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Best Garage Door Opener Reviewed for Homeowners

No one wants to open a garage door manually every time they need to park or take out their car. That’s why investing in a good garage door opener is so important.

Not only will it provide a lot of convenience, it will also make your home safer, securer, and save up precious energy and time for more important tasks.

Development in electrical and electronic technology has led to some great garage door opener products in recent times. From basic remote-controlled ones all the way to door openers with Wi-Fi, there’s a type for every home and every garage.

We take a look at some of the best garage door openers you can install in your home, whether you’re replacing your old one or getting one for the first time.

Best Garage Door Opener Reviews

Investing in a good automatic garage door opener will cost you a few hundred bucks, so it’s important you’re buying a product that is reliable and functions as intended. You want a garage door opener that is quiet, has a smooth operation, and also packs all the essential safety features that make its operation reliable and family-friendly.

We’ve listed the 6 best garage door openers available right now. To help you make a better purchase decision, we’ve also included a buyer’s guide after the reviews.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Chamberlain B970

The Most Powerful and Packed with Features

Chamberlain offers the ultimate garage door opener product in the form of the B970. Loaded with features such as Wi-Fi, backup battery power, MyQ compatibility, and more, this garage door opener is also the most powerful, utilizing a 1.25 horsepower motor that can lift even the heaviest residential doors.

Anyone looking for the ultimate garage door opener will start and end their search with the Chamberlain B970. In-terms of performance, warranty, and features, there isn’t anything quite like it.

Best Alternative

Best Alternative

Chamberlain WD832KEV

No Nonsense Performance

Not everyone wants their garage door opener to be extremely complex. Chamberlain recognizes this and offers a more mainstream garage door opener in the WD832KEV. Featuring a ½ horsepower motor that drives a belt mechanism, this door opener has excellent performance at a competitive price. It also features MyQ technology compatibility for ease of access.

For anyone unwilling to spend a lot on a garage door opener for excessive features, the Chamberlain WD832KEV is the best choice, especially if you have a modern lightweight aluminum garage door.

Chamberlain B970

ChamberlainB970

If you want something a little extra from your garage door opener, then you should consider the Chamberlain B970. Not only does it provide a powerful motor that drives an efficient and extremely quiet steel reinforced belt mechanism, it also features built-in Wi-Fi technology.

Spec-wise, the Chamberlain B970 is loaded. It is one of the very few garage door openers with a 1.25 horsepower motor, making it capable of lifting just about any residential garage door. The steel-reinforcement of the belt drive makes it very quiet in its operation.

Additionally, to prevent any mishaps, the B970 also comes with a battery backup system when there is a power outage.

The Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to remotely control the garage door opener with your smartphone. You can utilize the MyQ smartphone app to create customized schedules for your garage door and the associated lighting. You also get Chamberlain’s signature long-range remotes and traditional security features.

We also love the fact that this model comes with a life-time warranty for the motor and belt. The parts have a five-year warranty. This makes the Chamberlain B970 the best garage door opener money can buy.

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Packed with features
  • MyQ compatibility
  • Incredible warranty offer

Cons

  • Expensive

Chamberlain WD832KEV

ChamberlainWD832

The Chamberlain WD832KEV doesn’t come with any unnecessary bells and whistles because it knows it’s just a garage door opener and not some fancy entertainment system. The focus here is on performance over additional features. It’s the perfect alternative to the more powerful and feature-rich B970.

Utilizing a belt driven system, the WD832KEV has a quiet operation when compared to other garage door openers. You get a ½ horsepower motor in this garage door opener that can power doors up to 7 feet tall. Any taller door will require an extension kit.

One of the convenient high-tech features of this garage door opener is the inclusion of MyQ technology. MyQ lets you control the operation of the door with a smartphone app for ultimate convenience.

