Continuous Feed vs. Batch Feed Garbage Disposal – What’s the difference?

If you are in the process of buying a new garbage disposal, there are quite a few things you should take into consideration before you start searching for the right one. Obviously you should choose the one that has a motor that’s powerful enough, comes with at least 1-year warranty, is appropriate for your septic tank or sewer system, and is made of durable materials such as stainless steel. (check out our garbage disposal buying guide for more info).

But the first thing you should ask yourself before you start searching for the best garbage disposal for your needs is what is the type of garbage disposal you need. There are two types of disposal units – a continuous feed and batch feed. Each one has its own set of pros and cons and you are welcome to check them out down below.

Continuous Feed Disposal

The continuous feed is the most common type of garbage disposal that can be found in many homes all across the world. The word “continuous” means that this type of garbage disposal will continue to run from the moment you switch the power on to the moment you turn it off.


  • More affordable than batch feed disposers in general and that’s why there are more continuous feed disposers on the market.
  • Because they continue to run from the moment you turn them on, they are more appropriate for grinding large amounts of waste which comes handy especially in larger households where there’s a lot of food leftovers.


  • Compared to batch feed disposers, operating a continuous feed disposer can be dangerous because the machine will grind anything you put into it. In the worst case scenario you might
  • Continuous feed disposers need more water to operate. Water softens the

Video demonstration

Garbage disposal in this video: Waste King 9980 Legend

Batch Feed Disposal

Unlike continuous feed disposals, a batch feed garbage disposal runs in batches. It is started with a cover that covers the disposal entrance and requires you to put the food into the disposal and flip a switch before it starts grinding food.


  • Superior safety. It’s a well known fact that garbage disposers can be quite dangerous if you accidentally stick your fingers in them while operating. Because batch feed disposer requires you to close the entrance before you turn it on, you can be sure that as long as the cover is in good shape, you are in good hands.


  • It takes longer to get rid of large amounts of waste. If you have a large family and you have a lot of food to grind, you will have to spend more time around the batch feed disposer.
  • Batch feed disposers are more expensive in general, but there are many exceptions on the market that are quite affordable.

Video demonstration:

Garbage disposal in this video: Insinkerator Evolution [our review]

Which one to buy?

There are several disposal units on the market and only you know which one is the right one for your needs and budget. Although batch feed disposals are much safer to use, they do require some more work to be done from your side. Is that enough to convince you to buy a disposal that grinds up food in batches?

You can check out some of the best garbage disposals on our website.