The first garage door opener was an electric overhead, created as far back as 1926 in Indiana. That was at a time when electricity was not fitted in all homes. But as time went on through the 30s and 40s, they became more prominent. In the 60s, they were not uncommon. We wouldn’t say they were commonplace, but they were less of a novelty.
There are five main types of opener amongst the best garage door openers compared in this review. These include chain and belt drive, screw drive, direct drive, and jackshaft drive. Chain drives might be the most popular. Belt drives are usually more expensive than chain drives, but they operate with a smoother, quieter action.
So, let’s take a look and see if we can find the best garage door opener for you and your garage…
- 1 Top 10 Best Garage Door Openers On The Market Reviews And Buying Guide
- 1.1 1 Chamberlain Wd832Kev Garage Door Opener – Best DIY Garage Door Opener
- 1.2 2 Chamberlain Group Chamberlain B1381 – Best Powerful Garage Door Opener
- 1.3 3 Chamberlain Group C870 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive – Best Durable Garage Door Opener
- 1.4 4 Genie SilentMax 750 3/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener – Best Low Maintenance Garage Door Opener
- 1.5 5 LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator – Best Jackshaft Garage Door Opener
- 1.6 6 Chamberlain 1/2 HP Heavy-Duty Chain Drive Smart Garage Door Opener – Best Security Garage Door Opener
- 1.7 7 Craftsman ½ HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener – Best All Weather Garage Door Opener
- 1.8 8 LiftMaster 1355 – Best WiFi Garage Door Opener
- 1.9 9 Chamberlain C450 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener – Best Long Life Garage Door Opener
- 1.10 10 NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG Remote Compatible Door Openers – Best Multiple User Garage Door Opener
- 2 Best Garage Door Openers Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for more superb products for your car?
- 4 So, what are the Best Garage Door Openers?
Top 10 Best Garage Door Openers On The Market Reviews And Buying Guide
1 Chamberlain Wd832Kev Garage Door Opener – Best DIY Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain is one of the best-known names in garage door openers. Established in 1954, they have become an organization with a presence in Australia and Europe as well as the US.
This is a half horsepower belt drive garage door opener. For added strength, it has a belt that is reinforced with steel. One of the problems with these door openers is that you can get some vibration from the motor. This opener has a unique isolation system designed by Chamberlain, which will reduce drastically or even eliminate the vibration of the head. As a system, it is extremely quiet.
There are some excellent useful features attached to this opener. It has a timer system for closing the door, and this really is a failsafe security system. If one day you are in a rush and forget to close the door, the timer on this opener will do it for you. It can be set to close one, five, or ten minutes after you have completed entry.
It also has a protector system, by way of a light beam, not visible to the naked eye. The light is projected across the opening into the garage, and if anything breaks the laser, the closing process will be automatically terminated, stopping the door going down. This process will also raise the door away from any potential problem.
You will need to self-install the opener, but the installation is quick and relatively painless. You will need to check if any additional fittings are required, depending on your vehicle.
It has a nice quiet operation, but to obtain this to the maximum, your garage doors should be fitted with nylon runners.
MyQ enabled technology…
As an additional extra, there is the MyQ enabled technology that will let you control the door opener using your mobile phone. But, this is sold separately.
Chamberlain’s Wd832Kev is a basic system, but it is a good option with quiet and efficient operation. There may be a need to adjust the position of the drive motor before first using it to allow the door to clear it. Finally, the price point is quite acceptable.
- Efficient, quiet belt system.
- Built-in timer protector.
- Door closing timer systems.
- The drive motor position may need adjusting during fitting.
2 Chamberlain Group Chamberlain B1381 – Best Powerful Garage Door Opener
This is another garage door opener from Chamberlain, but this version comes with a few added extras. Some of the features of this particular opener have much in common with other Chamberlain garage door openers. It is a belt drive system that has a steel reinforced belt that gives this garage door opener some real strength.
Powerful 1.25hps lift capability…
One difference in the design, though, is the horsepower of the motor. This has a 1.25hps maximum lift capability, which is one of the highest lift potentials of all the garage openers we reviewed. It is, therefore, suitable for a larger or heavier door. Nevertheless, the strength of the mechanism and the power of the motor ensures that the lift is both quiet and smooth.
Another excellent feature not found in every garage door opener is the added lights. When the garage door lift is activated, the system lights up your garage. To do this, it utilizes some powerful 100-lumens LED lights, and the lights are so positioned that they light up the full interior of your garage.
So, what happens if you are just about to go to work and something happens, and the electricity goes off? How are you going to get the car out of the garage? Chamberlain thought of that and installed a battery backup system. Not a bad idea, in our view.
