Best Garage Door Openers Reviewed & Rated by Editors
If you have a garage, you might have realized that having a quality garage door opener increases the expediency of getting into and out of the house. An estimated 71% of Americans use their garage doors as the key entry point into homes, and thus the value of a quality garage door cannot be overstated.
A garage door allows you to drive in and out of your home without battling weather elements. If the sun is beating down, you don’t want and shouldn’t leave the air conditioner. Moreover, you want to stay dry if the rain is pouring, and only a first-rate garage door opener will allow that.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Chamberlain B970
- Direct Drive
- Chamberlain WD832KEV
Despite the expediency of garage openers, this tool is often overlooked seeing as most homes come with garage door openers pre-installed. It is not until the device breaks down that one realizes that purchasing a garage door opener is not as clear-cut. New gadgets have a plethora of features that will perplex most first time buyers. Moreover, there are various types and a wide range of prices.
Nevertheless, at Contractor Culture, we believe that you don’t have to pay a fortune for a quality garage door opener. As such, we have provided some recommendations ensuring that you get top value for money.
10 Best Garage Door Openers
1. Chamberlain B970
First, thanks to the 1-1/4HP motor, this unit has enough power for the most substantial doors. Couple this with the Chamberlain’s Max Lift Power System and you have a garage opener that is more powerful compared to other units in the 1-1/4HP class. Additionally, it features a backup battery in case of a power outage. The battery allows you access to your garage, but it cannot sustain you for lengthy outages. The anti-vibration feature on this unit ensures smooth operation, but our best features were the smartphone capabilities and superior remote range.
Smartphone capability – Thanks to the MyQ app, you can open, close, and check the status of your garage e door remotely. It also incorporates notifications enabling you to know whenever your garage is opened, closed, or left open. You will appreciate the convenience this affords you as you can let people into your house remotely and you never have to worry about whether or not you closed your garage.
Superior remote range – Thanks to the Enhanced Triband Range, you get an excellent range (up to 1500 ft.), better performance, and less interference. The scope allows quicker entrance and exit.
Belt drive system
Remote range: 1,500 ft.
Who is it for?
We recommend this unit for double doors or more demanding doors, but more for people with rooms adjacent or above the garage thanks to how quiet it is. Finally, it is best for 7ft. doors and you will need an extension for 8 and 10ft. garage doors.
It is built to last, and precision engineered or smooth operation and to increase safety
It can withstand extreme conditions and is robust to lift heavy doors
It is a pleasant unit to have thanks to the anti-vibration and how quiet it is
Allows integration for IFTTT and Google Assistant
One gripe is that you need a subscription to integrate it with IFTTT and Google Assistant
2. Direct Drive 1042V004
The Sommer Direct Drive is a chain drive system, and though it is supposed to be noisy, it is surprisingly quiet (more on this later). It happens to be a 3/4HP unit, and that is enough power to lift a 550-pound door. The rail included with the unit is enough for 7 and 8 ft. doors but you will need an extension for 10 ft. garage doors. It works flawlessly with any third-party smart opener, but lacks Wi-Fi capabilities and has no keypad which should be standard features at this price point. Finally, it incorporates a sensor that will stop and lift the door should it encounter an obstacle. Nevertheless, our top features were the motor and the one directly driven metal sprocket.
Single metal sprocket – Despite this unit being a chain drive system, it features a single moving metal sprocket and thus it is surprisingly quiet. By reducing the moving parts, it also reduces the wear and tear and increases the safety as it reduces the likelihood of pets (cats) and birds being caught in the belt.
Motor – Unlike other options, the motor on the Sommer Direct Drive is located at the door and not on the back, and thus there is better power transfer.
310MHZ rolling code technology
Dimensions: 42 * 10 * 6.5 inches
Who is it for?
We recommend this for people on a rather generous budget. Moreover, it best for 7 and 8ft. doors and no more than 550 pounds.
The kit includes a bracket to screw into the wall and aiming is a breeze
It handles an 8 ft. door without having to buy an extension
It is quiet and has a smooth operation
It is slow, and the buttons on the transmitters are tiny, and you have to be deliberate when pressing them
3. Chamberlain WD832KEV
You will also appreciate the two 3-button remotes that are easier to press than the Sommer, and the wireless access keypad. The unit also incorporates a motion detection control panel and a connection for bulbs though these aren’t in the kit. Moreover, the door opener uses a rolling code, and thus your rolling code cannot be used later. Finally, it hasss safety features that will stop and reverse the door in case there is a person or object in the way.
