15 Best Garage Door Openers In 2019
When you pull up out front, it’s really nice if you can roll right into the garage. If the sun’s beating down, you won’t want to leave the AC behind, and if the rain is pouring, you’ll want to stay dray. If only there were a way to make it happen right? Well, I had the same thought a few weeks ago, so I bought myself a garage door opener. I know what you’re thinking, it did take a little research to find the best one for me. But when I found it, the wait was worth it.
To make things nice and simple for you, I’ve put together the notes I took when I was shopping around. That way you can read up on 15 of the best out there without lots of Googling. That’s Ideal if you want to make sure you get the perfect match first time out.
Table of Contents
Best Garage Door Openers App For Android
1. NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg Remote Compatible Door Openers
The first entry on my list is something of an enigma. NEXX is the new kid on the block who’s making a lot of noise. Let’s see what I thought…
Stylish app control
The app is nice and clean, plus it is super easy to install and setup. I like the white and green color scheme because it’s nice and positive. I’d also recommend that you make use of the multiple user login features (more on that a little later). All in all, from a software point of view I couldn’t fault it because it gave me everything I needed and nothing more. With no clutter or superfluous features, it was easy to get accustomed to.
Is voice control actually useful?
This is something new for me if I’m honest, but I think it may just catch on in a big way. By having the capability to link up with control programs like Alexa or Siri, there’s a helpful degree of future proofing going on here. And that’s perfect if you love to link up your tech!
How about the encryption standards?
When you can open your home remotely without a mechanical key, you need to be careful. I couldn’t find the specifics of the encryption standard, but from what I gather everything is in order. That said if you want to play it extra safe by all means contact the manufacturer. That way you’ll have the peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
Thinking about multiple users?
Multiple users is a great feature, especially if you share your car. By having separate logins on each of your devices, you can even see who’s coming and going. That for me is a nice little-added security feature. It gives you the peace of mind that you know who is exiting and entering your home. Highly recommended for the tech lover looking to upgrade their home in the securest way possible.
2. Chamberlain C410 Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
These guys come with a big reputation for serious lifting power when it comes to garage doors. The chain drive mechanisms are known in the industry for reliability, but how does the user experience stack up?
Up to 1,500 ft of remote range is super long range!
The first thing to say is that the range is insane. This makes it ideal for those with long drives or who live on surrounding land. You can click your remote, and then the door will do its thing. Perfect, if you want to avoid parking up and waiting for it to get out of the way. It should also mean that you don’t encounter any dead spots on your property where the reception dies.
Posi-lock security: what’s all the fuss about?
This is an excellent feature because it gives you the peace of mind that your property is safe and secure. The unique mechanical locking mechanism is tamper-proof which means you can only open the door using your remote. Ideal for making sure that your new tech investment doesn’t compromise the security of your home.
How did I get on with the snaplock rail system
The snaplock rail system is a smart way of ensuring you can easily install everything yourself. This keeps the costs down and means you can have everything working out of the box in an afternoon. With simple tension fits you’ll be able to fix everything in place in a matter of minutes. The instructions are simple and nicely worded which helps things too. If you do decide to install it yourself, you won’t need any specialist tools, but measure up beforehand. That way you’ll ensure you have the right opener for the task at hand.
Rugged chain drive design looks like it’s built to last
The chain drive is what these guys are really known for. Similar to a bike chain but much more heavy duty, they have a hard life when you think about it. If you want to ensure you get the full use out of yours, then I suggest reading the maintenance section of the manual. With a few timely drops of oil every now and again you’ll extend the lifetime by years.
3. Chamberlain PD512 Garage Door Opener
The PD512 is perhaps one of the quietest running openers on my entire list. Here’s how they’ve mastered the art of getting the job done without all the whirring and grinding…
Chain drive that really is silent? How do they do it?
