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Nobody wants to get out of their vehicle, open the garage door, get back in, and then have to get out again to close the door. Thankfully, garage door openers are a modern convenience that has helped solve this issue. If you are in the market for the best garage door opener, then read on for more information.
Our reviews look at the type of garage door opener, including whether they are a chain, belt, or direct drive. We’ve also considered lifting force, maximum door height, safety sensors, and many extra features. All this information will help you match the garage door opener with your needs. The more you understand about garage door openers, the more you can be assured that you are making the right decision.
We have spent many hours researching the products, comparing them, and reading reviews to give you all the facts you need to make a decision. Included in this review is a handy comparison table followed by more in-depth reviews of each product. At the end there is a buying guide that covers important information as well as a FAQ section. Altogether, we hope that this article proves useful in your purchasing decision.
The Chamberlain B970 has the most lifting force of all of the garage door openers on this list, coming in at 1 ¼ HP. This is quite the serious strength. If you are constantly coming in and out of your garage and want a strong, durable opener, then the Chamberlain B970 is the way to go.
As well as some serious lifting power, the Chamberlain B970 has an integrated battery backup which ensures that even if the electricity goes out, you will still be able to access your garage. This is some nice peace of mind.
The range of the remote control is 1500 feet which is standard, but perfect for most situations. The Chamberlain B970 uses a belt drive mechanism which results in a very quiet function. Again, if you constantly use your garage door and don’t want to deal with the noise that usually comes with it, then this is the model for you.
One very nice feature about the Chamberlain B970 is the fact that it can be paired with your smartphone. The garage door opener uses the MyQ app which allows you to control your opener, lights, and even set a schedule. You also can monitor activity and receive notifications, which is a great safety feature.
The SOMMER 1052V000 is the only direct drive garage door opener on our list. Its innovative design makes it both powerful and whisper quiet, which is a very unique combination. At 1HP of lifting force, the SOMMER 1052V000 is among the strongest out there. This is thanks to its construction which has the motor move up the chain, rather than the other way around.
A bonus to the SOMMER 1052V000 is the fact that it has a maximum door height of 8 feet. This is slightly larger than the average height, and great if you need the extra space. It also saves you the trouble of purchasing a separate door extension.
The SOMMER 1052V000 is Wi-Fi compatible and can be controlled via Home Link. Even the remote controls look like they support more advanced technology. Instead of the traditional black and white remotes, the SOMMER 1052V000 features black and blue controllers, that seem more in keeping with the 21st century.
There is a lifetime warranty on the motor, which is fairly standard, and a nice two-year warranty on accessories. It is on the high end of the price spectrum, but its sophisticated technology is well worth the investment.
Why is it special?
Wireless capability is great for pairing with smartphones
The Chamberlain B550 is perfect if you want a high-end WiFi garage door opener. It has a belt drive motor which results in very quiet running. If you have a living room near your garage and are always opening the door, then a quiet garage door opener will bring a lot of tranquility to your home.
For those that are technically savvy, you will love the fact that the Chamberlain B550 has a built-in Wi-Fi. This machine is compatible with the MyQ app, which allows you to control your garage door opener from your smartphone with ease. You can set schedules and monitor its usage. The application will also send notifications if your garage door opens when you are not expecting it to.
Also included are safety sensors, which are a must if you have children or pets. These sensors will automatically reverse the garage door if anything unexpected gets in its path.
While these features do come at a premium price point, it is still lower than some of the more extreme garage door openers out there, and well within most budgets.
Why did it make our list?
Wi-Fi and MyQ app pairs the opener with your smartphone
What is not ideal about it?
Lifting force is less than other models posses
Extra payment needed to connect the device to home hub
If you want a garage door opener with a bit more power, then the Genie ChainMax 3022-TKH is a perfect contender. It has ¾ HP which is more than similar models, so you know that it will do the job just fine.
Another exciting feature about the Genie ChainMax 3022-TKH is the fact that it comes with a wireless keypad. This is perfect for anyone that forgets their keys, or anyone who doesn’t want to carry more items with them. The wall console is easy to use and offers even more features. With the console control panel, you can set your PIN, have a light control, and even set the door opener to a vacation lock. This is a truly versatile machine.
The manufacturer of the Genie ChainMax 3022-TKH strongly believes in their product, which is evident in the warranty options. The motor has a 15-year warranty, which pretty much guarantees its lifespan. There is also a one-year warranty on parts and accessories and a five-year warranty on the chain. If you are not mechanically savvy, then these warranties will have you covered.
What are its best features?
Control panel is wireless, keyless, and easy to use
Vacation lock function
What could be improved?