Additionally, the Chamberlain garage door opener includes a timer for safety. You can have the door automatically close after 1, 5, or ten minutes. For all DIYers, the door is easy to install and requires minimum number of tools.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Performs its functions reliably
  • MyQ compatibility

Cons

  • Limited to 7-foot tall doors

Craftsman Chain Drive

CraftsmanChainDrive

If you’re looking for extra security from your garage door opener at an affordable price, then the Craftsman Chain Drive model 53930 might be for you. This product from Craftsman is a ½ horsepower garage door opener that can lift doors weighing up to 250 pounds.

As the name suggests, this is a chain-driven garage door, so it’s obviously not going to be as quiet as belt-driven ones, but the price point and its additional features make it an excellent consideration for anyone who wants a simple yet secure garage door opener.

The biggest selling point of this garage door is the safety and security system integrated into it. It features advanced sensors designed to reverse the closing doors if motion is detected in the path.

Additionally, the Craftsman 53930 also comes with state-of-the-art anti burglary technology, sending a brand new code every time you use the remote so there are not chances of cloning. There is also a light that turns on when sensors are obstructed and when the door is in motion.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Good safety and security features
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Rudimentary controls

Sommer Direct Drive

SommerDirectDrive

With the Sommer Direct Drive, we foray into more powerful garage door openers. This drive from Sommer is designed for heavy duty work – it can lift large doors weighing up to 55o pounds, making it one of the most powerful garage door openers out there.

All this is thanks to a ¾ horsepower motor that drives only one moving part on this motor. This makes it quite unique from all other door openers out there.

The smoothness of the operation and reduced number of moving parts is what makes this garage door opener quiet, ideal for homes with rooms above or next to the garage. This is achieved through a unique design in which the mobile motor crawls along a stationary chain.

The chain is embedded in a steel rail, and you have the option of installing seven or eight foot rails in your home. There is also a wireless option for the Sommer Direct Drive, but you will need to pay extra for it.

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Powerful motor capable of lifting heavy doors
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Quality control issues

Skylink Atoms

Unlike other garage openers, the Skylink Atoms uses a powerful DC motor instead of an AC one. As a result, the motor operation is extremely quiet and smooth. This is further reinforced by utilizing a belt drive system instead of a chain drive one.

The combination of a belt drive mechanism and a DC motor makes the Skylink garage door opener an excellent choice for homes with occupied rooms above or next to the garage.

With the Skylink Atoms garage door opener, you get a numeric display that makes it easy for you to install and program the system yourself. There is also an LED light that will illuminate your garage whenever you use the door opener.

As with many of the fancier garage door openers, the Atoms also comes with an auto-close timer option. The unit is also SkyLinkNet compatible, allowing you to control the garage door through your smartphone and adjust the auto-close timer. However, you will need to buy the hub for the SkyLinkNet separately.

Pros

  • Powerful DC motor
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Expensive

Genie Excelerator

Even the most powerful garage door openers can be a tad slow. No one wants to wait a good 30 seconds for their garage door to open after a long day. In comes the powerful Genie Excelerator with its unique technology that makes it the fastest garage door opener you can buy.

The company claims that this opener can move a door at a rate of up to a foot per second. For average seven to eight feet tall doors, this means you’ll have to wait less than ten seconds for your door to be fully open.

Genie utilizes the screw-drive mechanism in this powerful garage door opener. Screw-drive mechanisms aren’t as popular, but Genie makes it work with the Excelerator to provide a safe and stable opening mechanism.

The drive is powered by a robust 1 horsepower DC motor, so it is capable of handling majority of residential doors, old and new. The door is also easy to install and comes with two remotes and a wireless keypad. You can even purchase a separate smart-enabled kit to further streamline the experience.

The operation of the garage door opener is maintenance free. While it is expensive, it is one of the best solutions out there for anyone looking for a faster, maintenance-free garage door opener with great features.

Pros

  • Fastest operation out there
  • Powerful DC motor
  • Great set of features

Cons

  • Very expensive

Buyer’s Guide

    Not all garage door openers use the same type of mechanism. There are different mechanisms through which the doors are opened, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

    Belt Drive

    This is a belt-driven mechanism that uses a steel-reinforced rubber belt to lift and lower the garage door. Because of the smoothness of the belt, these types of door openers have a quiet operation. They are ideal for garages with bedrooms located above or next to them.