The secret is the smooth running of the chain drive. When you install it, you’ll feel it flop around in your hand and you’ll wonder how it pulls so well. Well, it pulls so well precisely because of how free to move and flexible it is. By removing all those little bits of friction Chamberlain has taken efficiency and power transfer to the next level. I’m speechless!
Rolling code security is a clever solution
I love the idea of a rolling security code. This means that every time you operate your door, a new access key is sent to your remote. To ensure intruders can’t clone your device and receive the new keys they’re also sent fully encrypted. This is the digital equivalent of having a front door whose lock and key change every time you use it!
Tri-band remotes offer unparalleled range and coverage
This is very much the pinnacle of remote control technology. By extending the range and optimizing the coverage, it takes care of everything. The selection of frequencies it runs on ensures that outside interference from spurious signals is never an issue. For the real hardware nerds out there it would be nice to know which frequencies they use. I’m sure you could find out with a little digging deep in the manual if you’re desperate to know!
Built-in safety sensors for peace of mind
The safety sensors that prevent the door lowering when something is in the way are essential. To protect pets and young children a beam of light is sent across the door. If it’s broken, then the door will open again. If you ever get to a situation where your door will suddenly not close and keeps opening then check the sensors. It’s not unknown for a little bit of debris to dirty one of them and confuse your new piece of safe-minded tech!
4. Chamberlain C450 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
I was curious to get my hands on the upgraded lifting system of the C450. Here are my thoughts folks….
The MED Lift power system has been making a real stir in the market
The MED Lift power system has been marketed as a real breakthrough in terms of efficiency and power. What I really like is that it’s clearly been designed specifically for the task at hand. Too many companies take a standard motor, overwork it, and then wonder why they burn out too quickly. This gearing ratio and the HP are precisely what you need for the loads involved and the challenge of a rolling lift.
Steel chain drive is the pinnacle of efficient power transfer, but how hardwearing is it?
The quality of their steel chain drives is what Chamberlain is known for more than anyone. They keep things simple with Teflon coated links that reduce friction, and the maintenance is easy to follow. With a couple of drops of oil every couple of months you’ll be able to add years to the lifetime of this thing!
Rolling encryption has billions of permutations and combinations
The last few entries on my list have had this feature, and this one is no different. By offering literally billions of possible combinations, they are impossible to hack. This is perfect for adding something to your home that actually makes it even more secure. The fact that the access keys then change every time you use them only adds to the secure feeling. That is ideal for ensuring that an intruder can’t clone your remote and access your home whenever they want to.
There’s an element of future proofing here because all of the software and firmware is installed and waiting. There’s no obligation to use it if you prefer the old-fashioned approach. And I was glad to see that the manual didn’t try and force this new feature on you. A lot of people will want to get to grips with their new purchase before getting fancy and using apps. This back to basics approach that focused on the initial install was nice to see and put me at ease.
5. LiftMaster 1355 ( Replaced By 8065 ) Contractor Series 12 HP Chain Drive WO Rail Assembly
LiftMaster has a reputation for taking lower powered motors and getting a lot out of them. But how do they do it?
Only 0.5 HP so where does the pulling power come from?
At only 0.5 HP you’ll be wondering how this thing even moves a door. Well, the secret is the efficiency and rigidity of the chain drive from what I can tell. It’s such an efficient way to transfer power from the motor to the door that you simply don’t need that much HP. Ideal if you want to install an inherently quiet motor that won’t be straining as much. It’ll also make it far less likely to fail on you.
Fast change encryption software is highly impressive
This is a super cool feature. To prevent your encryption key being cloned it actually changes every time you open or close your door. A new access code is then sent in an encrypted form to your remote. Essentially what this means is that your lock and key change randomly every time you come or go. Now if that doesn’t scream ‘security’ at you, then I don’t what will folks!
4-year warranty is a nice way to kick things off, but why isn’t it lifetime?
The 4-year warranty is a nice touch, but it’s only a year for parts. There a few entries on this list that give you a lifetime warranty on the motor in particular. I’d have liked to see a bit more coverage in this regard if I’m honest. That said if it doesn’t overly concern you then go ahead!
