Home & Auto

The 7 Best Garage Door Openers – [2020 Reviews]

When you arrive home during a particularly nasty storm only to realize that you have to open your garage door you quickly understand how convenient and satisfying a garage door opener can be.

From allowing you to stay warm and dry in your car to providing you an extra layer of security for your garage doors, having the top rated garage door opener is a smart and useful investment.

If you’re wondering how to choose a high-quality opener, don’t worry.

In this review and buying guide, we’ll give you the top garage door openers, some tips on how to choose one for your garage, and at the end we’ll answer some frequently asked questions as well.

Best Garage Door Openers

 Chamberlain B970 Garage Door OpenerGenie Chain Drive 750 Garage Door OpenerChamberlain RJO20 Garage Door Opener
editors choice

Type:Ceiling mountCeiling mountWall mount
Smartphone Compatible:YesNoYes
Horsepower:1.25 HP.75 HP.75 HP
Max Door Size:7 feet, 8 and 10 feet 7-8 feet 14 feet tall / 18 feet wide
Battery Backup:Yes Yes No 

For more of my top home and auto recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Floor Jacks, Car Vacuum Cleaners, Car Power Inverters.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Garage Door Openers

  1. Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener
  2. Genie Chain Drive 750 Garage Door Opener
  3. Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener
  4. Craftsman CMXEOCG471 Garage Door Opener
  5. Liftmaster 8500 Garage Door Opener Package
  6. Skylink Atoms ATR-1611W Garage Door Opener
  7. Decko 24503 Heavy-Duty Garage Door Opener

Our reviews of garage door openers with a comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Garage Door Opener Reviews

The best garage door opener, particularly for heavy doors, is the Chamberlain B970.

This door opener has all the power needed to handle older, heavier wooden garage doors while still operating more quietly than many other heavy-duty models and even some more run-of-the-mill openers.

This is because it’s got a 1.25 horsepower motor. It’s belt-driven with heavy-duty steel reinforcement, giving it the necessary power and leverage to open even heavy or stubborn doors, while still being operationally quiet.

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Additional features of this model include smartphone access, long-range remote controls, and a battery backup system in case the power goes out.

That’s not all! This opener is not only expertly built with heavy-duty materials and design and anti-vibration features, but it also helps prevent people from breaking in by hacking the opener itself.

This is due to the included encryption features. With the 100 billion code encryption and posi-lock anti-theft protection, your garage will be safe from any unwanted or uninvited guests.

 

Chamberlain B970 Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Overhead ceiling mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: Yes
  • Horsepower: 25 HP
  • Maximum Door Size: 7 feet; 8 and 10 feet with extension kit
  • Battery Backup: Yes

The Genie Chain Drive 750 is the best overhead garage door opener out right now.

The ¾ HPC DC motor works with a durable chain drive to deliver strong, quiet, reliable openings of your garage door when you need it most.

It works great on any standard garage door up to seven feet tall, and the company offers an extension kit for eight-foot tall doors.

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It uses a five-piece rail system that snaps together for a remarkably simple installation. There’s no additional hardware necessary, and it’s lightweight so it doesn’t feel overbearing during installation.

The heavy-duty chain system of the 750 provides excellent durability and reliable, consistent operation.

This unit comes with a backup battery that provides approximately 50 cycles of power following any initial power failure.

It also comes with pre-programmed three-button remotes, a wireless keypad, and a multi-functional wall console with a vacation lock and light control.

 

Genie Chain Drive 750 Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Overhead ceiling mount with wall console
  • Smartphone Compatible: No
  • Horsepower: ¾ HP
  • Maximum Door Size: 7 feet; 8 feet with extension kit EKTC
  • Battery Backup: Yes

If you’d prefer a wall-mounted unit over an overhead, this is the way to go. The RJO20 Direct Drive from Chamberlain is the best side mount garage door opener we could find.

This opener can be placed discreetly along the wall beside your garage door, leaving a lot of space in the garage and on the ceiling of your garage.

Due to the wall-mounted design that naturally reduces or, in some cases, eliminates vibrations, this garage door opener is almost noiseless and offers quiet operation.

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Some users have had some difficulty installing this opener, but if you take your time, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Additionally, there are installation videos available online to help you should you need it.

Some of the neat features of this opener are the smartphone compatibility, the Security +2.0 technology that protects your opener from RF hacking, the automatic deadbolt, and the safety sensors.

This door opened can handle garage doors up to a whopping 14 feet tall if they’re sectional doors. It will also handle doors up to 18 feet wide, or any door up to 180 square feet.

 

Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Wall mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: Yes
  • Horsepower: DC motor, equivalent to ¾ HP
  • Maximum Door Size: 14 feet tall or 18 feet wide, maximum of 180 square feet
  • Battery Backup: No

Craftsman makes great tools, equipment, and yes, even garage door openers. This garage door opener operates at ½ horsepower and will open doors up to eight feet tall with the available extension kit.

