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Gold Award
Chamberlain Premium
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2
Chamberlain Ultra Quiet
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6
Chamberlain PD762EV
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7
Sommer 3/4 hp Direct Drive
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8
Chamberlain PD612EV
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10
Genie ChainLift 800
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9.90
/ 10
9.38
/ 10
9.33
/ 10
8.90
/ 10
8.65
/ 10
8.48
/ 10
8.13
/ 10
8.10
/ 10
7.58
/ 10
7.30
/ 10
matrix insert 1

Opener Design

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Door Style
Gatehouse, Sectional Double-wide
Sectional Single- & Double-wide
Gatehouse, Sectional Double-wide
Gatehouse, Sectional Double-wide
Sectional Single- & Double-wide
Gatehouse, Sectional Double-wide
Gatehouse, Sectional Double-wide
Sectional Single- & Double-wide
Sectional Single- & Double-wide
Sectional Single- & Double-wide
Maximum Lifting Capacity (pounds)
550
300
550
250
300
550
550
300
350
350
Total Horsepower
3/4
1/2
3/4
1/2
1/2
3/4
3/4
1/2
1/2
1/2
Lift System
Belt
Belt
Belt
Chain
Belt
Chain
Chain
Chain
Belt
Chain
Maximum Door Height (feet)
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
Home Automation Compatibility
MyQ
MyQ
MyQ
MyQ
HomeLink
MyQ
HomeLink, Car2U
HomeLink, Car2U
Timer-to-Close
Backup Power Source
matrix insert 2

Safety & Security

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Rolling Code
Lock Mode
Motion Sensor Lights
Automatic Reverse
Infrared Beam
Manual Release

Hardware

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Remote Controls Included
2
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
Remote Control Style
3 Button
3 Button
3 Button
3 Button
3 Button
3 Button
2 Button
3 Button
3 Button
3 Button
Keyless Entry Pad
Control Panel
Light Delay (minutes)
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
3
4.5
3
3
Maximum Light Wattage
200
200
200
200
200
200
120
200
120
120
Number of Lights
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
matrix insert 3

Warranty

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Motor Warranty
Lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
10 Years
Lifetime
Lifetime
10 Years
10 Years
10 Years
Belt or Chain Warranty
Lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
3 Years
3 Years
1 Year
Lifetime
2 Years
1 Year
1 Year
Parts Warranty
5 Years
5 Years
5 Years
3 Years
3 Years
1 Year
Lifetime
2 Years
1 Year
1 Year
matrix insert 4

Help & Support

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Phone & Email
FAQs
Online Manual
Live Chat

Best Garage Door Openers

Why Buy a Garage Door Opener?

We’ve been reviewing the best garage door openers for more than half a decade. This year we chose the Chamberlain Premium as our top pick. It’s an efficient, reliable garage door opener, and it comes with a backup battery system that works in a power outage. This model also has a preinstalled timer that closes your garage door automatically so you don't have to worry about whether you left the garage door open.

Our value pick is the Chamberlain PD76EV. It costs about $50 less than our top pick, but it has most of the higher-priced model’s advantages. The PD76EV has the same lift capacity, horsepower, lift system and automation compatibility. However, it doesn’t come with advanced features such as a backup power source, close timer and keyless entry pad. If you can live without those, this opener is a great choice.

The warranties on garage door openers tend to be quite generous. In fact, it’s normal for the motors to have lifetime warranties. However, only the Sommer Direct Drive garage door opener has a lifetime warranty for the lift system and parts as well as the motor, which is the most generous warranty package of any opener we reviewed.