MyQ allows you to swap to app control at a later date
App control is a nice idea because it means you can do away with carrying a standalone remote in your driver’s side door. If you want to future proof your setup then I’d suggest you convert over to it after you’ve had a couple of weeks to get used to your opener. That way you’ll have a feel for how it works, and you won’t be overwhelmed by the new tech.
Best Garage Door Openers Belt Drive
6. Chamberlain B503 Ultra-Quiet And Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
The next entry on my list comes from the same guys, and it’s certainly worth paying attention to…
Can a garage door opener ever really be ‘ultra-quiet’?
I think in this case…it can! With so much going on during operation, most garage door openers make a fair old noise. Because of the smoothness of the mechanism and how powerful the motor is that’s not the case here. You just hear a gentle whirring noise that pulls your door up in a couple of seconds. To be honest, you won’t be able to hear it above the sound of the engine running.
Tri-band technology: what’s the fuss about?
Tri-band is awesome because it extends your range to over a thousand feet. That may sound like overkill, but it is ideal for large properties and for avoiding dead spots in reception. If you want a door that opens with a click, then I’d always look for this technology.
Protection against forced entry
The posi-lock system that’s employed here is really secure. It protects against lock manipulation and lock forcing; two common ways burglars gain entry. This is ideal if you want to sleep with the peace of mind that your new piece of tech enhances your security. You’ll also see that the craftsmanship is right up there with the very best on the list. Brute force approaches just won’t cut it when intruders want to gain entry by force.
How useful are the online installation videos?
Personally, I was a little dubious at first, but I have to say that I now rate them. The idea of installing it myself felt daunting, but it needn’t have. The tutorials are easy to digest and have natural pauses built in. That allows you to stop the video at a natural point, carry out the step, and then hit ‘play’ again. All in all, I have to say that this is a simple approach to DIY that other brands should take a look at. You’ll save time and money on hiring a contractor!
7. Genie SilentMax 1200 Garage Door Opener
What’s in a name? Well, with one like this I’d be a fool not to sit up and take notice, wouldn’t I? Here’s how I got on when I took a look at the fourth entry on my list…
What’s so good about a dual frequency remote?
Now, this is something amazingly cool. The remotes work on 315 MHz, and 390 MHz at the same time. This is super important because occasionally one of these frequencies will be blocked. This then makes the remote control redundant, and your door stays firmly shut! The elegant dual frequency band remotes remove this issue forever. Perfect for ensuring you never fall victim to those annoying quirks that can take the shine off of any new purchase.
Pulls your garage door up to 7 feet high
7 feet is more than enough for most cars. If you need an extra foot of clearance for that shiny new SUV, then there’s an optional extension kit available too. The installation of said kit is just as easy as the main module and motor. That means, should you decide that you want more clearance in the future you’ll only have to do a couple of minutes of fiddling to get it.
The steel reinforced drive belt is something to seriously consider
Rather than a chain, these guys have opted for a belt. The pro here is that the operation can be even quieter because you don’t have the same number of moving parts. The upkeep and maintenance of a belt is also less because you won’t need to run oil over every link. If you want a fit and forget option, then this could be it, my friend!
Smart Set Programming makes your life a lot easier
I really like the Smart Set Programming that these guys have devised. Rather than having open and close buttons, they give you complete control. That means that you can also set the total height you want to raise your door. Not only does this speed things up, but it also reduces the strain on the motor. Run it for years, and you’ll notice the difference when you come to follow the servicing instructions.
8. Liftmaster Garage Door Openers
I hadn’t heard of this one if I’m honest, but I was intrigued nonetheless. Now that I’ve told you its name I bet you can’t wait to read about it!
Lightweight for ease of installation
The entire package only weighs 6 lb which is excellent. That means that you don’t need to have any specialist mountings or fixtures to get it up on the ceiling. Your standard cordless drill driver will be more than enough to make the holes and secure it in place.