Its rugged steel construction and reliable design will provide you with a tough, durable door opener that is guaranteed to last you for years to come.

This garage door opener is an overhead ceiling mount type. It comes with a three-button remote, wireless keypad, safety sensors, and a dual-function wall control.

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It also has a backup battery. This Craftsman door opener is also compatible with a smartphone app, meaning you can open and close your garage door as you please from wherever your Wi-Fi is enabled.

As far as the warranty is concerned, this opener comes with a ten-year motor warranty from the manufacturer. Additionally, there are one-year warranties for the drive, parts, and accessories.

That means, essentially, that all parts of your new opener will be covered for at least one year.

 

Craftsman CMXEOCG471 Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Overhead ceiling mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: Yes
  • Horsepower: ½ HP
  • Maximum Door Size: 8 feet with extension kit
  • Battery Backup: Yes

Wall-mountable and with a 24-volt DC motor, the Liftmaster 8500 garage door opener is a great little unit for all of your garage door opening needs.

It’s ultra-quiet during operation and features a variable speed start and stop that runs smoothly and easily. The wall mounting installation means that there are no bothersome rails to hang.

This opener also has an auto-force feature. This feature allows the unit to monitor the garage door system fully and adjust as necessary based on temperature fluctuations, door track movement, and floor height.

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Additionally, the gear casing provides continuous lubrication and additional protection for increased longevity and overall smoother operation.

You can also program security codes electronically and wirelessly through the MyQ control panel or the powerhead itself. The remote light provides 200 watts of lumination and features an adjustable time delay.

It meets all of the UL325 requirements for safety and security. This unit comes with a lifetime motor warranty and a five-year warranty on parts, so you can be sure that this product is well worth your time and money.

 

Liftmaster 8500 Garage Door Opener Package at a Glance:

  • Type: Wall mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: No
  • Horsepower: 24V DC
  • Maximum Door Size: 650 pounds or height of 14 feet
  • Battery Backup: Yes

The Skylink Atoms ATR-1611W door opener easily mounts overhead to the ceiling of your garage. It’s not clear what size doors this unit works with, but it’s safe to assume it works on standard-sized garage doors.

It may not work with heavier, wooden doors such as those found on older houses, however, so keep that in mind when you’re looking for an appropriate door opener.

This Skylink garage door opener is compatible with a backup battery, though it’s sold separately. It is compatible with smartphones and the appropriate app, and will connect easily to your home router.

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This system also allows for notifications when your garage door is left open or if there’s another problem with the status of the door.

This opener runs surprisingly quietly, though you may still hear noise from the rollers and hinges. It comes with a built-in LED lighting system that should be able to illuminate most average-sized garages without too much difficulty.

The installation is pretty straight-forward and easy to follow as long as you pay close attention to the manual. It might be a good idea to read and study the manual ahead of time, then follow along again during the actual installation.

 

Skylink Atoms ATR-1611W Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Overhead ceiling mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: Yes
  • Horsepower: ½ HP
  • Maximum Door Size: Unspecified
  • Battery Backup: Yes, sold separately

Last but not least on our review list is the Decko model 24503 heavy-duty door opener. A unique thing about this model is that it’s available both as a belt drive and a chain drive.

Of course, they’re not interchangeable, and you’ll still have to make a choice between the two, but both options are available at your leisure.

With its ¾ horsepower motor, it can handle sectional garage doors that are up to seven feet tall and 18 feet wide. Additionally, you can get an eight-foot extension kit for this garage door opener that will allow it to handle larger doors.

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It’s also got an automatic reverse safety system, so you won’t have to worry nearly as much about any unpleasant injuries or damages to any property that might have inadvertently rolled into the path of your closing garage door.

Installing this unit couldn’t be easier unless someone installed it in your garage on your behalf. This is due to the design.

Theinstallation process features non-polarized wiring that makes installing the wiring of the garage door opener a simple, error-free process.

This kit comes with a three-function wall panel, two three-button remotes, a wireless wall button, and a wireless keypad.

