1/3 HP vs 1/2 HP Garbage Disposals – Comparison Guide

How to choose between 1/3 HP and 1/2 HP garbage disposal is no longer difficult work. Since both appliances have their uses in small units without extra luxuries, it is a lot easier to extract the points that position them parallel. In this regard, here is the comparison analysis between two entry-level 1/3 HP vs 1/2 HP Garbage Disposals.

The primary difference is the grinding power which is more in 1/2 unit compared to 1/3 hp. Also, the capability to withstand jams and clogs is far better in a higher 1/2 horsepower disposal unit than the lower 1/3 hp. 

The article explains a few differences between two similar-looking garbage disposals. Since both have their uses in the field of smaller households, your focus must be on the performance rather than on the luxuries. 

What’s the Difference Between a half horsepower and three-quarter horsepower Garbage Disposal?

If you are into knowing what makes the two garbage disposals apart, do not commit the mistake of comparing the 1/3 horsepower of one brand to the 1/2 hp of the other brand, as it would not make sense. Instead, the appropriate approach is to look for the general comparison that makes 1/3 and 1/2 hp garbage disposal different to decide better. 

1. 1/2 hp Has More Grinding Power

Since the grinding power is your main concern when buying the garbage disposal, be happy to know that the 1/2 hp offers more grinding power not more or equal to the 3/4 hp but it is efficient to handle several tougher food wastes, such as small quantity meat, fish bones, and salads which 1/3 can’t cope with. 

On the other hand, a 1/3 hp motor is designed to produce low power, but it has different aims to fulfill. The garbage disposal with this horsepower comes into usage seldom in a vacation home or for grinding soft food items only ranging from fruits and vegetables.

2. 1/2 hp Offers Better Performance

The next difference lies in the category of how often you use the disposal, for how many persons, and what type and quantity of waste. Generally, 1/2 hp garbage disposal performs better compared to its component 1/3 hp. The reasons it can withhold cooking waste of two to three persons on weekdays run. 

1/3 garbage disposal is the option you may consider when you intend to run the disposal for two people. Since the motor is low powered compared to higher models, you can only run it once in a while with only soft food items that are less in quantity. 

3. 1/2 hp Withstand Garbage Disposal Jams

Being new to the garbage disposal era or not, you must know that jamming is the ultimate problem that a machine may face anytime while running. In this regard, the ½ hp garbage disposal got a slightly high-powered motor that works to reduce the chance of clogging with the combination of higher torque on the impellers.  

On the opposite side, 1/3 hp garbage disposal lacks the strength required to withstand jams and often breaks down after overheating. Plus, if you overload it with the intention of fast-food grinding, it will worsen the situation. 

4. 1/2 hp Provides Better Warranty Value

Generally, both garbage disposals limit their length of warranty years shorter than higher models. But if the comparison is just between the 1/2 and 1/3 hp appliances, it is the first-mentioned horsepower unit that offers a longer warranty than its counterpart. 

5. 1/2 hp Costs More Than 1/3 hp

You only get improved facilities on an extra spend. In the same way, the result says that the 1/2 hp garbage disposal costs you more to utilize its more grinding power and the chance of running it often than 1/3 hp. 

Final Verdict | 1/3 Hp vs 1/2 HP Garbage Disposals

1/2 HP beats 1/3 HP in every field the garbage disposal is related to. Since the prices of the disposer are almost the same, you must opt for the higher horsepower disposal to enjoy efficient and time-saving food grinding with less chance of dealing with clogs. 

Can I Replace a 1/3 hp Garbage Disposal with a 1/2 hp?

The simple answer is yes, you can replace a 1/3 hp garbage disposal with a 1/2 hp only if both appliances birth from the same brand. Also, whether you install or replace the garbage disposal, 3-bolt or EZ mounts that come with almost every disposer model provide help in accomplishing the task in no time. You must remember to replace the garbage disposal with one that has the same mounting system because crisscross does not work. 

Similarities Between 1/3 HP and 1/2 HP Garbage Disposal Units

A few of the similarities are mentioned so you have complete guidance about the appliances to stop the struggle between the two and decide better. 


Both garbage disposals despite having different values of horsepower consist of the same dimensions. In other words, no matter what you choose 1/3 or 1/2 hp you get the exact width and height with no apparent differences. 

Let me give you the example of Badger 1 and Badger 5 belonging to the InSinkErator, but are different in horsepower. The former has 1/3 hp while the other got 1/2 hp. Replacing them would not harm you as you get the better version using the same 3-bolt mounting system. 

Build Quality

The build quality of the 1/3 hp and 1/2 hp is the same, that is from galvanized steel. It makes no difference whether you purchase garbage disposal from whatever brand, the construction material remains the same. 

Since both garbage disposals have their lineage from introductory or low-powered series, the material is not so durable to ensure longevity. For example, InSinkErator uses galvanized steel whereas the Waste King has galvanized steel and Plastic. 

Lack Premium Features

Cutting the long story short, you only get what you pay in the case of 1/3 hp and 1/2 hp disposals. There are no additional facilities, such as sound insulation, auto-reverse, multi-grinding stages, etc. 

How many watts does a 1/2 HP garbage disposal use?

The power consumption of a garbage disposal is determined by its size and motor. Typically, a 1/2 horsepower disposal unit utilizes 700 watts of power. Note that the value lies in the overall range of 500-1500. 

Are all garbage disposals the same size?

Garbage disposal is not always the same size, many factors, such as horsepower and sound insulation material play their part in altering the dimensions and size. However, the standard size in which most disposers are available is 10-15 inches in height, 6-13 inches in depth, and 5-9 inches in width. 

Summing Up

The article concludes that 1/3 HP and 1/2 HP garbage disposals do their best when used according to their protocols. Even then, the higher 1/2 horsepower disposer unit appears more practical for domestic purposes. Plus, you have the opportunity to taste better services of torque turning, grinding power, and warranty value that lack in 1/3 hp garbage disposal.