Simple to add to your existing setup which is nice!
The versatility of the EverCharge is something I absolutely must comment on. None of the fixtures and fittings are hard to use or install. This means with some simple off the shelf additions you’ll be able to make it a universal fit. And that’s ideal if you want to be able to buy something and not overthink too much about how you’re going to integrate it. It also means you’ll be able to keep it should you upgrade the door itself in the coming years.
12 V battery is used during operation, a spare would be handy
One thing to note is that while it is mains powered, there is a 12 V battery on board. With features like this, I often advise people that it’s worth keeping a spare. If they’re unused for a period of time batteries, do have a habit of failing to hold a charge. With a spare that you can pick up from any hardware store, you should be able to benefit from years of seamless operation.
Powerful enough to lift any type and style of door
The power of the motor is unspecified from what I can see, but there are no restrictions on types of entry it can lift. This means that it really is the universal solution that it is touted as. I liked this approach because it means you can upgrade your door and your motor separately. Highly recommended if you want to maintain freedom and flexibility over the coming years.
9. 8500 Liftmaster Elite Series MyQ Enabled Garage Door Opener
LiftMaster really knows its stuff, so the 8500 was a no-brainer from my perspective. Like the catchy name? Then why not see how it got on when I put it through its paces?
200 W light is already built-in
The 200 W light is really handy, and it’s something not a lot of people have thought about. When you run the motor, the light automatically comes on and illuminates your garage. This is ideal because it means you won’t have to stumble around trying to find the light switch when the door closes behind you. A nice little user-friendly touch that will make things that little bit easier!
6 ft power line for easy connection to mains
The power line could always be longer, but that’s not something worthy of holding against it! At 6 ft long it’s more than long enough to reach any outlet nearby. Perfect for ensuring that you can get it up and running the same day it arrives without loads of trips to HomeDepot.
Signature Protector System is an impressive new piece of tech
This is perhaps my favorite feature of any door on this list. The Protector System is ideal for those of you with pets and young kids. It shines a beam of light across the entrance of the door. If that light beam is broken at any point, then the door opens up again. This ensures you prevent serious crushing injuries that can be hard to foresee when you click ‘close’ on your remote. Highly recommended for peace of mind.
Lifetime motor warranty caught my eye!
Finally, we come to a little mention of the motor. Well, what can I say; it’s certainly up to the task because it’s guaranteed for a lifetime. The gearing ratios and torque allow it to make short work of any lifting. This is perfect for ensuring that you can keep it running nicely as you upgrade your door over the years. It also means that it isn’t straining and struggling to get the job done.
10. Chamberlain B970 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet And Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Another entry from these folks is next on the agenda. The B970 promised big things when it arrived on the market. But a few months on from that debut has it really shown us what it is capable of? Time to take a look, guys!
Onboard battery could be a real lifesaver
I really like the idea of the onboard 12 V battery. While it derives the bulk of its power from the mains this creates an issue during power outs. If your home is knocked off the grid for a few hours, then you may not be able to park your car. That could be a particularly severe problem if you don’t have a drive or on-street parking. With reserve power always on standby, you’ll be able to get your car inside safe and sound. A totally great feature that I wish more openers had.
Smartphone operation could be the way of the future
The operation via smartphone is something that has divided a lot of people. On the one hand, you have those who don’t care about doing everything from their phones. On the other, you have people who are glad they no longer have to keep a standalone remote safe. I’d say I fall into the latter category because it can be all too easy to lose those little things. You’re never going to lose your phone, so this is a big step forward in my opinion. A highly recommended feature, one that will do more than appeal to the hardcore gadget or tech lovers out there.
1.25 HP is some serious pulling power if you ask me!
When you can quote the power of your motor in Horse Power then you know you’re looking at a real beast! Because of the torque exerted by the drive, you’ll be able to open any door with minimal effort. This is great because it means Chamberlain haven’t had to resort to overworking an underpowered motor. Ideal if you want the reliable and quiet operation that will last for years and years. Highly recommended for those looking for an install and forget solution.