Like other openers in the Chamberlain range, you can access the MyQ app, which will give you some additional features. One of them is the ability to be able to use your phone to open the door, but linking to the system is an optional extra.
It is also advisable to check with your supplier regarding the suitability of this system for your garage. In some cases, and door sizes, you might need an extension kit.
- Battery backup.
- LED lights illuminate your garage on entry.
- Some door sizes need an extension kit.
3 Chamberlain Group C870 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive – Best Durable Garage Door Opener
Yet another door opener from Chamberlain, but this one is a little different from our previous two listings. This opener is a chain drive rather than a belt drive. There is some debate about whether a belt or chain drive is better, and there are always two sides to any argument, of course.
The belt-drive is undoubtedly quieter and less obtrusive. Of course, they’re not just belts. They are also reinforced with steel to give them a little more durability. However, they can be vulnerable.
Built for durability…
Chain drives, though, have a rugged steel construction. They are built for durability and have a longer life than a belt drive. They’re also usually able to handle more massive doors and broader openings., though this is not always the case.
They can sometimes be very noisy, but I suppose the question is, how long does the noise go on for? Less than 30 seconds a day, maybe twice a day, doesn’t sound like a hardship to most people. Unless, of course, it is at 2 am.
This is a rugged and tough chain drive opener that can lift at 1.25hps quite effortlessly. That is one of the highest lifting figures you will come across at this level of an opener. It has a battery backup system built-in in case the electricity decides to go walkabout, and access is, therefore, guaranteed.
The Triband technology, built-in and exclusive to Chamberlain doors, increases the range of the remote control. With this door, the range is now about 350 yards. Further opening options exist for those who choose to use the MyQ app. Plus, using the app enables your smartphone to operate the door.
The Chamberlain C870A has a tougher build than the belt-driven options. It is a robust and well-designed garage door opener and should be considered as one of the best garage door openers for most.
- Chain drive gives it durability.
- Able to operate at 1.25hps.
- Some may find it too noisy.
4 Genie SilentMax 750 3/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener – Best Low Maintenance Garage Door Opener
First founded in 1923 in Ohio, the Genie company started producing garage door openers in 1954. In 1994 they were bought out by the Overhead Door Corporation and are still based in Ohio.
If you are looking for a very quiet but quick garage door opener, then this model from Genie could be the answer. Having garage doors that open as quietly as possible for garages in residential locations is essential. It is a belt drive opener with a three-quarters hp DC motor. It will lift a garage door that is up to 500 pounds in weight to a height of about seven feet.
This is a very quiet system that is ideal for those locations where the garage will be near to other houses. It has a low-maintenance gearbox, and motor and the set up is easy with Genie’s Smartset program. It’s so quick and easy because of a five-piece rail system that is very strong and clips together with no additional fittings required.
For security, there is a wireless keypad where you can set your personal entry PIN. For even more protection, there is a vacation lock and control for the internal lights too. To ensure safety around the operation, there is a Safe-T-Beam system, which is a beam of light that, when broken, will cancel the process. This is designed for garage doors that are sectional and not one-piece doors.
Genie SilentMax 750 is designed for seven-foot doors only, so if you need eight feet, then you will need an extension kit. It does come with two remote control units that are pre-programmed.
In essence, this is a quiet and efficient door at a reasonable price with some excellent features, making this a strong contender for being one of the best garage door openers.
- Good features.
- Easy to fit.
- Strong belt-driven system.
- Doesn’t fit all sizes of door.
5 LiftMaster 8500 Elite Series 8500 Jackshaft Operator – Best Jackshaft Garage Door Opener
Liftmaster and Chamberlain are owned by the same people, so mostly they are the same company. They do tend to work in slightly different markets, though. Liftmaster door openers are bigger, so you need a large garage to get the best from them. Also, they are not easy to install, so you might need someone who really knows what they are doing to assist.
As a change from belt and chain drive operations, this particular model is a jackshaft opener. Jackshafts are wall-mounted, and they are mounted to one of the sides of the door. These are different from systems that are mounted with a track and rail system.
Variable speed pitch…
The 8500’s powerful 24 volt DC motor gives you quiet operation. You also get a variable speed pitch that operates at the start and close of the process. The wall-mounting means that there are no rails or ceiling fittings and so it frees up space. It also has security codes that you can program from the same MyQ programs that Chamberlain uses.
Extra security is provided through the deadbolt locking system that prevents access by unauthorized persons. The motor and gear casing is enclosed, which reduces any potential weather-related wear and tear, thus giving you added protection and providing a longer life span. It is connected up via the power cord, which is six feet in length, and this runs and operates off any grounded outlet.
Remote light kit…
There is a remote light kit that can be mounted where you choose, which will provide 200 watts of brightness. It can be set using a time delay if required too.
