This is a really nice unit. It is a step up from a standard 1/2 HP disposer. Some of the upgrades is that this unit has stainless steel cutters, instead of galvanized cutters. Also, it has insulation and a plastic covering, instead of just plain metal housing. When I was shopping around, a lot of disposers now have a plastic mounts and throats. This model has an all metal mount and throat, which I believe is better. It also has the reset button on the front, instead of on the bottom, so you can easily reset it. The power is of this 1/2 HP is good for an average household, and the water drains fast down the throat. The insulation and plastic cover give some sound dampening over a unit without insulation, but not as quiet as other models costing twice as much. This is a good value that is better than a basic model. Not as good as the expensive models, but for the price this is a good value. The Quiet Pak seems to just be about an inch of foam insulation with a plastic cover. It seems to quiet it down some, but the unit is still a bit loud. The Quiet Pak doesn't make it as quiet as expensive models, but this model is half the price. The box comes complete, but you will need a tub of Plumber's Putty. It also doesn't have the power cord. If your current disposer is direct wired, you can just reconnect it. But if you need to plug it into a wall outlet, then you need to get a power cord for it. The only thing not great is the noise is a bit loud. It is a little quieter than the entry level disposers, but not by much. I don't use the disposer much, since I throw the food in the garbage can, and just small amounts go in the disposer, so the noise doesn't bother me. But if you want a whisper quiet model to run frequently, while entertaining, or not wanting to bother anyone, then this model probably isn't for you. Otherwise, great model and recommended.
Yes, I agree that this is a quiet unit which grinds food without issue. My issue is with the "hush cushion" or rubber gasket which prevents food from coming up. The design is such that it acts as a baffle which slows the flow of water when the unit is not running. This in turn cause the sink to start filling. If you hold the cushion open with your finger the water drains fine. If not the holes are not adequate to have the water flow through properly. I really can't believe not one else has complained about this or maybe they caught it and redesigned the hush cushion.