11. Chamberlain B730WD962 Garage Door Opener
The WD962 is marketed to single garage doors which means it is a little less high powered than some of the others on this list. Let’s see how this restriction played out when it was put through a close examination.
0.75 HP: could you be left wanting more?
There is a little less power when compared to the previous entry on this list; there’s no getting away from that. However, to criticise it for that kind of misses the point. The issue is not how hard it can pull, but how well it pulls what it is designed to pull. The operation is quiet and efficient, and if you want to lift a double door, then you are better off with something else. Simple!
MyQ enabled so what is all the fuss about?
This is a very neat piece of integrated tech that is ready and waiting. By future proofing with embedded voice control capability, Chamberlain is keeping your options open for years to come. This is a great way to approach it because it doesn’t force the issue when you don’t feel ready to adopt voice control.
Two remotes included makes it ideal for multiple users
It’s nice to have two remotes rather than the solitary little one that so many openers come with. This means you can have one each, or keep a spare should yours fail. It would be nice if you could assign the remotes to a specific user to see who is coming and going. That said they are ergonomic and hard to lose which is all you really need at the end of the day isn’t it!
Automatic timed closing
I like this feature because it makes things that little bit easier. When you drive in you sometimes don’t want to have to wait for your door, you just want to walk straight into your home. By setting it to auto close after 1, 5, or even 10 minutes, you should be able to wander in without waiting around. You may want to stand and check it comes down the first couple of times for peace of mind. I have no reason to think it won’t; it’s just playing it, safe my friend!
12. Genie PowerLift Garage Door Opener
With a name like the PowerLift, how could I not sit up and take notice! Let’s delve right in, and you can see for yourself whether it’s a winner!
The Safe-T beam system is the smart approach to garage door safety
The Safe-T beam system gets around the potential issue of crushing injuries. This is especially important for those households with pets and young children. There’s a beam of collimated light shone between two sensors at the base of the door. If for any reason this light is blocked by something in the way while the door is moving it will halt and fully open. Ideal for the peace of mind that you have everything taken care of.
The wall console is easy to use and nicely laid out
I like the wall console because it lights up during operation. This is especially handy if you’re leaving early in the morning before the sun is up or returning late at night. You can wall mount it away from the power outlet which is also a nice touch. That gives you the freedom to pick a safe and convenient spot.
Up to 500 lb of lifting power
While it only has 0.5 HP, it uses it very efficiently. This means it can lift 500 pounds with no issues and minimal noise. More than enough to get the vast majority of garage doors up and out of the way. Be sure to check your intended or existing model of door with the manufacturer. That way you won’t be disappointed in case your opener struggles a little bit.
C-channel rail is easy to install
Installing it yourself is what Genie are all about because they want to make things simple enough that you can do it yourself. This saves you time and money on a contractor, and its kind of fun if you’re that way inclined like me! Their C-rail system is really easy and is nicely documented in the manual. I’m yet to find any videos though which would have been nice.
13. Chamberlain WD1000WF Garage Door Opener
The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but this is an opener with a big reputation. It has a lot to live up to given the success of its predecessors, but that didn’t dampen my expectations. Take a look for yourself and see what you think…
MyQ comes as standard which is a nice touch
MyQ is, in my opinion, the way of the future if you ask me. The idea of being able to open your door as you pull up with just your voice is elegant and neat. However, I would suggest waiting a couple of weeks before you install it if you’re new to voice control. You want to ensure that you trust the operation of the door before you get fancy with it. It’ll also ensure you can still open it in case it has an issue hearing your voice above your car’s engine noise.
