Badger 5 is one of the top-selling garbage disposals by InSinkErator. Then there is Badger 500 and 5XL. All of them look the same in design and size. But how are they different?
The only differences between Badger 5, Badger 500, and Badger 5XL are the price and the name sticker pasted on them. Badger 500 is the HomeDepot version of Badger 5, and Badger 5XL is the Lowe’s version. They often sell at higher prices even though their specifications and features are the same.
If you are new to these disposal models let me run you through the specifications and features of all units.
Comparison of Badger 5 with Badger 500 & Badger 5XL
Here is a comparison of the specifications and features of Badger 5, Badger 5XL, and Badger 500.
|Specifications and Features||Badger 5||Badger 500||Badger 5XL|
|Motor power||1/2 HP||1/2 HP||1/2 HP|
|Type of motor||Dura-Drive Induction motor||Dura-Drive Induction motor||Dura-Drive Induction motor|
|Grinding speed||1725 RPM||1725 RPM||1725 RPM|
|Feed type||Continuous feed||Continuous feed||Continuous feed|
|Overall height||11.5 inches||11.5 inches||11.5 inches|
|Maximum width||6.3125 inches||6.3125 inches||6.3125 inches|
|Grinding chamber capacity||26 oz||26 oz||26 oz|
|Noise insulation||Relatively quiet||Relatively quiet||Relatively quiet|
|Construction||Galvanized steel||Galvanized steel||Galvanized steel|
|Power cord||Optional with extra payment||Optional with extra payment||Optional with extra payment|
|Warranty||3 year parts and in-home service||3 year parts and in-home service||3 year parts and in-home service|
|Check price in Amazon||Check price in Home Depot||Check price in Lowes|
How many differences do you see in the above table? That’s right, the specifications, warranty, build, and everything of these three models are the same, Badger 5, 5XL, and Badger 500 are the same garbage disposals with different stickers on them.
Let me run you through their specifications and features;
The ability to grind tough food wastes into pulp is an inevitable requirement of a garbage disposal. Badger 5, Badger 5xl, and Badger 500 are equipped with a 1/2 HP motor. This is an induction motor with Dura-Drive technology that provides ample cutting power. It runs at a speed of 1725 RPMs.
All three machines do a good job at grinding ‘garbage disposal friendly’ food wastes with ease. I said ‘garbage disposal friendly food wastes’ because not all food items can be thrown into them. Certain food items like rice, pasta, fibrous vegetables, potato peels, eggshells, etc can cause clogs in the drain once ground. Furthermore, many garbage disposals are not powerful enough to break hard food items like chicken bones.
The grinding speed of 1725 RPM is slower when compared to those of many rival brands. This can cause doubts to readers regarding their performance. However, those rival brands use permanent magnet-type motors which deliver high torques at high speeds. On the other hand, InSinkErator uses induction motors, and these motors deliver their best torques at slow speeds. So the performance of these garbage disposals cannot be judged solely based on their speeds.
A 1/2 HP garbage disposal is ample for a family of 2 or 3. It is one of the popular sizes for US households, and it works. If you have more people living in your house a 3/4 HP disposer is the better choice.
To run a batch feed type garbage disposal one has to fill the unit first with food wastes. Then close the unit with a magnetic cap which activates the machine. Here food wastes can only be disposed of in batches and hence they got this name. For continuous feed type units, the food wastes can be scraped into while running them. This means you can keep on adding the leftovers until they are finished, and this possibility of continuous feeding is the reason behind the name.
The dimensions of all three units are the same.
These three garbage disposals are 11.5 inches in height. The maximum width is 6.3125 inches. Having the exact same dimensions is a blessing if you are replacing a Badger 5 with Badger 500, or vice versa. Since the heights to the drain outlet and dishwasher connection are the same you won’t have to make any changes to the plumbing.
These garbage disposals are compact enough to be installed in small spaces. If the sink is too deep there may not be enough height under the sink to install a normal garbage disposal but Badger 5, 5XL, and 500 are short enough for this.
Additional reading: List of short garbage disposals.
As just mentioned above, Badger 5, 5XL, and 500 share the exact same dimensions so they can be replaced with each other without a sweat. They also use the same 3-bolt mounting assembly so connecting them to the sink is easy. A 3-bolt mount uses a twist and lock mechanism to lock the garbage disposal in place. The mechanism also contains a splash guard to prevent water from splashing out of the disposal through the sink drain while running it.
Here is a video of replacing a Badger 5 with a Badger 500;
PS: I believe the early Badger 5 and 500 models had some height differences but they are identical now.
Grinding chamber capacity
The grinding chamber capacity of a garbage disposal is a measure of how much food wastes it can hold. Badger 5, Badger 500, and Badger 5XL all have a capacity of 26oz ie they can hold that much food wastes in them. But the grinding chamber capacity doesn’t really make much sense in this case as these disposer units are continuous feed types. If they were batch feed type this measurement would help to know how much food they can process at a time but being continuous feed type you can throw down food wastes endlessly into them.
One thing to note while scraping off food wastes is that one shouldn’t overload the disposal. Adding food in bulk quantities can jam the disposal. A small grinding chamber could mean that one should put only small amounts of food wastes at a time to avoid overloading it.
All three garbage disposals listed above are budget options. That means InSinkErator tried its best to cut corners while ensuring high performance. As a result, premium features like noise insulation are not available in these units.
However, induction motors are comparatively quieter than permanent magnet motors. They are also, for some reason, more pleasant to hear. So even though these Badger garbage disposals do not come with noise insulation technologies they are quieter than many of their competitors.
PS: Feel free to check this list of quiet garbage disposals. They are much pricier than the Badgers though.
Badger 5, 500, and 5XL have the same build quality. In addition to having identical dimensions, they are also built with the same materials. The grinding components of these units ie, grinding chambers, flywheels, impellers, and shredder rings are all made of galvanized steel.
Galvanized steel is rust-resistant even though it is not as long-lasting as stainless steel. The steel construction makes sure that the grinding chambers won’t be broken by any hard items if they accidentally fall into the units.
Reset buttons and power cords
All garbage disposals come with a reset button, and so do all the three units we compare here. The reset button is used to reset the unit if it is overloaded or jammed.
I will be soon making a post about unjamming a garbage disposal where I will be discussing more about reset buttons.
- How to reset a garbage disposal
- How to unjam a garbage disposal
- Where is the reset button on a garbage disposal
The rest buttons of Badger 5, 5XL, and 500 are located at their bottom facing side. These units also have a hex hole each on that side which is used to manually rotate the impellers if they are jammed.
All these three Badger units come with optional power cords. These power cords cost extra but they come preinstalled to the units so this makes the installation a bit easier.
All these three current (year 2021) Badger models come with a 3-year warranty which covers parts and labor charges. This is an in-home warranty where the company people will come to your home to repair the unit at no expense to you. This is very convenient as you don’t have to dismantle, pack, and ship the disposals to the manufacturer for repairing damages.
The older models of Badger 5 and 500 had a shorter warranty. The specification sheet on the InSinkErator website wrongly shows this old warranty for the current models. Just wanted to make that clear.
Conclusion: Which one should you buy?
Badger 5, 500, and 5xl are all the same but in their names and prices. I do not know the reason behind making some models exclusive at selected shops. My recommendation is to buy the cheapest of these models.