Automatic garage doors will literally give you a new lease on life. Let the stress of that long day at work sink down as your door opens up your home to you, as it rightly should. It’s like having your very own personal butler.
With recent advances in technology, automatic garage door openers have been made easier to operate than ever. They are safer, have a smoother installation process and also run without all that noise that your neighbor keeps complaining about. So, whether you are looking for an upgrade, or are trying them out for the first time, this would be the perfect time to do so.
To assist you in your quest, we’ve reviewed the various garage doors out there and evaluated them, choosing only the most efficient to eventually present you with a list of the best garage doors out there.
Top 10 Garage Door Openers of 2019 Reviewed
- Top 10 Garage Door Openers of 2019 Reviewed
- 1. Chamberlain Group Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener
- 2. LiftMaster Elite Series 8500W Jackshaft Garage Door Operator
- 3. SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
- 4. Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener
- 5. Skylink ATOMS AT-1622BK ½ HPF Garage Door Opener
- 6. NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG Remote Compatible Door Openers
- 7. LiftMaster 1355 (Replaced by 8065) Contractor Series Garage Door Opener
- 8. Tailwind iQ3 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener
- 9. Craftsman ½ HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
- 10. Genie ChainMax 1000 Garage Door Opener
- Choosing The Best Garage Door Openers – The Ultimate Buying Guide
1. Chamberlain Group Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener
- Has a backup battery in case of emergency
- Provides a quiet operation
- You can operate it directly through a smartphone
- Lacks an Ethernet port
- It will cost money to operate this device
- Hard to integrate with other smart devices
How convenient it is to be able to open your garage door several feet before you reach the driveway? The Chamberlain B970 is a smartphone-operated opener that lets you open your garage door long before you reach it. You can also customize it to open or close the door at specific times of the day. This ensures that you are able to stick to your daily routine without getting into any inconvenience.
It features an on-board 12 V reserve battery, which kicks in when your home loses power. That way, you will still be able to park your car in the garage and not the streets. The fact that it is smartphone-operated means you do not have to worry about where the remote control is. As long as you have your smartphone in the pocket, you are sorted.
The garage door opener comes with a 1.25 horsepower (HP) motor. Thus, you can expect it to have enough power to open any type of door. Another thing it does is to give you a quiet, reliable operation. The device is strongly built and is expected to last for a long time. In short, you can install it and forget about it. It makes use of anti-vibration technology, which prevents it from wearing or jamming after use for a long period of time.
2. LiftMaster Elite Series 8500W Jackshaft Garage Door Operator
- A compact, slim garage door opener
- Come with an in-built backup battery
- A powerful garage door opener
- Not integrated with Google Assist or Alexa
- An expensive device
- Has no external keypad
The LiftMaster 8500W is designed to be reliable and silent. It is one of the latest offerings from a company best known for high-quality products. It can help you to secure and easily open your garage door, thanks to its standout features. It has a hard-working motor that incidentally comes with a lifetime warranty. The motor provides a torque and gearing ratio that is enough to lift just about anything. All you might ever need to upgrade is your door – not the door opener.
As part of the garage door opener, you will get a 200W light which automatically turns on to illuminate the garage as soon as the motor starts running. This eliminates the need for stumbling around the garage in search of the light switch. It is all about giving you a parking experience that is as good as possible.
You will appreciate the fact that this garage door operator comes with a 6-foot power line for connecting to the power socket. Thus, you can plug it into the socket as soon as you arrive at home with it. The garage door opener comes with a proprietary Protector System that automatically opens when a child or pet approaches the door. This prevents unnecessary accidents.
3. SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
- Made to dampen vibrations
- A silent garage door opener
- Lasts long
- Comes with a remote control limited in range
- Seems slower when opening the door
- Reports of dysfunctional safety features
Everyone deserves an effective but quiet garage door opener. You don’t want to arrive home and have to alight from the vehicle to open the garage. That’s why the SOMMER 1052V000 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener is recommended for you. It opens the door without producing any form of vibrations. Thus, there is no way you are going to wake up family members when you arrive home late.
This hard-working garage door opener has a full 1 HP capability. That makes it strong enough to lift just about any door. It includes a rail for installation on a 7 to 8-foot door. So, you don’t have to buy the rail separately. In fact, the motor is fitted right into the door. That’s why you should expect nothing but maximum power from this device.
Its makers have included the Secure Rolling Code Technology, which minimizes on the moving parts. As such, the motor is the only moving part. It works by gliding up the chain in the sturdy steel rail. The good thing is that this garage door opener is compatible with Home Link. It is a must-have for people who have no time to waste waiting for the garage door to open.
4. Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener
- Small-sized and easy-to-fit
- Has an automatic deadbolt locking system
- Has hacker-deterrent encryption
- Lacks Wi-Fi capabilities
- Requires a professional to install
- The installation manual is not clear
If you are looking for a garage door opener that assures you of greater security, you have come to the right place. The Chamberlain RJO20 has a built-in deadbolt, which automatically locks and secures the door when you close it fully. With that, you do not have to worry about manually locking the door. The wall-mounted garage door opener provides quiet noise-free operations.
Since this is a smart device, you can manipulate it remotely via the MyQ app on your smartphone. You don’t have to be at home to open or close your garage. It comes with a surprisingly thin body, which makes it suitable for installation in small garages or tight corners without having to modify it.
So, why not buy a garage door opener from a trusted manufacturer such as this one? The good thing is that you will get something that secures your garage while granting you success when you need it. In addition to the smartphone-operation capabilities, the mechanism also comes with a two-button remote. So, if you can’t open it via the mobile phone app, you can quickly switch over to the remote control. No hassle with this garage door opener.
- Comes with an LED bulb for lighting
- Can be operated through a smartphone
- Has a quiet DC motor
- Not DIY installable
- Doesn’t come with necessary installation bolts
- Does not come with clear installation instructions
Unlike other garage door openers that come with AC motors, the Skylink ATOMS AT-1622BK has a DC one. But the difference is not just in the type of current used to operate the motors. Rather, it lies in how quiet the DC motor is. You will hardly notice any sound coming out of it. If you have people living near your garage, this is the door opener to buy.
The device comes with a dedicated LED light that illuminates the garage as soon as the motor starts. With that, you do not have to grapple for the light switch once the garage door locks. It comes with an easy-to-install numeric display. For cars with built-in openers, programming them in line with this device is easy. So, instead of using a remote control, you can open the garage right from your car.
Compatible with SkyNetLink, the unit can be monitored and controlled remotely through a smartphone. In fact, you don’t have to be close to the garage to open or close it. Just in case you like forgetting to close your garage, you can take advantage of the automatic close timer. Simply program it to be closing the garage at a specific time and it will do it for you.
6. NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG Remote Compatible Door Openers
- The app is easy to install
- Compatible with voice control programs
- You can connect it to multiple users
- It may take longer to install
- Costlier than similar units
- The instructions are not very clear
Are you looking for a technology-aided garage opener that will greatly enhance your security and enable multiple users? The NEXX Garage NXG-100 Remote Compatible Door Openers are designed to work via an android app. The easy-to-install app is nice, clean, and without unnecessary features. That means it is also easy to use.
Additionally, you can link this device to voice control programs like Siri, Alexa or Google Assist. With that, you can use your voice to operate the device. Not a bad thing, is it? These voice control programs also help you to easily link the unit to other smart devices in your home.
This garage door opener is capable of accommodating multiple users. You can connect different smartphones to it and create separate logins. That way, you can monitor the people coming in and going out from a remote location. It is the reason, this unit is thought to be perfect for enhancing your home’s security. The app itself is designed to prevent hackers from accessing it and taking control of your home’s security. Talk about not having to worry about anything while away from your home.
7. LiftMaster 1355 (Replaced by 8065) Contractor Series Garage Door Opener
- Uses the efficient chain drive mechanism
- Compatible with the MyQ app
- A secure garage door opener
- Doesn’t work with older keypads
- Homelink function is not compatible with older car models
- Doesn’t come with clear installation instructions
The top reason this unit is able to lift the garage door with a ½ HP motor is the chain drive mechanism. Its rigidity and efficiency ensure that the motor is able to use minimal HP to lift up the door. Thus, it is great for people looking for ultra-quiet operations. In fact, the motor doesn’t seem to strain or likely to stop working mid-stream.
Of course, the unit comes with a remote control capability. However, it is also compatible with the MyQ App, through which you will be able to control it via your smartphone. The best thing is that control via a smartphone can be done from virtually anywhere. And, you do not have to carry the remote control device all the time.
For you to stay secure all the time, the makers of this unit have provided you with a software that changes the encryption every time you close or open the door. It then sends an access code to the remote control device. In short, there is a frequent change of lock and key every time you use the unit. There is no way a hacker can break through the defenses provided by this system. It comes with a 4-year warranty, which will definitely give you peace of mind.
8. Tailwind iQ3 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener
- Ability to sense your car
- Operable via the Tailwind App on your smartphone
- Compatible with voice control programs
- Not aesthetically appealing
- Not DIY installable
- iPhone users need an extra sensor
Not many of the garage door openers featured here are capable of sensing the kind of car you are driving. The Tailwind iQ3 Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener does just that. When you leave the garage and forget to close the door, the unit will automatically do it for you. This ensures that your home remains secure while you are away.
