by Joshua Thomas
The garage door opener is a fast and secure way of opening or closing your garage door. It uses a special keypad or remote control that will allow you to control your garage door at a distance.
The keypad is also encrypted and difficult to hack which makes it safer against burglary when compared to a regular lock.
Additionally, most top-rated garage door openers on the market are equipped with sensors that will automatically stop the motor when the garage door is obstructed. So, it is quite safe to use.
Without any further ado, let's review a few noteworthy models below and see which opener you need for your garage door.
1. LiftMaster 877max (Best Overall)
2. Chamberlain B970
3. Chamberlain Group B550
4. LiftMaster 8500
5. Chamberlain RJ020
6. Chamberlain C410
7. Direct Drive 1042V004
The LiftMaster is a 9 V battery operated keypad for garage door openers. One of the best things about this garage door opener is that it is completely wireless and safe against tamper.
The buttons of this keypad are fully waterproof and backlit, so you will have no difficulty seeing them in low light conditions. Furthermore, this keypad is fully compatible with all LiftMaster garage door openers that have been manufactured after the year 1993.
There is a protective flip-up cover that would protect the keypad buttons from direct sunlight or rain which will make it last longer.
But what we really like about this wireless keypad is its security. Indeed, this keypad will send a unique key code every time the garage door is opened.
This means that any hacker will not be able to force open the garage door operated by this keypad.
After all, LiftMaster is one of the best garage door opener brands on the market, so you have nothing to worry about security or build construction.
This keypad is compatible only with LiftMaster garage doors. It will not work with other brands.
Also, if you are a beginner then you will find the program each and of this keypad to be a little bit difficult as the instructions are not the best we have seen.
In terms of performance alone, the Chamberlain B970 is the most powerful and heavy-duty model in this garage door opener review.
Indeed, with its power of 1-1/4 HP, it is difficult to beat. Especially if you have a heavy garage door that measures more than 7 feet. This model will have absolutely no problem opening or closing it.
In addition, since this is a belt drive system, it does not contain many parts which make it very silent in operation.
Furthermore, you will not need to perform regular maintenance on this garage door opener. Out-of-the-box, you will get all installation accessories, including a triband remote control.
This remote control is fantastic as it has a range of up to 1,500 feet which is excellent. Especially for those who want to open or close the garage door at long distances.
As for security, no problem there. This model is equipped with a battery backup which means that in case of a power outage, it still had electricity to open and close the door. Neat!
The only problem we notice with this garage door opener is that the belt is exposed so you need to be careful when it is working. You also need to pay more to get features like Google Assistant with this unit.
The B550 by Chamberlain Group has the same design and look as the B970 we have just reviewed above. However, there are major differences. That is its power, efficiency, and not to mention that this model is fully silent in operation.
This model is rated at only 1/2 hp which makes it significantly less powerful than the B970.
Again, we see a highly functional garage door opener that is ultra-quiet in operation and reinforced with a steel belt drive for more durability and heavy-duty usage.
Additionally, this belt drive garage door opener is equipped with Wi-Fi.
You can connect to apps like Google Assistant or use the dedicated MyQ Android app for more advanced functionalities. However, you will need a subscription for this feature to work.
Nevertheless, despite being less powerful with only 1/2 HP, this model is still one of the best belt drive garage door openers on the market based on its feature set.
Notes: This model is intended only for garage doors that do not exceed 7 feet. In case your garage door is larger than this, you will need an extension kit to make it work.
You will also need to pay additional money for the Wi-Fi functions to work.
The main advantage of the LiftMaster 8500 is that it has a small and compact form factor. This makes it easily fit in a small garage without being an eyesore.
Moreover, despite its small size, the side mounts are quite performing and will have no difficulty lifting any standard size garage door of 7 feet.
It is quiet in operation and does not produce a lot of vibrations, unlike other models.
Furthermore, the installation can be done by a person with little to no experience as it comes with the detailed instructions manual that will show you exactly how to install it.
This garage door opener has a special technology called sensing that will automatically sense the presence of a person blocking the garage door and stop the belt drive immediately.
It also comes with opener lights that will automatically switch on the moment it senses a vehicle or person.
In case of problems, this top-rated garage door opener comes with a 5-year warranty on parts. Just keep in mind that this garage door opener is slower when compared to competing models and is also a little bit pricier.
If you have never installed a garage door opener before, then you might consider the Chamberlain RJ020.
This model comes with a complete installation kit as well as a detailed installation manual that will show you how to do it.
Furthermore, the belt drive system is small and compact so if you don't have a lot of space in your garage, no problem.
It comes with senses that will automatically stop the garage door from closing whenever it senses an obstruction. You also get 2 100W bulbs with this purchase that will power on whenever the garage door opener is activated.
Of course, in order to interact with this garage door opener, you will get remote controls as well as a remote keypad with this purchase.
The only caveat with this unit is its price which could have been a little bit more competitive. However, it contains many features that works beautifully and is quite reliable both in the short term as well as in the long term.
Chain driven garage door openers are not as popular as belt drive models. However, they remain heavy-duty garage door openers that deliver a reliable performance regardless of their age.
