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
  • Chamberlain B970
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Affordable
  • Price: See Here
Direct Drive
  • Direct Drive
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Smooth
  • Price: See Here
Chamberlain WD832KEV
  • Chamberlain WD832KEV
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Efficient
  • Price: See Here

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

1. Chamberlain B970
Chamberlain is the market leader in the garage door opener industry, and you can expect more of their devices on this list. Our first, pick was the B970 which is ultra-quiet and super-strong thanks to the steel reinforced belt drive. It is best for residential homes with attached garages and features some nifty add-ons that give it an edge.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Belt drive system
Motor: 1-1/4HP
Remote range: 1,500 ft.
Battery backup

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.
Pros

Affordable

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

Cons

One gripe is that you need a subscription to integrate it with IFTTT and Google Assistant

2. Direct Drive 1042V004

2. Direct Drive 1042V004
We recommend the Sommer Direct Drive option not only because it is a quality opener, but due to the lifetime warranty on the product. The warranty is a sign that the company stands by their product, and that you will be taken care of in case you encounter any problems.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Motor: 3/4HP
Lifetime warranty
Homekit compatible
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.
Pros

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

Cons

It is slow, and the buttons on the transmitters are tiny, and you have to be deliberate when pressing them

3. Chamberlain WD832KEV

3. Chamberlain WD832KEV
The ½ HP opener is for lightweight aluminum doors. Get a stronger machine for heavy doors. First, thanks to the steel reinforced belt drive, the unit happens to be quiet and great for attached garages. Couple this with Chamberlain’s Motor Vibration Isolation System that reduces powerhead noise and you will appreciate the performance of the unit.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Dimensions: 26.7 * 13.6 * 8.5inches
Motor: 1/2HP
MyQ enabled
Triband technology for better performance

Who is it for?

We recommend this opener for people with lightweight doors, and especially aluminum doors.
Pros

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

Cons

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

4. LiftMaster 8500
The LiftMaster is more of a niche product, and the company is a subsidiary of Chamberlain Products which is renowned for their entry systems. The 8500 series unlike most options mounts on the side of your garage door which is one of the selling points. It is also compact and only works with the jackshaft drive system, which is as quiet as any belt drive unit.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

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.
Pros

It is super quiet

It is easy to install

Has a timer to open and close the door

Cons

It is pricey and requires the CIGBU gateway to work with the MyQ app

5. SOMMER 1052V000

5. SOMMER 1052V000
The 1052v000 is a heavy-duty option and one that is designed to last. By reducing the moving parts, the company reduces the possibility of the unit failing, and thus you are sure it will be with you for long. First, you will appreciate that it works with 7ft and 8ft doors, with the provided rail. This is unlike other openers that need an extension for 8ft doors. Moreover, it offers maximum lifting force seeing as the motor is attached to the door.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Direct drive technology
Motor: 1HP
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.
Pros

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

Cons

It lacks a battery backup, and thus you will be locked out of your garage in case of a power outage

6. LiftMaster 1355

6. LiftMaster 1355
If you are on the hunt for value and reliability, we recommend you invest in the LiftMaster 1355 currently replaced by the 8164W. The 1355 is a chain drive unit and thus not best for garages that are near living spaces. But given the affordable price on this unit, it is a worthwhile tradeoff.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

1/2HP motor
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.
Pros

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

Cons

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

7. Chamberlain B550
If your garage door weighs 300 pounds or less, we recommend you invest in the Chamberlain B550. The B550 is a 1/2HP belt drive unit that is for lightweight doors. You will also appreciate how quiet the B550 is.

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.

Expand to see more
Product Features

Motor: 1/2HP
Belt drive type
AC powered

Who is it for?

The Chamberlain B550 is for homeowners with lightweight doors and who desire a quality opener.
Pros

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

Cons

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

8. Chamberlain B730
Unlike the B550, the Chamberlain B730 is a 3/4HP unit and ideal for bulkier garage doors. Couple the strong motor with Chamberlain’s PLUS lift power system and you, have a gadget that is a class ahead of other ¾ options. It happens to have all the necessary features and is extremely quiet as it is a belt drive opener. Furthermore, the high-grade materials reduce vibration for a more pleasant experience.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Motor: 3HP
Has a battery backup
DC
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.
Pros

Ultra-quiet

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

Cons

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

9. Chamberlain C410
This 1/2hp opener is perfect for detached garages and light aluminum doors. The C410 is a chain drive unit, and thus it is loud. The durable chain drive is rugged steel and precision engineered for better performance. You will also appreciate the MED chamberlain lift system as it increases the units lifting capacity compared to other 1/2hp garage door openers.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Motor: 1/2HP
Chain Drive system
3/4HP lifting force
AC powered

Who is it for?

The C410 is best for homeowners on a budget or with detached garages.
Pros

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

Cons

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

10. Chamberlain PD512
For homeowners with detached garages, the Chamberlain PD512 is a top pick. This is a chain drive option with a durable industrial grade chain that is designed to last. Moreover, these are easy to open in the event of a power outage. The PD512 features a 1/2HP motor with a 6-year warranty. It is designed to lift light single or double aluminum doors.

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.
Expand to see more
Product Features

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.
Pros

Affordable

Includes a 6-year motor warranty

It includes two ergonomic remotes

It is simple to install

Cons

It is noisy and despite being for 7ft. doors, it works best with 8ft. garage doors

Selection Criteria

Power

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.

Drive System

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.

Security

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.

Speed

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.

Safety

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

FAQS

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.

Conclusion

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.