Brand Comparison

Badger 5 Vs 500 - Which Is Best?

We put these 2 popular models head to head and compare their performance & specs.

by Josh Mitchell

Do you want to learn more about InSinkErator Badger garbage disposals? With the two most popular options, it should come down to the Badger 5 vs. the Badger 500. 

These are some of the best kitchen garbage disposals on the market today. If you want to learn which is the best for you, be sure to keep reading. Alternatively, explore all our top picks in food disposals in this guide.

InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal,...
  • RELIABLE & EASY INSTALL: Badger Series...
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS: This garbage disposal...
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more...
  • FASTER, CLEANER, SMARTER: From meal prep to...

The Badger 5 is best for most people and comes at a great budget price. Most smaller families can benefit from having this tool in their kitchen. It comes with a strong motor and uses an impeller system to effortlessly destroy any and all food waste.

Buyers choose it for its simplicity, ease of use, and low maintenance. It’s also very quick to install. Read our full Badger 5 review here

Pros & Cons Of The Badger 5  

  • Budget friendly
  • Works with septic tanks
  • Very easy to install with given instructions 
  • Liquefies all food waste 
  • Isn’t known to jam 
  • Doesn’t come with required cord
  • Not as quiet as expensive models
  • Uses galvanized steel, which can rust and corrode 

InSinkErator Badger 500 Overview 

InSinkErator Badger 500 1/2 HP Continuous...
  • Brand New in box; The product ships with all...
  • Power Cord Sold Separately; Most...
  • Quick lock sink mount allows for easy...
  • Power cord is sold separately for...

Many people feel this model performs similarly to the Badger 5. However, it doesn't require the additional cord and offers a very powerful grind. It's not quiet, but it is still one of the quietest that this brand makes. Plus, it's exceptionally durable and also suitable for small families.

However, this option is better for continuous, heavy use. 

Pros & Cons Of The Badger 500

  • Super easy to install
  • Easily replaces old Badger models 
  • Can grind hard foods 
  • Not as loud as other models 
  • Can’t grind hard food for long periods
  • Doesn’t offer a better warranty than cheaper models 
  • Doesn't need a power cord 

Badger 5 Vs 500: Key Differences Explained

InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal,...
InSinkErator Badger 500 1/2 HP Continuous...
InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal,...
InSinkErator Badger 500 1/2 HP Continuous...
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InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal,...
InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal,...
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InSinkErator Badger 500 1/2 HP Continuous...
InSinkErator Badger 500 1/2 HP Continuous...

Food Grinding Capabilities

The two tie in this category. Both options have a continuous feeder and grinding system. The grinding chamber is made from galvanized steel, which isn’t as good as the stainless steel options.

However, the Badger 500 has a slight edge over the Badger 5 when it comes to continuous use. If you often dispose of a lot of food at one time, it’s going to be the better option for you.

Appearance & Dimensions

The appearance is similar as well for these two models. Badger disposals tend to be very small, so they should work under most sinks. These are the dimensions:

  • Badger 5: 6.31 x 6.31 x 11.5 inches 
  • Badger 500: 6.31 x 6.31 x 12.63 inches 

Noise Level

When it comes to noise levels, the Badger 500 is quieter. So, if you don’t want more noise at home or have kids, it’s going to be the better choice for your family.

Motor Power & Performance Options

These two models both have the same motor. They use a ½ HP motor, meaning they have the same motor strength. They have the same RPMs as a result and offer similar benefits and features.

  • Grinding Chamber Capacity
    The grinding chamber on both models is 26oz. They both can hold the same amount of food waste, although the Badger 500 does better with continuous disposals, making it seem to hold more than the 5.
  • Impeller Quality
    The biggest differences are in the impellers. They both use galvanized steel, but the Badger 500 is known to have rust-resistant impellers. This benefit makes the disposal unit last much longer than the Badger 5. If you don't want to deal with rust and want a longer lasting item, then it’s going to be the best choice. 
  • Grinding Speed
    The RPM these machines offer is 1725. Both use the exact same RPM due to their motors being completely identical. The system uses single-stage grinding, allowing everything to finish in a single go. The stronger impeller on the Badger 500 makes it just slightly better, although the speed difference isn’t that noticeable.
  • Anti-Jamming Feature
    This is an extra feature you get with the Badger 500. The automatic anti-jamming activates when the machine is too full, allowing you to avoid a clog. It’s best if you have a lot of food waste at home. Or, if you often dealt with jammed disposals in the past.
  • Reset Buttons & Power Cords
    Neither of these units come with a power cord - you’ll need to get one separately. The reset button on the Badger 500 is located on the bottom of the unit. The disposal automatically shuts down when it’s too full, which helps the unit resist damages.

Installation Process

The main difference between the two is the installation process. While the Badger 500 can easily replace the 5, they use different power sources. You’ll need to connect the Badger 5 to a power cord. With the 500, you’ll need to give it access to direct current.

Price & Warranty

While similar in price, the Badger 500 is slightly more expensive. Many people feel that the Badger 5 already comes with everything they need, at a lower price, making it the more popular choice. The Badger 5 also has a three year Emmerson warranty, whereas the 500 is only warranted for two. 

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who makes InSinkErator garbage disposals?  

Emerson Electric is responsible for making InSinkErator garbage disposals. They opened in the late 1920s and are very common in the United States today. There are so many different options for a garbage disposal when you shop with them. 

How long does Badger 500 last?  

On average, many users say their model lasted between 8 and 15 years. You should get the same amount of time from your product. 

Why does my InSinkErator leak from the bottom?  

The brand has an issue with broken seals. You can use a plumber's putty to block any leaks or cracks you notice over time. However, internal cracks can’t be fixed with this method. You’ll need to use the warranty. 

Can I easily replace my garbage disposal with a different brand?  

It’s somewhat easy. You’ll need to make sure that the plumbing lines up so you don’t have to deal with this later on. Often, the products use different brackets, making it harder to line up a new brand with the old ones. 


Overall, both have plenty of benefits. When it comes to the Badger 5 vs. 500, many people prefer the Badger 5. It's slightly cheaper and still is a wonderful product to have a home. 

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.