.

When the food waste touch the spinning plate, the impellers automatically drives them against the grinding ring. The ring has sharp “teeth” that break the waste down to small pieces.

It works right through all types of food remains from those that tend to be hard to grind like bones to fruit peels, crushing all of them almost into fine particles that can flow smoothly through the sewage system.

Like the Evolution series, this Badger 5 unit is also a continuous feed disposer which means you will be able to add food while it’s actually running. It’s pretty fast too taking around five to ten minutes to dispose all the food waste of a regular dinner.

However, considering that in a continuous feed the grinding chamber can operate with or without the stopper, the Badger 5 will need an extra care when using it. Things that might cause serious damage to the grind ring and generally the whole machine like silverware are bound to fall to fall in especially when you are not mindful enough when disposing the food wastes.

5. Grind Chamber

The grinding chamber is 26 ounces which is not that big but does offer sufficient space for disposing off food wastes from an average household of around two to four people. It might not be ideal for a large household that produces high amount of food waste.

Like I mentioned above, the chamber is made from pure galvanized steel and while it’s not as tough as stainless steel, it’s strong enough for typical home use. It’s also corrosion resistant, thereby with proper care and use, the unit can go for more than 10 years

In general, in terms of grinding food waste, the Badger 5 will get the work done efficiently.

6. Ease of Installation

Now another thing that has contributed a lot in the popularity of the InSinkErator Badger 5 is how quick and easy it is to install it.  The unit uses the Quick Lock system which is a well-designed, 3-bolt method that simplifies the process of removing and installing the disposer.

The best part is that InSinkErator provides almost every necessary thing in the box. It includes the Quick Lock sink mount, tailpipe, tailpipe gasket, stopper, installation manual and a jam-buster wrench. The only thing missing is the power cord, but there is an option of buying the unit together with the power cord kit, so that seem to be taken care of.

In short, you will hardly have any problems getting this machine up and running. Plus you will still be able to use the current sink flange as well as mounting bracket when doing a replacement.

You can also connect the Badger 5 to a dishwasher if you have one in your kitchen. It features a dishwasher inlet that’s easy and stress-free to install to your drain plug. All it takes is to remove the drain plug and directly mount the dishwasher outlet pipe to the unit.

7. Noise Level

The Badger 5 is not the quietest garbage disposal in the market. It does make some noise but it’s not too much to be uncomfortable or prevent communication. Furthermore, considering the price and the horsepower, the noise level is quite reasonable.

8. Cleaning

Keeping the unit clean is quite easy too. All you have to do is to turn it off, disconnect the power and put the stopper in the sink. You then pour warm water in the sink almost halfway and add ¼ cup of baking powder. Once you’ve done this, you just turn the power back on, then let the disposal unit run to complete the cleaning process.

The Badger 5 also has a rubber baffle that helps prevent the refuse from splattering all over the sink during the grinding process. This part gets dirty quite often and it’s not removable. The good thing is that you can easily clean it using a dish detergent and scrub pad.

9. Warranty

InSinkErator is a very reputable brand with many years of experience in the game. Throughout their long history in the garbage disposal industry, they have won popularity and confidence from customer due to their craftsmanship and quality of their products.  They know a thing or two about keeping their customers pleased and happy.

This unit comes with a very accommodating 2 year In-Home limited warranty. It covers free house calls for both parts and labour giving you access to a network of 1500 trained and certified professional service agents.

This means that in case of any defect or replacements, you can contact them and they will come to your home. In addition to this, you will not bear any extra cost for the repair or replacement within the warranty period.

Are there any drawbacks?

Everything about this InSinkErator disposer is built to great standards and the grinding system is very effective at crushing a wide variety of food wastes. However, it has some few drawbacks which are worth keeping in mind especially if you considering getting it.

1.Expect average jamming

Although not bound to jam every time, the fact that the chamber of this Badger 5 disposer has many grooves and corners means that it is highly likely to jam once in a while. This is not really a deal breaker because it’s not going to happen often and furthermore, fixing the jam is not a challenge at all.

The unit comes with a wrench of jam buster that you can use to release the jam should it get jammed. You just turn the unit off as well as the water from the faucet. You then insert the wrench inside the hole located at the bottom of the unit and turn it around one full revolution while using tongs to remove any food wastes jammed inside the disposer.

When you are done and the motor has cooled down, you can hit the reset button which is also located on the bottom. The unit also features an Anti-Vibration Connection which helps reduce the vibrations on the neck. InSinkErator have also equipped the Badger 5 with a manual reset button which comes in handy in case you unexpectedly overload the chamber.

2.Several Cases of Leakages

The other notable problem is that most customers complain that while it lasts for several years, it eventually starts to develop leaks. The leakage start to occur due to cracks in the outer plastic shell.

This is the only serious issue you are likely to face with this unit. But using various sealants can help curb the problem for a while. Furthermore, it will take years or frequent heavy use of the disposer before it starts to leak. So, it’s not something to worry about much, but, nonetheless, it’s worth keeping in mind.

The service response from InSinkErator is also something that’s worth commending about. They have an awesome customer support and when you contact them about leakage, breakage or any other issue they respond immediately. So, in case the unit starts to leak, they can send an expert to replace it or fix the problem.

  • Solid and fairly durable construction
  • Medium range motor but delivers sufficient power
  • Grind ring effectively grinds up all kinds of food waste into liquid
  • The Anti-Vibration Connection helps reduce the vibrations on the neck hence keeping the unit stable during the grinding process
  • Grind technology is continuous feed system hence you can add food while the machine is still operating
  • Comes with a jam buster wrench to help deal with any jamming issue
  • Compact size for your sink and works well with regular sized septic tanks
  • Installation is quick and easy thanks to the Quick Lock sink mount
  • Very responsive customer support and the 2 year warranty is quite accommodative
  • Budget-friendly yet very effective and allow you to connect to the dishwasher
  • Might start to leak after several years of use
  • Does not come with its own power cord
  • Not the most silent food waste disposer

The Bottom Line

The InSinkErator Badger 5 is not a high end garbage disposer but it does perform admirably for the price. It’s a decent, mid-range waste disposer that’s quite straightforward in terms of functionality compared to the Evolution series.

It will effectively grind a wide variety of food waste and although there have been complaints about the build quality it hold up pretty well for years provided is not overloaded.

The best part is that it comes with a very nice 2 year warranty, so should something go wrong, you have the warranty to back you up. Generally, looking at the price and performance of the unit, this would definitely be a fair purchase.

If you are on the hunt for an affordable and reliable waste disposer that’s capable of getting the job done without much frill, then the InSinkErator Badger 5 is worth considering. It’s ideal for an average home consisting of three to four people.

Claudia B

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