It is compatible with the Tailwind App on Android or iOS. Using your smartphone, you can control the unit virtually from anywhere in the world. In short, you can receive alerts, check the status of the door, open or close it remotely. The unit is also compatible with voice control applications such as Siri Shortcuts, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Home, and IFTTT. This allows you to easily sync it with the rest of the smart devices in your home.
But how does the vehicle sensor work? Well, it uses the Bluetooth ID on your vehicle. That means your vehicle should be Bluetooth-enabled for it to work with this unit. If it isn’t, then you must install a vehicle sensor which them works together with your smartphone.
9. Craftsman ½ HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
- A secure garage door opener
- Comes with security sensors
- A 75w low power consumption light
- Reports of never receiving the unit upon purchase
- Not DIY installable
- Doesn’t work with Homelink
Even though a new entrant into the world of garage door opener manufacturers, Craftsman does a good job with this device. It uses a wireless keypad that you can program using a 4-digit PIN to ensure your security. But the best thing about this unit comes from the way it is extremely simple to install. This energy-efficient unit automatically enters the sleep mode that saves onto the amount of power used.
One of its greatest features is the set of infrared reversing sensors. There are sensors at the bottom as well as the top. Thus your kids, pets, and car are protected from freak accidents right inside your garage. For example, a lowering door will stop when you start reversing by mistake.
It comes with a security coding system that updates automatically every time you open or close the door. Thus, no duplicate remote can be used to access the garage. With bulb with a power consumption of just 75W, the unit is more economical than others that use as much as 200W. Yet, it is bright enough to enable you to have a good vision of the entire garage. It is much better than units that do not feature a light.
10. Genie ChainMax 1000 Garage Door Opener
- Easy to install
- Infrared beams prevent accidents
- A low-maintenance C-channel rail
- Reports of the unit stalling without warning
- Some were delivered without some parts
- Reports of the door crashing to the ground
Chain drive systems have been used to open garage doors for years. Thus, the system has been perfected so much so that it provides for a smooth, quiet operation. The Genie ChainMax Garage Door will deliver that and more. It comes with a 140-volt DC motor with soft start-and-stop control. The unit is extremely easy to install and smooth to operate. It opens the door fast enough to enable you to enter the garage immediately.
With this unit, your family is protected from possible freak accidents. It has invisible infrared beams across the door so that when a child, pet or car crosses while the door is coming down, it stops right in its tracks and goes back upwards. With that, you can be sure that the worst-case scenario just won’t materialize.
It comes with a clean sleek C-channel rail whose low profile wards off possible debris and dirt. In short, the chain drive mechanism stays clean enough to keep working with minimum maintenance. The package includes two 3-button, pre-programmed remote control units, and a keyless, wireless keypad. You will also get a multi-function control panel or wall console.
Choosing The Best Garage Door Openers – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Garage door openers provide you convenient access and exit to and from your garage. They also ensure your safety as well as that of your kids and pets. But buying one is not as straightforward as you might think. There are several things to which you must pay attention in order to ensure that the garage door opener you get is the best. If you are a newbie, we have put together several tips in this buying guide to help you make the best choice. Read on.
Which Drive System Do You Need?
There are three main types of drive systems for garage door openers. They include the belt, chain, and screw drive systems. As such, the price of a garage door opener will largely depend on the type of drive system it uses. Let us give each of these drive systems a detailed view:
- Belt Drives: In this system, the trolley is driven by a rubber belt to raise or lower the garage door. It is not a simple rubber. The belt is usually made from steel-reinforced rubber, Kevlar polymer or fiberglass. Since it has minimal moving parts, belt drive systems are the quietest. These systems, therefore, work well in homes where the garage is an extension of the main house. If a family member sleeps next to or above the garage, this is the best system to use. Only that you have to pay top-dollar to get a unit that uses this type of drive system.
- Chain Drives: Instead of a rubber belt, these systems raise the garage door using a chain. As soon as the system kicks into gear, you will begin hearing banging sounds from the chain. The chain rolls around a rail to pull the trolley. Since they have many moving parts, chain drives need to be maintained periodically. This prolongs their life and keeps them performing efficiently. If you have less money and are willing to endure the noise, this type of drive system is the best for you. Without power, you can easily operate this system manually.
- Screw Drives: This system has a thread rod system that moves the door. Unlike the other drive systems, this particular one requires very few parts. Compared to chain drive systems, this is quieter. Since it is composed of fewer parts than the other two, its chances of breaking are very minimal. However, you have to constantly maintain it through the application of a lubricant twice a year. Screw drive systems work well for a lighter garage door. For the heavy ones, the threads on the screw tend to wear off quickly.
The Noise Level
The level of noise produced by a garage door opener is an important consideration. If it is too loud, then it will not be suitable for installation in a garage that is adjacent to the main house. Don’t lie to yourself that you can cure the problem of noise by oiling the moving parts of the system. That is why you ought to consider buying a unit that is actually quiet.