The wall unit measures 24 x 10 x 12 inches and weighs 28 pounds. It is certainly not a cheap option and is really only going to suit those people who actually need what it offers.
- Some good features.
- Powerful motor.
- Quiet operation.
- Might need some expert fitting.
- Quite expensive.
6 Chamberlain 1/2 HP Heavy-Duty Chain Drive Smart Garage Door Opener – Best Security Garage Door Opener
It’s back to Chamberlain for a heavy-duty chain drive garage opener. This garage opener has a lifting force of 1/2 hp. That isn’t the most powerful you will find, but it does provide effortlessly and smoothness when lifting.
Strong steel construction…
This opener has sturdy steel construction, and it is provided with two remote controls. Each has a three-button design that is pre-programmed, and they have Chamberlain’s Triband technology that will ensure they work up to 300 meters away. There are adequate security systems installed with code encryption and anti-theft protection too.
Wireless external keypad…
A wireless external keypad is provided, and you enter your own four-digit passcode to gain entry. It also has a stable footing so that once the door is closed, it stays locked.
It is built using quality materials, and the installation is easy using a snap-lock rail system. The wall controls allow you to activate the opening lights and close the garage door from inside the garage.
Standard security beam…
The Chamberlain Heavy-Duty Chain Drive has the standard Chamberlain security beam that extends across the width of the garage. If the beam is broken, the process opening or closing stops, thus protecting children or pets.
There are two 100 watt light fittings that provide light in the garage. Chamberlain, unfortunately, doesn’t supply the bulbs. I’m not exactly sure why that is since it doesn’t seem too much extravagance to include them.
MyQ technology for extra security…
The opener has the standard MyQ technology from the Chamberlain app, which will allow you to open and close the door by using your smartphone. You can also check the status of your door from wherever you are. This is a decent garage door opening system that is best used by doors that aren’t too heavy, set at a reasonable price point.
Again, it is designed for seven-foot garage doors, so if your door is eight feet, you will need an extension kit.
- Dependable, sturdy chain drive opener.
- Great security.
- Decent price.
- Only for 7-foot doors.
7 Craftsman ½ HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener – Best All Weather Garage Door Opener
This is a chain drive garage door opener from the Craftsman company. It has a half horsepower AC motor that will lift doors up to seven feet in height. This is not the most powerful motor you will find, but it does provide enough lift to handle a door of this size.
Quick-install rail system…
It is easy to install using a quick-install rail system. You get two 3-function remote control units for controlling the doors. But, there is a further wireless entry pad. This allows entry to the garage without your key or the remote control by using a four digit code number. You can decide this and program it in yourself.
All-weather temperature monitor…
One area where the performance of garage door openers can be affected is in the weather. This door carries a monitor that will gauge the temperature. It will then adjust the force that is needed to open and close the door if there are changes in the weather. The Craftsman Chain Drive has the standard beam that crosses the entrance to the door that stops the operation as it closes if something interferes with the sensors. It will also stop if contact is made with an object or a person during the closing operation.
When the door is in the closed position, it has a protection system that ensures it is locked, and no one can enter.
The system is set at a reasonable price point, making it an attractive option. It comes in a package that includes two security remotes and the entry pad, as well as a power unit with two sensors and safety sensor rail, and a multi-function wall unit.
- Some useful security features.
- Protective systems built-in.
- Very attractive price point.
- Not the strongest lift motor you will find.
8 LiftMaster 1355 – Best WiFi Garage Door Opener
Here is another garage door opening system from Liftmaster. This opener, though, has a fairly modest lift motor performance at just 1/2hp. It is a chain drive system that does give it some strength, and it is also fitted with a steel chassis T-rail and trolley system, which makes it very durable.
There is an environmental sensor built-in. This gauges the temperature of the air, and these sensors make adjustments to the opening power requirement.
It has an invisible beam system to protect against contact with any obstructions by mistake, and if the beam is broken, then the closing operation will cease.
There is built-in WiFi that is used in conjunction with the MyQ online system. This system has some exciting features. It will dispatch alerts if there is a problem when you are not there, and it also allows you to control the opener from anywhere. Also, every time you use the remote click, it will send you an opening code, so the code never stays the same.
Posi Lock system…
The LiftMaster 1355 also has the Posi Lock system. This is a system that, when the door is locked, provides extra locking stability for protection against any forced entry.
It is a system that has a lot of useful features; however, the motor power is not as reliable as some others.
- Some useful security features.
- Environmental sensor built-in.
- Easy power adjustment in lousy weather.
- Lifting potential, not the highest you will find.
9 Chamberlain C450 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener – Best Long Life Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain and/or Liftmaster do seem to have a dominance in the market for best garage door openers. Here is another model from Chamberlain, and this is a system that has been designed for doing exactly what is required of it.