Posilock anti-theft – This system ensures that once the doors are locked, stay closed, and can only be opened from the inside using the manual release mechanism which is handy in case there is a blackout.
Timer – Another nifty feature of this unit is the timer that you can customize. Thus you don’t have to worry about leaving your door open as it closes once the time has elapsed. You can set it to one, five or 10 minutes.
Dimensions: 26.7 * 13.6 * 8.5inches
Triband technology for better performance
Who is it for?
We recommend this opener for people with lightweight doors, and especially aluminum doors.
It is smooth
The setup is simple if you are replacing an existing opener
It automatically closes, and you don’t have to have the timer set; it also includes a “hold open” button if you need more time
Includes a battery backup
You can only get the most out of this unit with the MyQ technology; however, you can only use it with the CIGBU MyQ internet gateway which costs an extra $40 to $50
The unit is pricey
4. LiftMaster 8500
It is MyQ enabled, but then you have to purchase the CIGBU internet gateway. It is also compatible with Google Assistant and IFTT, but you have to pay a $1 monthly subscription. The built-in deadbolt system locks your garage whenever you close it, and you want to invest in a backup battery in case of an outage. However, you can manually disengage the lock from the inside. The unit is also designed with safety in mind, and the door will stop and reverse in case of any obstacle or person. Moreover, it uses a rolling code, and thus no one can intercept your code and use it later. Finally, it is Homelink compatible, but you should ensure it works with your car. Our top features though were the keyless keypad, and that it saves space.
Keyless keypad – This keypad stores codes for eight doors, and is the most versatile you will come across. Moreover, you can close all entries with a single button saving you the agony of having to enter all door codes.
Saves space – Since it is on the side of the door, it saves overhead space especially where space is limited.
Dimensions: 24 * 10 * 12 inches
Sleek space saving design
Who is it for?
The Liftmaster 8500 is a pricey unit, and we recommend it for people on a generous budget. Also, the LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series is excellent for people with limited overhead space.
It is super quiet
It is easy to install
Has a timer to open and close the door
It is pricey and requires the CIGBU gateway to work with the MyQ app
5. SOMMER 1052V000
The only distinction between this opener and the Sommer 1042v004 is the motor as this unit features a 1HP motor. Thus it can lift bulky doors with ease. You will also appreciate the 2-button transmitters and the interior wall station. Nevertheless, our best features were how quiet it is, and the rolling safety.
Quiet – seeing as it features one moving part on a sturdy steel rail, it happens to be as smooth as any belt drive opener. Moreover, it is slow and has virtually no vibrations and thus best for houses with living spaces near or above the garage.
Safety – First, the Sommer 1052v000 uses a rolling code technology for added security. It also incorporates a sensitive obstacle detector which will stop and reverse the door in case of an obstacle. It also keeps the door from closing until the object is removed, or the person moves out of the way.
Direct drive technology
Lifetime system warranty and 2-year warranty for accessories
Compatible with 7ft. and 8ft doors
Who is it for?
The Sommer 1052v000 is best for people with backup generators in case of power outages, and also ideal for homeowners with big garage doors.
Thanks to the reduced moving parts, the 1052v000 is extremely quiet and durable
The motor is attached to the door and thus has better power transfer
It is Homelink compatible
It lacks a battery backup, and thus you will be locked out of your garage in case of a power outage
6. LiftMaster 1355
The 1355 is designed for lightweight single or double doors seeing as it has a 1/2HP motor. Furthermore, it incorporates a built-in Wi-Fi allowing it to work with the MyQ app. It also happens to be Homelink compatible though some vehicles require a compatibility bridge. As for security, it is top-notch thanks to the security +2.0 that sends a new code every time you click the remote. It also incorporates a protector system invisible beam that auto reverses the door in-case of an obstacle.
The auto-force adjustment also happens to be excellent for changing weather. Our top features though were the posilock and ergonomic remote.
Posilock system – The posilock is an electronic system that keeps the door locked and prevents forced entry. However, it includes a manual release in case of a power outage.
Ergonomic remote – The LiftMaster remote has one button and thus more comfortable to use than other opener remotes.
Chain drive system
Security+ 2.0 system
Who is it for?
We recommend the LiftMaster 1355 for people on a budget as it is the best for value and reliability. However, it is noisy and best used on detached garages.