Latest News & Updates (May 2018)

Since our last major update, there are some new garage door openers available for purchase as listed below, we will evaluate these new models in our next major update:

*Chamberlain C870: This 1.25-horsepower unit is designed for heavy doors, comes with built-in Wi-Fi and has a battery backup. (Released in 2017 for $249.00)

*Chamberlain C205: This 0.5-horsepower unit can be upgraded to work with Chamberlain's MyQ smartphone app. (Released in 2017 for $129.00)

Choosing the Best Garage Door Openers

Some of the best garage door openers offer special features like a backup power source or a timer that automatically closes the door behind you at a predetermined time. While the door openers we reviewed vary in terms of power, noise and efficiency, they are all effective in the all-important task of letting you come and go with the simple push of a button. Here are the criteria we used to rank the top garage door openers:

Opener Design
We looked for wireless garage door openers that have the power to lift the heaviest doors and found that 1/2-horsepower motors are best suited for standard aluminum sectional doors used on most homes built from 1990 to today. The 3/4-horsepower garage door opener motors can lift wooden doors up to 550 pounds. Each model we looked at can open a standard 7-foot door, and extension kits are available if your door is taller.

The best heavy-duty garage door openers are designed to integrate seamlessly with home automation systems, and they include a timer-to-close option that automatically closes the door for you. They also come with a backup power source so you can get in and out of your garage during a power outage.

Most of the openers we reviewed run on either a chain- or belt-drive lift system. While both types are quiet, the belt drive models tend to be the quietest, so they are best if you have a bedroom or other commonly used living space close to the garage. 

Safety & Security
Most garage doors are heavy enough to cause serious injury and even death, so it’s important for your opener to have safety features. For example, it should be able to automatically reverse if it detects that an object is blocking the door. Also, you want a door with motion sensors that detect if a child or animal is moving in or out as it closes.

Security features are also valuable considering the garage door not only secures vehicles and anything else stored in a garage, but may also offer indirect access to your home. A rolling code mixes the code your remote sends to the opener with each use to help prevent criminal activity.

Hardware
You might not think it could get easier than pushing a big button to open a door, but some garage door openers make things even simpler by offering keyless entry and multiple remotes. Many models come with a keyless entry pad that mounts outside the garage door so you can gain access without a remote. While a remote is preferable for most situations, there are times when you need to get into the garage and don’t have it handy, so this is a nice feature to have.

Most electric garage door openers have two lights: one in front of the opener and one behind or sometimes they sit side by side. They should provide enough light for you to get into your home from your car. Generally, people don’t leave the garage light on when it’s not in use, so it’s nice to have a temporary light when you arrive home. The length of time the light stays on varies according to how it is programmed. In most instances, you don’t need more than a few minutes from the time you leave the car to when you enter your home.

The best garage door openers can be controlled from a remote location through your phone. If you’ve ever left home and had a moment of panic, not knowing if you left the garage door open, this feature can give you peace of mind. The door opener’s built-in Wi-Fi connects directly with your home Wi-Fi router, which allows you to close your garage door from wherever you are through a MyQ smartphone app. The Chamberlain Group opener has this feature – it’s a 1-horsepower garage door opener with extra lifting power for unusually heavy doors of over 500 pounds.

Some openers, like the LiftMaster Elite 8500, use new side-mount technology. This makes the garage door opener compact and frees up ceiling space, since it sits between the wall and the garage door. 

Warranty
The best garage door openers have a lifetime warranty on their motor and belt or chain. While it’s common for motors to come with lifetime warranties, belt and chain and parts warranties are often not that generous. However, it’s not uncommon for parts warranties to extend several years. Often the warranties are limited and subject to specific stipulations that vary and are detailed in the user manuals.

User manuals are generally available as PDF downloads on the companies’ websites. We looked at how much coverage the manufacturers provide and compared them to rank this category.

Help & Support
Good customer service is important for any product, but it is especially important for the class of garage door openers we considered. We looked primarily at models designed to be installed by a homeowner, not a professional. Even if you consider yourself to be pretty handy, you are sure to have questions at some point along the way. As such, we looked for companies that respond to all inquiries as well as for resources, such as a downloadable manual, to help with installation.

Contributing Reviewer: Danny Chadwick