LCD panel on the wall is the way of the future
The LCD panel is a definite upgrade on the old style keypads that you’ll have seen earlier on this list. With a screen that shows you the status and options in the blink of an eye, you’ll have everything you need. I also like how it’s backlit. It just makes it that little bit more user-friendly, especially in the darker months.
Up to 1.25 of HP, but does it create too much noise?
There’s a lot of horsepower on show here, but it is actually surprisingly quiet to be fair. It will always have a little more inherent noise than some of the smaller motors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. By being more than strong enough to lift any door on the market with ease it should have a longer lifetime than most. If you want something that will keep on lifting with minimal maintenance, then I’d suggest a closer look. Even if the noise bothers you a little, it’s not like the motor will be running for more than a few seconds a day!
14. Craftsman 12 Hp Garage Door Opener
This is a new name in the industry to me at least, so I was intrigued to see how it stacked up. See what you think folks because I may have left one of the best ones in the place fourthteen!
A new name on the block; can you rely on them?
I think you certainly can! Name recognition is one thing, but build quality, and the thinking that goes into a design is another. They have clearly put a lot of thought into how they’re going to put their products together. This is refreshingly nice to see, and from the build quality of the fixtures, I can tell you it will be simple to install.
Infrared reversing sensors are a clever addition
I love that the sensors are placed at multiple heights. The ones near the bottom help protect your kids and pets from running in and out of the garage. While the ones nearer the top protect your car. If you mistakenly start to reverse and forget that it is lowering, then it’ll automatically stop. Ideal for those little user-friendly touches that make all the difference.
75 W may be left in the shade by others, but is it enough?
75 W is almost a third lower than some of the 200 W options on my list, but it should do the job. It won’t illuminate your entire garage like daytime sunlight, but you’ll still be able to see clearly. By being able to make it safely from your car to the exit door into your home, it gives you a safe user experience. This is just another reason why I said that they’ve clearly invested a lot of thought into getting the little things right.
Security+ coding is very well thought out
The final thing I want to tell you about is the Security+ coding these guys have developed. I like that it auto updates every time you use the door. That will prevent cloned remotes from being able to open your home when you’re out. The encryption standard isn’t detailed, which is probably for security reasons, but I’d like to know more about it. I’m sure the manufacturer would outline the principle of how it works if you need further details for insurance purposes.
15. Genie Excelerator II 1500 1 HP Direct Screw Drive DC Garage Door Opener
And so we make it to the final entry on my list. You never know, I may have left the best till last! Just remember folks there are no rankings here, just 15 of the best for your consideration…
Direct drive motor saves a lot of wasted effort
If you listen to the sound of this motor, you’ll be pleasantly surprised because it gives out a gentle, quiet hum. That doesn’t mean that it lacks power, but that it uses what it has with little wastage. The direct drive motor eliminates a lot of unnecessary couplers and moving parts where energy is lost. This then results in a quiet and efficient lift. Nicely executed!
I like the installation poster because it’s so easy to read
The idea of an installation poster is a new one for me, but it totally made all the difference. The installation is simple enough that you can do it yourself and save time and money on contractors. With large diagrams and plenty of descriptions, the poster talks you through everything step by step. Plus because you can wall mount it if you’re not bending over trying to see what the next step is. Ideal if you want to get your new gadget up and running straight out of the box with no fuss!
Want to know more about Homelink?
Some cars now come with remotes built in which is an interesting development. The upside of this approach is that it means you can never lose your remote. The Excelerator II fully supports Home-link which means you should be able to deploy it without issues. Be prepared to fiddle with it a little bit because each model of car will be a little different. To be fair, there’s not a whole lot the guys at Genie can do about that, but they do provide a dedicated manual.
Is it really maintenance free?Maintenance is something you expect at every moment, so this is a bold claim. The idea they have is that it is self-lubricating and enclosed which should keep the dirt and grime out. If you’re ever in any doubt, then I suggest contacting the manufacturer direct. They seem very helpful and more than willing to point customers in the right direction. Get in touch and show them what you’re hearing with a quick sound recording.