Some customers complained of missing parts after product has been shipped
The Chamberlain C410 packs a heavy punch as a garage door opener. It has a standard, 1500-foot remote range which allows passengers ample time to both close and open the door. There are safety sensors which is a must if you have kids or pets.
If you’re worried about anyone breaking into your garage, have no fear as the Chamberlain C410 offers protection against forced entry. The keypad also wards against code encryption. Once your garage door is closed, it will stay closed until you decide to open it.
The chain drive is very durable and is made with a rugged steel construction. So the opener won’t break in years to come.
Included with this garage door opener are two remote controls, and each has three buttons. This means that you can actually control up to three different openers. That’s a lot of choice.
To demonstrate just how reliable this garage door opener is, the manufacturer has provided ten-year warranty on the motor. There is also a one-year warranty on the parts, accessories, and chain. This gives some peace of mind knowing that if should anything break, help will be there.
What do we love it for?
Durable steel construction
1500-feet remote range
What were we disappointed with?
Lifting force is only ½ HP, which is less than other similar models
The Decko 24503 is another excellent, heavy duty garage door opener, thanks to its ¾ HP, which is slightly more than the average. It is very easy to install, and perfect for any DIYer.
A really nice feature of the Decko 24503 is the fact that while it has a maximum door height of 7 feet, it also comes with an 8-foot extension. This means that if you have a larger than standard garage door, you can purchase this garage door opener and not have to worry about searching for an extra part. This will save you both the hassle and money.
The Decko 24503 comes with a wall panel and wall button, both of which are wireless. It also comes with two remote controls. The opener has a standard reverse safety system that ensures that the door will stop if any unwanted objects come into contact with the sensors.
There is a lifetime warranty on the motor and a one-year warranty on the parts, which is quite standard.
What are its best features?
8-foot extension is perfect an unusual size of garage
The LiftMaster 3265-267 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to garage door openers. It has a lifting force of ½ HP which is considerably less than other similar models. It also has a chain drive construction which means that it can become quite noisy.
However, the LiftMaster 3265-267 has built-in Wi-Fi, which is a very advanced feature. It allows you to connect to a smartphone app in order to remotely open or close the garage door, and receive notifications if anyone else opens it.
The LiftMaster 3265-267 is very easy to install which is perfect if you want to get it up and running right away. If you are replacing your current garage door opener, then there is a good chance that this model will be able to fit on existing rails, although it is best to contact the manufacturer to make sure. It has a lifetime warranty on the motor and a one-year warranty on the parts, which is pretty standard.
All in all this is a relatively standard garage door opener, but the Wi-Fi capability makes it a serious contender. If you don’t need too many bells and whistles, just a reliable garage door opener, then the LiftMaster 3265-267 is worth looking into.
What are our favorite features?
Easy to install
May be able to pair with existing rails
What could be better?
Chain drive can make the motor too noisy
1/2 HP lifting force is less than in similar models
Things to Consider
Before you purchase your next garage door opener, it’s important to know what to look for. Start with understanding why a garage door opener is important, and then think about what you want from it. Below is a buying guide that explains some useful information. Once you understand what a garage door opener can offer, your buying experience will be much better.
Why install a garage door opener?
Installing a garage door opener is as much about safety as it is about convenience. If you park your car in your garage, then you absolutely need a garage door opener. Otherwise, you will have to get out of the car each, and every time you either exit or enter your garage. This is far too time-consuming and just even annoying at times.
Safety is another reason to install a garage door opener. With access limited to either a remote control or a keypad, you can select the number of people that can gain access to the garage. For increasing your garage overall safety consider getting a garage alarm as well.
It’s also beneficial if you have kids that leave for school on their own. Instead of taking the chance of them losing their house key, you can instead tell them the code to open the garage door.
Features to consider while choosing a garage door opener
There are many important factors to consider with a garage door opener. Here are some features to understand along with their explanations.
The drive of a garage door opener refers to the way it is operated. It may be a chain drive, a belt drive, or a direct drive. A chain drive can be quite noisy, and a belt drive will be a bit quieter. The direct drive is the quietest of all three. Basically, any type can be installed on a typical door, only of it’s not a gate, or a portable garage which usually has a zipper instead of a real door. Be sure to read the FAQ section to understand each drive’s pros and cons.
The lifting force of a garage door opener is measured in horsepower or HP. Basically, the higher the horsepower, the higher the lifting force is. ½ HP is the minimum standard for garage door openers. More powerful options, like the SOMMER 1052V000, offers 1 HP, while the mighty Chamberlain B970 offers 1 ¼ HP.
The remote range refers to how far away you can use your remote with your garage door opener. The higher the range, the more flexibility you have time-wise to open the door, while driving either to or away from the garage door. 1500 feet seems to be the standard remote range, as can be seen with the Chamberlain B550 and the Chamberlain B970.