 

Decko 24503 Heavy-Duty Garage Door Opener at a Glance:

  • Type: Overhead ceiling mount
  • Smartphone Compatible: No
  • Horsepower: ¾ HP
  • Maximum Door Size: 7 feet tall and 18 feet wide; 8-foot extension available
  • Battery Backup: Available but not included

Garage Door Openers Comparison Table

Garage Door Openers Typeiphone/
Android App
PowerMaximum DoorBattery BackupRating
Chamberlain B970 Garage DoorCeiling mountYes1.25 HP7 feet, 8 and 10 feet Yes 4.6 / 5.0
Genie Chain Drive 750Ceiling mountNo¾ HP7-8 feet Yes 4.5 / 5.0
Chamberlain RJO20 DirectWall mountYes¾ HP14 feet tall, 18 feet wideNo 4.5 / 5.0
Craftsman CMXEOCG471 Garage DoorCeiling mountYes½ HP8 feet Yes4.9 / 5.0
Liftmaster 8500 Garage DoorWall mountNoN/A14 feetYes4.5 / 5.0
Skylink Atoms ATR-1611WCeiling mountYes½ HPUnspecifiedYes, sold separately4.3 / 5.0
Decko 24503 Heavy-Duty Garage Door
Ceiling mountNo¾ HP7 feet tall, 18 feet wideYes, sold separately4.2 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Garage Door Opener- Buyers Guide

best overhead garage door openerYou might initially think that choosing a new garage door opener is a simple, easy task. Just pick one within your budget, install, and you’re good to go, right? Not quite.

There are many factors that you should consider when selecting the right garage door opener for your garage, and depending on what you’re looking for, your options may vary or be very few in number.

The following are some factors that went into deciding which garage door openers were the best of the best.

Belt Drives vs. Chain Drives: What’s the Difference?

There are three types of garage door openers that you’ll usually see on the market. Most common are the belt drives and chain drives, but there are also screw drive opener types as well.

To select the best type of door opener for your needs, you need to understand the distinctions between all three.

Belt Drives

Belt drives, as the name implies, typically use a Kevlar polymer belt to open your garage door. This belt has teeth along one side and rotates along with the gear, being caught in between by the gear’s own teeth.

This pulls the trolley, thereby lifting the door out of the way so that you can safely drive your car in or out of your garage.

Belt drives are typically the quietest garage door openers, and as a result, are the best options if your garage is attached to your house or you have living space above the garage.

Chain Drives

Chain drive openers are actually the oldest style of garage door opener and use a chain in a similar way to a bike chain.

Like the belt drives, the chain moves the trolly and lifts or lowers your garage door. Usually, they’re louder than the belt drives.

However, newer, more innovative models of chain drive have been designed to be quieter than their clunky, loud, older versions. They also seem to be cheaper, overall, than belt drives.

Screw Drives

The last, and perhaps most infrequently seen drive type is the screw drive. Screw drives operate differently than both the belt and chain drive models of garage door openers.

These drives use a threaded, rotating shaft to move the trolley and lift your garage door. This drive does have to be oiled periodically, and frequent operation will actually wear down the trolley more quickly.

This means it will require more maintenance than both of the other models.

It’s got a moderate noise level, somewhere between the average belt drive and the average chain drive. It’s seen as less reliable because of how it ears down the trolley over time and the fact that if it’s not properly maintained it can break or fail.

Motor, Horsepower, and Lift Power

A garage door opener’s power is measured in terms of voltage or horsepower. These measurements, depending on the motor, will tell you the measurement of how quickly the motor will be able to lift the garage door open.

Additionally, higher-rated motors can often handle heavier or older models of doors which typically take a considerable bit more force to lift. For residential garages, motors between ½ and 1.0 horsepower are most common.

So what does that mean for the lifting power? Higher numbers mean greater lifting capabilities, but what’s the average or limit?

The lifting power of your door opener depends primarily on two factors: the horsepower of your motor and the width and weight of the door. These factors also determine the speed at which your garage door will open.

A motor that is ½ horsepower will lift approximately 300 pounds. This is the average weight of a two-car steel garage door. A motor that operates at 1.0 horsepower will easily lift approximately 400 pounds.

It should be noted that regardless of the size and weight of the door, some garage door openers will naturally be designed to open a garage door faster than others.

best wall mount garage door opener
Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Wall Mounted Space Saving Garage Door Opener

Smartphone App Compatibility

Many newer garage door openers have been being designed and built to support Wi-Fi connectivity. Once connected, this technology allows a user to open and close the garage door by using an appropriate app on their smartphone.

In addition to the convenience this offers, being able to open or close your garage door from anywhere within the range of your home’s Wi-Fi connection, there are other benefits as well.

For example, many of the apps will alert you if your garage door is opened or remains open for a longer-than-average time.

Some apps will even allow you to integrate your door opening system with any other additional Smart Home systems. This allows you to incorporate all of your appliances and systems into one convenient place.

With all of that in mind, smartphone compatibility may be an important factor you should consider when making your decision.

Security Lights and Encryption

While some older models of garage door openers came with a single light bulb to help illuminate an otherwise dark garage, it wasn’t particularly effective.

Mostly what the single-bulb models did was light up a small area and cast shadows around the rest of the garage, which wasn’t all-too helpful for its intended use.

After all, in the dark, that rustling in the corner of your garage could be your cat, a squirrel, or a skunk – and with poor lighting you’d have no way of telling which was which until, possibly, too late.

