So I’ve now done a garbage disposal replacement three times now, and this last one was the easiest by far because of a tip I stumbled across on the web. Usually the most difficult and/or annoying thing about getting the old one out and the new one in is the sheer weight of the thing. They easily start at ten or fifteen pounds up to a whopping 25.5 pounds for the InSinkErator Evolution Excel (which we have at home, and highly recommend). The weight factor seems to be amplified by the awkwardness of reaching in a somewhat tight cabinet space to work with it. When you take the old one out you have to use the little hex wrenchette to unlock and turn the retainer ring while somehow holding the disposal unit up so it doesn’t come crashing down in your cabinet when the ring releases. And when you put the new one in you have to hold it up long enough to get all three tabs around the ring hooked on to their respective tracks and turned enough to support the unit’s weight. Not fun, and there usually isn’t enough room under the cabinet for someone else to get their arms in there to help you.
Solution: grab the scissor jack from the trunk of your car. This was a head-smacker for me, as in “why didn’t I think of that?” Some folks recommend using a 2×4 due to a “flimsy bottom” on the disposal. I didn’t have any trouble with that, but if the bottom of yours seems thin it wouldn’t be a bad idea, and would probably help with balance anyway (I just held the side of it). Anyway, this made the whole process so much easier I’d almost say it’s worth the twenty-five bucks to pick up a jack for the job if you don’t already have one.