As we have seen above, the kind of drive system a unit has determines whether it will be cool or loud. Of the three systems, the belt drive is the quietest. However, even within the other types, you will find a door opener that is quieter than the rest. When installing the garage door opener in business premises or isolated homes, the noise level may not matter. Not so for homes with bedrooms right next to the garage. So, put that into consideration before dismissing off a unit for being noisy.
Strength Of The Garage Door Opener
The strength of garage door opening systems differs depending on the model. Thus, some are strong while others are extremely weak to lift the garage door. Without proper balance, there is going to be a problem. If you use a weak opener on a heavy door, it will get stuck midway and prevent you from entering the garage.
A very strong opener on a light door and you have another problem. The door will move suddenly, hit the upper wall, and get damaged. Since it is hard to reduce the speed and power of your garage door opener, make sure you buy one that’s tailored to meet your needs. Make sure you read reviews and statistics from the manufacturer to know if you are choosing the right product.
Is The Garage Door Opener Easy To Program?
Garage door openers are made differently. However, very few of them will require the user to have programming knowledge. In fact, most of them rely on on-screen buttons. When you receive it, the remote control devices will already be programmed. In case you need to replace the remote control, all you need to do is to press a certain frequency or link button found on the side of the remote. That simple and easy, you will connect the remote to the unit.
Most of the garage door openers come with instruction manuals to help you set up an auto-schedule. That’s because each model comes with a self-styled schedule system. Even if they are from the same manufacturer, there are likely to be marked differences between any two models. Good thing, manufacturers provide instruction manuals or video tutorials on YouTube.
Ease Of Installation
Garage door openers are designed to be compatible only with certain types of doors. So, they are usually installed in different ways. Some are mounted on top rails or the side of the door. In short, you need to be aware of the type of installation a unit requires before buying it.
If you don’t pay attention, then you might have to hire a professional to help you with the installation. Since the garage door opener, you buy will need an AC power supply make sure there is a socket nearby. To install it, start by assembling all of its parts to ensure it works properly.
For A Garage Door Opener, Size Is Key
Garage doors differ in terms of sizes and other aspects. On average, the door will have 8 to 9 feet in height. That’s why you should pay extra attention to ensure you buy an opener that works with the height of the door you have in mind. If the opener is too small, it may not be able to work on a standard door. In fact, it will leave the door stuck part of the way upwards. Or the unit may come totally broken.
The good thing is that the manufacturers usually state the kind of door and opener is meant for. To be on the safe side, check the manufacturer’s instructions concerning how high the door ought to be. When it comes to the width, that isn’t a big issue. Most garage doors have more or less the same width. Another aspect of the size you must consider is the weight of the door. If it is heavy, then you need a unit with an above-average HP.
Horsepower Also Matters
A close look at the garage door openers featured in this review will reveal that they have different levels of horsepower. The least is ½ HP while the highest is 1.25 HP. The strength of a garage door opener is usually determined by the horsepower of the motor.
In simple terms, models with the highest HP are the strongest. They can lift heavy doors without straining too much. However, there are some units with a lower HP which are able to lift heavy doors with ease, thanks to the drive system used. The other advantage of a high HP model is that it gets strained less and is likely to last long.
What Key Features Should You Pay Attention To?
- Remotes Or Keypads: You will need a remote control to use with a garage door opener. Most models come with a keypad and two remote control units. When bought separately, remote control units will cost about $40 and keypads about $60.
- Lighting: Garage door openers with a lighting feature provide convenient illumination of the space. In short, you don’t have to manually switch on the light. Once the motor begins to work, the light will turn on. But not all units have this feature. Those that do will have either 75W or 200W lights.
- Voice Control: There are a number of garage door openers that come with voice control capability via Nest, Xfinity, Alexa, and similar systems. These are usually easy to integrate with other smart devices in your home.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity: Most of the garage door openers featured here have built-in Wi-Fi capability. Thus, you can connect to them via a smartphone app and open or close the garage. This feature also allows you to monitor your home remotely and to receive notifications.
- Vehicle Sensors: Some garage door openers are capable of sensing your vehicle via Bluetooth. As soon as the sense the vehicle within range, they will trigger the garage door to open or close.
- Other Features: Some of the other things to consider include whether the garage door opener has battery backup. In case of a power outage, the unit will continue working. Motion sensors are also important when it comes to preventing accidents. Integrated locks and rail extensions are also worth paying attention to.
As it is clear, garage door openers are elaborate systems that come with a number of features. That is why it is important to pay attention to the questions discussed above before settling on a particular model. Make sure that you only buy a unit that is compatible with your doors. Additionally, it should have all the features that make it easy to operate. If you are going to attempt the DIY installation, then ensure that the unit allows for that. Whatever you do, don’t waste money on a worthless garage door opener.