Maximum door height
The standard garage door height is seven feet tall. And most garage door openers use this measurement as their maximum door height.
If you have an atypical garage or a custom garage door, for something like boat storage system, then a standard garage door opener will not work for you, or you may need to search for extra accessories.
Almost all garage door openers will have safety sensors. This means that if something were to move under the garage door as it is being opened or closed, then the door will automatically shut off. This is essential to have, especially if you have children or pets.
A battery backup is a separate part from the garage door opener and does not usually come with your purchase. Instead, you will often have to purchase it separately. The battery backup plugs into the motor and essentially provides backup power if the electricity goes out. If you live in an area that frequently has power outages, or if the garage is your most likely point of entry into your home, then it is wise to consider this feature. While most garage door openers do not come with battery backups, the Chamberlain B970 does.
Warranties are especially crucial with garage door openers as they contain a lot of mechanical parts. Many warranties cover different parts of the garage door opener for different lengths of time. The Decko 24503, for example, has only a standard one-year warranty on parts but offers a lifetime warranty on the motor. Be sure to read the warranty carefully, and store that information away as it can be confusing to remember which warranties last for how long.
The extra features of a garage door opener can sometimes make or break a purchase. If you are tech-savvy and want to connect your garage door opener to your smartphone, then look for Wi-Fi capability.
Some garage door openers offer keypads, and some don’t. If you don’t want to always carry a remote control with you, then be sure to look for an opener with an easy-to-use keypad.
Other extra features may include the type of technology that is used in the garage door opener. There are many basic models out there, but it’s always nice to come across a company that has invested heavily in their own technology. This shows their commitment to the products.
Remember, though, that extra features often come with a heftier price tag. If you don’t need fancy bells and whistles, then make sure you’re not paying for them.
It’s hard to answer which type of garage door opener is the best, as it all comes down to needs.
Chain drives are the most common garage door openers. In order for the door to move up or down, a chain will need to be pulled up. They are reliable and affordable, although they can be a little loud.
Belt drives do not use a chain to open the garage door, but instead they use a belt. They are more expensive than chain drives. However, they are quieter, so if your living area is near your garage, then they are a good choice.
Direct drives are very different than most garage door openers because they do not rely on a belt or a chain. Instead, they use a stationary rail and the motor travels along it. They were invented in Germany and their innovative design results in extremely quiet performance.
A battery backup is a great tool to have if you frequently experience power outages. Just as it’s nice to have a battery backup in an alarm clock if the electricity fails, so too is it a good idea for a garage opener.
A battery backup is plugged into the motor of a garage door opener. They take about five hours to charge, and a full charge will run the garage door opener for about 24 hours. You can purchase batter backups on their own, but some models, such as the Chamberlain B970, come with your purchase.
If you are a forgetful person or don’t want to carry anything extra around with you, then connecting your garage door opener to your smartphone is a great idea. Some openers will have the ability to connect to their own in-house app, such as the Chamberlain B550. If your opener does not come with an app, or you don’t like the one the manufacturer suggests, there are other apps that you can download. The critical thing to note is that your garage door opener needs to have wireless capabilities to connect to a smartphone.
Yes and no. If you are a knowledgeable person who understands motors, then yes, you can install a garage door opener by yourself. Most openers will come with instructions, and if not, there are plenty of websites and videos that will walk you through it. At most, installation should only take a few hours. It is best, however, to find a friend to help with the installation as some parts may be heavy or out of reach for some people.
If, however, you are not mechanically inclined, then it’s really best to get a professional to install your garage door opener. Especially when it comes to safety sensors, having a garage door opener installed correctly the first time is worth the extra money.
The standard size for a garage door is 7 feet, which is why most garage door openers are built for this measurement. Sometimes, however, you may have a larger, 10-foot door. If this is the case, then you can purchase an extension kit. Chamberlain is one of the most well-known garage door opener manufacturers, and they have created an extension kit that works really well. There are some models, like the Decko 24503, which has an extension included. If you can find a model that meets your needs and also includes an extension, then this will save you a lot of time and money.
Finding the right garage door opener can be tough, but hopefully, this article has helped with your purchase. For the best and strongest garage door opener, look to the Chamberlain B970. It not only has the highest lifting force with 1 ½ HP, but it also has wireless capabilities and can be paired with a smartphone for convenience.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, then try the Sommer 1052V000. It is the only garage door opener on our list that uses precision, direct drive technology, and its near soundlessness definitely impresses.
Finally, if you want a reliable, dependable, and smart garage door opener, then you can’t go wrong with the Chamberlain B550. It has a quiet belt drive motor and wireless capability, meaning it checks just about all the essential boxes.