The Chamberlain C410 is one such chain drive garage door opener that has a medium-lift power.
This is equivalent to 1/2 HP which is definitely not the most powerful model we have seen in this review so far. However, as long as your garage door is of a standard size, this model will have no problem opening or closing it.
It comes with all installation accessories right out of the box, and the installation itself is quite easy. You will get both online videos as well as an instruction manual that will show you how.
All in all, taking its features into account, ease of installation, as well as reliable performance, we nominate the Chamberlain C410 as of the best chain drive garage door opener that you can buy in this review.
It gets this good nomination even if it is a little noisier than others and its capacity of 1/2 HP is low for the price.
What differentiates this Direct Drive model from the rest of the competition is its ease of installation.
Indeed, if you do not have any experience in installing a garage door opener before, then this model will prove to be an excellent DIY project for you. It comes as a full installation kit, including the rails.
Further, it has a power of 3/4 HP which means that it will have no difficulty lifting or closing any garage door. It will do so with more ease when compared to a less powerful garage door opener.
One thing that we like about this model is that it is extremely quiet and does not produce any vibrations while it is operating.
However, keep in mind that the remote control provided with this purchase is on the small side and the keys are somewhat difficult to press. Also, this device is not compatible with MyQ app if you use it.
First and foremost, you must ensure that your garage door opener is fully compatible with your garage door.
Most garage door openers use a trolley that moves along a rail. While it moves, it pulls or pushes the garage door vertically.
Therefore, if you have a garage door that moves sideways, then it will most likely be incompatible with the garage door opener.
You must make sure that you install or already have the right type of garage door before you purchase the garage door opener.
There are several types of garage door openers. Here are a few of the most common ones that you will encounter:
Belt Drive: The belt drive is a modern-day garage door opener that is quickly becoming one of the most popular models that you can buy.
As its name suggests, the belt drive uses a belt to move the trolley which then opens the garage door.
One of the biggest advantages of the belt drive is its smooth and quiet operation.
In addition, the belt drive is quite simple, so there is little to no maintenance necessary to keep it operational
Screw Drive: The screw drive system uses a central threaded steel rod and it just like the belt drive above, it uses fewer parts.
This threaded steel rod basically pivots on itself which then moves off the trolley which is responsible for opening or closing the garage door.
It is usually quiet, and the main advantage of this type of garage opener is that it is heavy-duty and can be used to open or close a heavy garage door.
Chain Drive: This type of garage door opener is one of the most affordable that you can buy.
It basically uses a metal chain that moves the trolley.
However, the biggest disadvantage of the chain drive is that it is quite noisy when compared to other types of garage door openers.
Consequently, this type is not the best garage door opener for a home but rather intended for commercial locations where noise is more tolerable.
Direct Drive: One of the biggest advantages of the direct drive is that it is made up of only one part, the motor.
The direct drive is also one of the easiest garage door openers to install.
In addition, it does not require a lot of maintenance, and since it has few moving parts, it does not require regular maintenance.
The power that you choose will depend on the size of your garage door as well as its weight.
This power is measured in hp and most commercially available garage door openers range from 1/2 hp to 1-1/2 hp.
For most people and most garage doors, even those with a double car garage door, a 1/2 hp garage door opener is more than sufficient.
However, if you choose to go with a more powerful garage door opener in the range of 1 hp to 1-1/2 hp, then your garage door opener will be able to open the garage door with less effort.
Therefore, by going with a more powerful garage door opener, there will be a lower amount of wear and tear happens. This means that it will last a longer period of time.
The main caveat with going with a more powerful garage door opener is price.
Indeed, a more powerful garage door opener automatically translates to a higher price.
There are many safety features in action in a modern-day garage door opener.
Auto-reverse: The most common one is the auto reverse mechanism that will reverse the opening of the garage door.
It will effectively be closing the garage door every time it encounters an obstacle.
This makes it quite safe and prevents serious injuries in case your foot or arm gets stuck in the garage door while it is operational.
Encryption: In addition, the keypad of the garage door opener sends an encrypted transmit a code that is unique and cannot be tampered with.
One of the best things about a modern-day garage door opener is that every time you open the keypad, a new keycode is generated which makes it virtually impossible to hack.
Manual Release: Moreover, you must also make sure that your garage door opener is equipped with a manual release mechanism.
This will allow you to lower or raise the door manually in case of a power outage.
Even if the garage door opener looks intimidating, with many accessories and parts that accompany it, it is actually quite easy to install.
All you have to do is follow the instructions manual of the manufacturer, and you are good to go. You will need basic tools for the installation.
Right out of the box, most quality garage door openers will come with a full installation kit that will allow you to get started right away.
However, if you're still not sure about the proper way to install it, you can always get professional help for the installation.
Read More: 6 Best Garage Door Insulation Kits
With the garage door opener, you make the whole process of opening or closing your garage door significantly easier.
All you have to do is enter the keycode on the keypad, or press a remote-control button, and the belt drive will automatically open the garage door for you.
In so doing, your garage is also much safer because it is difficult to force open the garage door without the required keycode.
Finally, if you have read our garage door opener review above and still not decided on which type of garage door opener to purchase, then read the review again.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.