    Belt drive garage door openers also tend to be costlier though and are also harder to install by yourself. They also require a bit more maintenance than others.

    Chain Drive

    Chain drive door openers are the most common type. They utilize a chain like that on a bike to open and close the door. Because chains rattle, chain drive garage door openers are usually noisier than other types of openers. However, they are easy to install and cost less than other options.

    Screw Drive

    Screw drive mechanisms require the least amount of maintenance because there are very few moving parts. These types of drives use a threaded rod to open and close the door, making them ideal for wider and heavier doors. They also tend to run more quietly.

    However, they are not as durable in the long run as Chain and Belt drive mechanisms, and the replacement costs and procedure can be high.

    Direct Drive

    Direct drive mechanisms are rare with only a handful of garage door openers featuring them. In direct drive garage doors, the motor itself functions as the trolley. The motor moves along the rail. Moreover, these systems have just one moving part, so their operation is extremely quiet and requires little maintenance. Direct drive garage door openers are pricier than other types and are also rarer.

    The horsepower of your garage door opener is important because it is what measures the weight of the garage it can lift. Door openers come in various horsepower ratings.

    The most common is ½ horsepower, ideal for modern lightweight aluminum garage doors in most residential homes. Other common ratings are ¾ horsepower and 1 horsepower.

    If you have heavier or wider garage doors, it is recommended to go for more horsepower as ½ horsepower will be insufficient. Most older garage doors are made from heavy metals and will subsequently require more powerful door openers.

    Additionally, you can also opt for a garage door opener with more horsepower than you need if you want better performance and less maintenance. In fact, if you budget allows it, we recommend that practice.

    Very few garage door openers go beyond the 1 horsepower rating. The Chamberlain B970 is rated at 1.25 horsepower and is practically capable of handling any residential garage door.

    The accessibility of the garage door opener is another important factor that you need to look at. These include controls, remotes, and other features that make using the garage door opener easier.

    Almost all garage door openers will come with remote controls. Several come with electronic wireless keypads with key cards for more secure access.

    Wireless powered garage door openers are the most state-of-the art type. They allow for smartphone control and connect to your home’s router for remote access and offer the most convenience.

    The more accessibility and connectivity features in a garage door opener, the more expensive it will get. However, having one with at least the most rudimentary accessibility is essential.

    Should I get professional help or install the garage door opener myself?

    This depends entirely on you, your skills, your toolbox, and money. If you have enough money to spare, it is often most convenient and best to hire a professional to install the garage door for you. However, the average cost to install a garage door open can be very high, often costing as much as the door opener itself.

    To avoid the hefty expenditure, you can do it yourself. The DIY route is more time-consuming, but thankfully most modern garage door openers are easy to install and require minimal tools. You will need a multimeter, screwdriver, hammer, adjustable wrench, tape measure, drill, pliers, wire strippers, a level, and a ladder to install the door opener.

    Have someone assist you in the process if you can, and plan so you have a few hours to remove the old opener and install the new one. Before you install the new garage door opener, make sure you read the warranty terms, as you may void the warranty if it is not done by a professional.

    Why do I need a garage door opener with smart features?

    A garage door opener with smart features isn’t necessary for everyone, but it can be highly convenient, especially if you are a busy individual or own a large garage with multiple cars. Wi-Fi enabled garage door openers allow you to open/close the door from anywhere, as the MyQ app is integrated and synced through the home Wi-Fi and is also on your smartphone.

    If you or a family member forgot to close the garage door, you can simply close it through the MyQ app even while you’re at work. These features are nonessentials, but they add security and ease of access to the largest entrance of your home.

    What kind of warranty should I look for?

    Warranty coverage of garage door openers tend to be quite generous. Most companies offer lifetime warranty for their motor and warranty of a few years for other parts. You want to focus on the other parts, as they are more likely to fail. Any warranty that is more than 2 years for the other parts is, in our opinion, adequate.

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