Pros / The Sommer 3/4 hp Direct Drive has the best warranty on the market with lifetime coverage on motor, lift system and parts.
Cons / The opener does not include a keyless entry pad or motion-detection lights.
Verdict / This is an innovative, powerful, quiet garage door opener, but it's missing some basic features that come with higher-ranking openers.
The Sommer 3/4 hp Direct Drive garage door opener is powered by a strong 3/4-horsepower motor that, unlike the majority of garage openers, moves along the rail with only one moving part. Although it uses a chain drive, which is traditionally noisier than most belt drives, the single moving part gives the Direct Drive an extremely low noise profile. The motor is located by the connection to the garage door, rather than at the back of the opener, and moves along the railing with a single moving part.
While this is an unconventional design, the 3/4-horsepower motor is strong enough to lift doors up to 550 pounds. This includes wooden double-wide doors and standard sectionals. The included rail is tall enough for a 7- to 8-foot door, and a separate extension is available for purchase if you have a 10-foot tall door.
This quiet garage door opener includes two thin remotes, a wall control panel and a pair of infrared light sensors. The buttons on the remotes are tiny and can be hard to press. The control panel is also slim and has three buttons to turn on the lights and open or lock the door.
Safety is essential with garage door openers; the Direct Drive includes a sensor system that automatically stops and lifts the door if it encounters any person or object while closing. It also opens if the light beam is crossed at any time. These are great safety functions that can keep you and your loved ones safe. Unfortunately, it is lacking a keyless entry pad to place outside the garage. It's also missing a motion detector that turns on a light automatically when it senses motion. This is a nice convenience that would allow you to see your way to the car without fumbling for the light switch if your hands are full, for instance. But it’s a relatively small omission when you consider the strengths of this garage door opener. All of these features are present in our top pick, Chamberlain Premium Whisper Drive.
The whole opener is covered with a lifetime warranty. This includes the motor, railing and any other parts. It is rare to have lifetime warranties on all the components, and it is reassuring to know that you will be taken care of if you encounter any problems with this garage opener.
The Sommer home office is based in Europe but has a North Carolina office to support its customers in the United States. This means you can reach support representatives during U.S. business hours. You can contact Sommer by phone, or you can email the company at any time if you have questions or concerns.
- Motor Warranty
- Belt or Chain Warranty
- Parts Warranty
- Maximum Light Wattage
- Maximum Lifting Capacity
In addition to being quiet and powerful, this innovative opener has all the safety features you need. If you want an opener that can handle heavier-than-average doors while creating minimal noise, the Sommer 3/4 hp Direct Drive is one of the best garage door openers to consider. It has all the usual safety features plus an innovative design, but it is lacking such features as a keyless entry pad and motion detector lights that turn on the garage door opener lights automatically so you can find your way to the car without fumbling for the light switch. If you can do without these features, it’s a great door opener.