Newer models of garage door openers tend to have at least two very bright bulbs. Some may also have motion-activated lights.

These lights do a much better job at illuminating more of your garage, if not the entire thing, depending on the size of your garage and how many obstacles there are around it.

In addition to motion-activated lightly, though, you should also look for models that come with high levels of security or encryption.

This will prevent your garage door opening from being hacked and opened by third parties. This is particularly important for door openers that can be activated via a wireless remote or smartphone app, which most can in the modern age.

Encryptions and rolling code technology can protect your garage and home while still allowing you to effortlessly enter or exit your garage at the start and end of every day.

Warranty

As with any important or significant purchase, you want to be sure that you’re getting yourself a quality product. This is especially true of garage door openers, which are essentially a form of security for your garage, and even your home if your garage happens to be attached.

The higher the quality of the door opener you purchase, typically, the better the warranty will be. You’ll rarely find a lifetime warranty for garage door openers, but you should be able to find some for a few years’ worth of time.

Sometimes, warranties will cover different parts or aspects of the opener. Some manufacturers will have one warranty for the motor and another for the backup battery, for example.

Also, make sure you read customer reviews or feedback on social media posts, purchasing pages, and the manufacturer’s website.

See what the feedback is on the customer service team as well as the quality of the warranty by people who have used not only the product but the warranty as well.

Battery Backups

If and when the power goes out at your home, you will still need to have access to your garage when you arrive. For this reason, it’s important to have a backup battery to your garage door opener so that you can still safely park in your garage and lock the door.

It’s another important component to protecting your garage, home, and any property stored within.

Backup batteries don’t last forever, though. There’s a limit to the number of times your battery will operate following the first power outage it has to cover for.

However, some are rechargeable and will be able to recharge properly once the main power is restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which brand of garage door opener is best?

A: This may, for you, come down to brand preferences more than anything. Generally speaking, there are four top brands for garage door openers.

Those include Craftsman, Chamberlain, Liftmaster, and Genie. These four brands consistently put out top-ranking and highly-reviewed garage door openers.

They each also tend to have excellent customer service representatives and warranties for their products.

Q: Which is better, belt or chain garage door openers?

A: As previously stated, there are some key differences between belt and chain garage door openers. Chain openers came first and are the most common type.

They have wide availability and are usually more affordable, but are also typically louder and cause more vibrations.

Belt drive openers are a little more expensive, but are also quieter and, typically, more reliable.

They tend to last longer than chain or screw drive models, and use a type of rubber belt for operation rather than a loud, cumbersome chain.

But truthfully, the choice of which type of drive you choose boils down to your own personal preferences and what needs or expectations you have of the unit.

You need to determine how much you’re willing to spend, what features you’re looking for, and the level of noise or vibration that you’re willing to tolerate from your chosen garage door opener.

Additionally, consider the size and weight of your garage door or doors. Some larger, heavier, and older garage doors are best opened and closed with a heavy-duty chain drive that can handle the extra work.

If you’re unsure of what you need, consult an expert.

Q: How much HP do I need for a garage door opener?

A: There are a few factors that you need to consider while trying to determine how much horsepower you need for your door opener.

Doors that are particularly large or made of heavier materials will require a higher horsepower.

For this reason, knowing the size (both height, width, and square feet should be calculated for the best results) and the weight of your doors are important.

Residential door openers usually range from ⅓ to 1.0 horsepower. Typically, motors with ½ horsepower motors are the most common for residential use.

These will easily handle most double garage doors of average weight and material types.

However, if your double doors are insulated, wooden, or up to 16-feet wide and at least 8-feet tall, you’ll want at least a ¾ horsepower motor. Wider, heavier doors will require at least 1.0 horsepower.

Q: Can you install a garage door opener yourself?

A: The method of installation for your new garage door opener will depend on the complexity of the model of the garage door opener you purchase.

You need to also consider how much time you have to spend on an installation, your level of expertise in installing systems that are both physically demanding and require some level of wiring, the amount of assistance you think you’ll need versus what you will have available, and any door adjustments that need to be made or accounted for.

The manufacturer of your garage door opener may offer expert installation at a reasonable price, or you may seek out an independent contractor to take over the task instead.

These are both perfectly fine options to consider if you feel overwhelmed trying to install your garage door opener by yourself.

But, in short, yes – it’s absolutely possible for you to install your opener by yourself or with a friend handy. Some are easier to install than others, so make sure that you read reviews and manuals before making the decision.

Performance
Security
Value

The Chamberlain B970 is our Editor's Choice for the best garage door opener with its performance, security and value.

User Rating: 0.15 ( 1 votes)

Notice:

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Richard Remick

I am an avid traveler and adventurer, I love skiing, snowboarding, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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