Features a durable motor and the company backs it up with a 4-year warranty
The remote is easy to use and has a comfortable grip
It is affordable at about half the cost of other garage door openers on this list
Since it is a chain drive unit, you don’t have to worry about blackouts as it is still easy to open
Noisy as it is a chain drive unit
It is not compatible with all vehicles, and some might need a compatibility bridge
7. Chamberlain B550
The Chamberlain B550 has built-in MyQ technology, and thus you can control it from the app. You can open, close the door, and also receive notifications whenever the door is opened or closed. The app integration is especially handy as it enables you to let people into the house remotely (think Amazon Deliveries).
The safety of the Chamberlain B550 also happens to be top-notch, thanks to the security+ system and 100 billion code encryption. The safety sends a new code to your remote with every click. It also has the standard infrared beam and auto reverse feature to protect people in the way, and motion sensors, so it is easier to walk from the car to the house. However, the bulbs are sold separately.
The timer automatically closes the door after a specified period between one and ten minutes. Our best features though were the Triband technology and lock function.
Lock function – This disables all remotes and keyless access to the garage and is handy at night or when you are away on vacation.
Triband technology – The Triband remote technology increases range up to 1,500ft, and performance, and spares you the few seconds one has to wait before the door opens.
Belt drive type
Who is it for?
The Chamberlain B550 is for homeowners with lightweight doors and who desire a quality opener.
The quality is unmatched, and the unit is precision engineered for longer life
It is ultra-quiet and excellent for attached garages
Easy to install and attractive
The product manual is quite comprehensive and will assist with installation
Has better lifting force thank the MED lift power system
This opener will nickel and dime you especially when integrating it with a smart home hub as you have to pay a subscription
Has no battery backup
8. Chamberlain B730
You can also upgrade to smartphone control with the MyQ app, but this needs a CIGBU internet gateway. However, you will have better control as you can open, close and check the status of the garage door. You will also appreciate the timer, as you can set the door to close after one, five, or ten minutes. The door will close even when you don’t set the timer.
It includes all safety features from a motion sensor, safety sensors, and auto-reverse lest there is a hindrance. The Triband technology also increases the range and performance of the remotes. Nevertheless, our best features were the battery backup, and ease of installation.
Battery backup – If your area of residence is prone to blackouts, the battery backup ensures that you can get in and out of your garage.
Ease of installation – With the comprehensive manual, and the online guides, setting up the B730 will be a breeze. It will be especially easy if it is a replacement as you can use the old brackets.
Has a battery backup
Includes a timer
Who is it for?
The 3/4HP Chamberlain B730 is for garage doors that weigh about 550 pounds. Moreover, it is exceptional where silence is paramount.
Installation is effortless
Easy to re-program the 3-button ergonomic remote
You can open the door remotely from up to 1,500 feet for fast entry and exit
Like most Chamberlain products, you have to pay a subscription fee for third-party integration, and you have to invest in the CIGBU internet gateway if you want to use the MyQ app
9. Chamberlain C410
Included in the box are 2-3 button remotes that incorporate the Triband technology for better remote access up to 1,500ft. The better range allows fast entrance and exit. It also includes a dual function wall control, sensors that will detect any obstacle. Finally, there is a keyless keypad for access without the remote control. Our best features though were the lock function, and chain drive system.
Chain drive – Despite it being a loud gadget, it does have its perks in that it requires less maintenance, and if well maintained can serve you longer than other units. Moreover, it doesn’t need a battery backup to access your garage in the event of a power outage.
Lock function – This disables all remote or keyless access to your garage and is useful especially when you are away.
Chain Drive system
3/4HP lifting force
Who is it for?
The C410 is best for homeowners on a budget or with detached garages.
It is smoother, quieter, and powerful than other chain drive units in the ½ HP class
Installation is effortless especially if you are replacing another opener
It is affordable, and you are getting top value for your money
Well, it is a noisy unit, and thus limited to detached garages, and you need a repeater if you want to program your cars
10. Chamberlain PD512
Other fascinating features include the remotes and posilock antitheft tech. All the remotes feature one button thus are easier to use. Furthermore, they incorporate the Triband frequency increasing the performance over longer distances. The posilock tech locks the door in place deterring forced entry. The unit also includes a wall control button and is Homelink compatible. However, some vehicle models may need a compatibility bridge to work. As for safety, the unit comprises safety sensors that will detect when a person or an object is in the way to prevent accidents. However, our best features were the lighting and the ease of installation.