Long working life…
With some garage door openers, the motors are quite standard in design. And, while they have the lift capacity, it stretches their performance a little. For a rolling lift, you need a certain level of power. The horsepower and the ration of the gears on this opener are designed to make them efficient, but more than that, this opener is durable and will have a long working life.
It has a steel chain with Teflon coated links. This reduces friction on the lift and thus reduces the strain on the motor. That will mean that maintenance will be a lot less than on some openers.
This opener can change the passcode every time the door is activated. This is a secure method of protection and adds a lot of security to the system, and to your home as potential intruders then will be unable to gain the access code.
Choose your system…
One of the good ideas that come with this opener is that you can actually operate one of two systems. The software is already installed to be used, but if you prefer not to get too technical, then the old fashioned ways for some are just better.
With some products, not just doors, the manufacturers try to get you to adopt the technical options, which does not suit everybody. And, if you don’t like them, you can be left isolated and lacking any support. With this opener, Chamberlain doesn’t do that, and the choice is yours, with equal support for both systems.
All in all…
The Chamberlain C450 is a sound system set at a realistic price point. It is a chain drive, though, and some might consider the operation slightly noisy if you live in a very populated area.
- Very good security features.
- Well-built and made to last.
- Good price point.
- Chain drives may be a little noisy for built-up areas.
10 NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG Remote Compatible Door Openers – Best Multiple User Garage Door Opener
This is an alternative product from Nexx and is a companion unit for an existing garage door opener. It will allow you to securely open and close the garage door from literally anywhere in the world, and it will operate with multiple secure users.
You can set authority for a guest user if you choose to allow multiple people to enter without bothering you. The door will then open and close as your guest arrives. Passcodes can, of course, be reset after the event or once their visit is complete.
Effectively, your home WiFi network and garage door opener become a single device you can control from anywhere. It operates from an app, of course, and you can control the door by either tapping on the app, or by giving voice commands. It will work with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
Intelligent app features…
If you are just a single user, it will inform you if you have forgotten to close the door. You can then close the door drop wherever you are using the app. When the app is activated, and you arrive home, the door will automatically open, and you do not need to touch anything.
It needs you to have a 2.4gHz connection for your WiFi, though, but the actual installation of the unit is easy.
The NXG-100 is designed to be compatible with most garage door openers. However, with these products, it is always advisable to check with the manufacturers to ensure compatibility.
This is a good system for those that like the technology to take control, and it is set at a decent price point. This is especially suitable for homes and garages with a long entrance drive.
- A good system allowing a lot of control.
- Multiple user options.
- High level of security.
- Some may not like too much technology.
Best Garage Door Openers Buying Guide
Garage door openers have been with us for quite a while now. However, they have improved dramatically over the initial ‘interesting’ first designs. They have become quicker and quieter and more stable, and you can even operate some of them with your voice or your phone.
There are some things to think about, though, before buying, so let’s go through them…
Ease of installation
This is quite an important point. How practical are you? If not, like many of us, you will need to hire someone. Suppose you are keen to ‘do it yourself,’ then the easier, the better. Some are not so easy despite what manufacturers tell you.
Be aware that a lot of people are hurt every year by having garage doors fall on them during the fitting process, and it might not be considered an enjoyable project for some.
This will determine how much weight the motor can be expected to lift comfortably. Depending on your door, you will want to ensure what you buy is powerful enough. Also, it should be borne in mind that the heaviest material is usually wood. If you have a double garage with a wooden door, ensure you get enough power.
You may need up to 1.5hps for that. Overdoing power is also not a problem. It will just lift the door more comfortably and also probably quicker. Underpowering is where the problems will come.
What about the noise?
Belt drives are definitely quieter than chain drives. But, chains are much more rugged and likely to last longer. If you live in a built-up neighborhood, you might not be the flavor of the month if it’s noisy, especially if you get home after people are sleeping. We also looked at a jackshaft operation, which might be worth considering for some.
This is very important. Has it got a locking mechanism? Is it going to be sure against potential break-ins? You will want to ensure that when it shuts, it stays shut.
Many of these doors have or even require WiFi to operate them properly. There is an app for some that are useful, which allows you to control the door from your phone. Others are low-key on the tech.
Which do you want?
There are quite a few to choose from and not really a significant difference in cost. It is just a case of determining what is best for you and where you live and the size of the door. Most of the openers are designed for seven-foot doors. If your door size is more extensive, you will need an extension kit. It is worth checking that out first, too.
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Back to garage door openers…
So, what are the Best Garage Door Openers?
On the basis of where we live, and assuming that the product fits our garage door, we would go for the…
Genie SilentMax 750 3/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
It’s simple to operate and at a great price point with some excellent but basic security systems included.
Take care, and enjoy your chosen purchase.