Lighting – Unlike other Chamberlain products, the PD512 includes one, 100-watt lighting that is enough to keep you safe as you walk from your car to the door.
Ease of installation – The PD512 trumps all other units owing to the simplicity of installation. The rail assembles in under 60 seconds, and one button sets the travel limits.
A chain drive system
½ HP motor
2-1 button remotes
Wall control panel
Who is it for?
The PD512 is best for people with detached garages. After all, it is a chain drive system, and it is noisy. Moreover, it is best for 8ft. garage doors.
Includes a 6-year motor warranty
It includes two ergonomic remotes
It is simple to install
It is noisy and despite being for 7ft. doors, it works best with 8ft. garage doors
The first thing to consider when acquiring a garage door opener is the amount of power you need. You can pick one of three sizes; 1/3, ½, and 3/4HP. First, consider the number of doors you are lifting.
When lifting double doors, we recommend at least a unit with 1/2HP. When dealing with a single door, you will probably get away with a 1/3HP opener.
Also, mull over the size and the construction material of the door, as heavier material will require a stronger door opener. Finally, remember that more powerful units experience less stress and thus will last longer.
There are three drive systems to choose from:
- Belt drive – We recommend the belt drive system for residential homes and especially if you have a person who sleeps or spends time (an office) in the adjacent room or above the garage, as they are the quietest. These openers use a rubber belt system that is fiberglass, steel reinforced rubber, or Kevlar polymer. However, they are quite pricey.
- Chain drive system – If you have a detached garage, or noise will not be a concern, we recommend you get the chain drive system. This unit is affordable, and it should last a long time with the appropriate maintenance. Another advantage of this unit is that it is easy to operate during a power outage.
- Screw Drive – Finally, if you are looking for a compromise between the belt drive and chain drive, we recommend the screw drive system. They are not as noisy as the chain drive but not as quiet as the belt drive system. These use a threaded rod mechanism and require the least amount of parts. As such, they break down less often but need more maintenance. We would not recommend it for heavy doors, lest the strain wear down the screw heads.
Garage doors are meant to prevent access to your car and home by unauthorized people. As such, they use rolling codes and lock codes for extra safety. As the name implies, rolling codes change often, and thus the remote communicates with the garage door opener using a unique code every time.
This reduces the likelihood that someone can intercept the code and use it at a later time. Lock codes, on the other hand, deactivate remotes and keypads. You can activate this feature using the interior control panel, especially when going on a vacation or at night.
Most garage door open at the 7 inches per second. If pace is a priority, you can purchase a unit that opens at twice this speed.
Finally, consider the safety features on your opener. There are two standard features, but you can opt for more. The primary aspects are automatic reverse and infrared beam sensors. The infrared sensors will detect if there is an obstacle (say a person or object), the door auto reverses preventing an accident and keeps it from closing until the obstruction is moved.
You can also pick an opener with motion sensor lights that light up the garage whenever you walk between the car and the house
How do I get into my garage if my opener is not responding to the remotes and keypad?
Though the garage door is the main entry point into most homes, we recommend you have another entry point. Also, install an outside trolley system that allows you to release the system manually from the outside. Often this is a requirement for structures without secondary access, but if it isn’t a prerequisite, we suggest you invest in one.
How do I prevent access when I am not home?
The best way to prevent access to your garage is by disengaging the garage opener whenever you are away. You will have to reprogram the device once you are back, but it is ABC simple. Some units include a system that disables remotes and the keyless pad locking the garage door in place. These systems can only be disengaged manually from the inside.
Why won’t my garage door close completely?
Often, it could be that there is an obstacle and that interferes with the safety sensors. Ensure the area is clear of any obstructions and check if it will go down. If that doesn’t work, Inspect the photocell systems that are on the side of your door near the ground. Realign the sensors to fix the issue.
How do I adjust my safety sensors?
First, safety sensors are crucial components, and you should never try to work around them, and they should never be more than 6” from the ground.
There are various garage opener designs, but as we have established in this guide, Chamberlain is without a doubt the market leader. The company also produces the Liftmaster garage openers, and they have carved a niche. Ensure you get a unit that is within your budget, and one that is pleasant to use. We recommend the belt-drive garage for attached garages and chain units for detached garages.
Finally, if you think there is something we missed, please let us know in the comments below.