Best Garage Door Opener & Buying Guide

garage door opener

If you’re in the market for a new garage door opener, you’re in luck. We have compiled a list of the best garage door openers based on brand, customer reviews, price, customer service, and overall performance.

Our research shows the top brands for garage door openers are Chamberlain, Genie, and Liftmaster. While other names are emerging, these companies sit atop as industry leaders. These openers are sure to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Our Top Picks for Best Garage Door Opener

Our Favorite Garage Door Openers

Over my 20-year career as a home inspector, I’ve seen every type of garage door opener imaginable. We’ve tested and reviewed all garage door brands, and these are our favorite. We’ve included everything from quiet, smart garage doors to side mount garage doors with budget options for each.

Chamberlain B1381T Smart Garage Door Opener

Chamberlain is a leading garage door opener manufacturer based in North America known for its high quality and dependability.

Chamberlain B1381T Smart Garage Door Opener – Look at your garage in a new light with corner-to-corner lighting, and the smart garage opener features three 100-lumen LED lights to illuminate your entire space. MyQ Connect lets you open and close your garage door from anywhere via the myQ app.

The powerful 1.25 HPS motor offers the greatest lifting force in the industry for effortless lifting and dependable performance. You can keep your garage door operating with the battery backup if the electricity goes out.

The steel-reinforced belt drive, constructed with high-grade materials for years of reliability and quiet, smooth performance, is ideal for connected garages. Compatible with a 7-foot garage door. An extension kit is available for larger 8 and 10-foot doors.

The main drawback is the pieced rail assembly which is not as strong and requires more maintenance than a one-piece rail assembly. Many professional contractors and installers may switch out the pieced rail assembly with a one-piece assembly.

The opener is also not compatible with the LiftMaster deadbolt locking system.

Besides that, the Chamberlain opener is a good option offering a history of reliable performance and top-notch customer service.

Chamberlain B2405 Smart myQ Smartphone Controlled-Ultra Quiet, Strong Belt Drive, Wireless Keypad Included

The Chamberlain B2405 has an ultra-quiet DC motor, and soft start/stop smooth operation ensures that your garage doesn’t disturb the peace in the rest of your home.

The MyQ app has been updated with new features. These include improved WiFi connectivity and enhanced memory to support the new features.

The MyQ Smart Garage Hub reduces the time it takes to set up your garage and makes it easier to connect to the MyQ app, other MyQ devices, and smart home technology solutions.

Security+ technology provides encryption that is unmatched by other security measures.

The opener works great, but there are a few things worth noting before buying.

Chamberlain charges a $1/month fee to use the MyQ IFTTT channel. If you only use their app, it works fine and for free, but if you want to use the connected features for anything remotely custom, be prepared to pay.

Even if you purchase the IFTTT channel, there is no action to open the door. This is a security measure.

The built-in-wifi is a MyQ hub. If you have two or more openers, only one of them needs to be WiFi connected. The others can communicate using the standard MyQ wireless protocols. Additionally, if you do connect two doors via WiFi, they will show up separately in the app.

Genie 7155-TKV Smart Garage Door Opener StealthDrive Connect - Ultra Quiet opener, WiFi, Battery Backup - Works with Alexa & Google Home
$299.99 $244.99
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11/22/2023 05:48 am GMT

Genie 7155-TKV Smart Garage Door Opener StealthDrive Connect

This belt-drive garage door opener features a strong, super-quiet 1-1/4 HPC DC Motor with a steel-reinforced belt drive. It features built-in Aladdin Connect technology that allows you to operate your garage door from anywhere with your smartphone.

The Stealth Drive Connect smart garage door opener has a powerful motor that is perfect for garages attached to bedrooms or nurseries. The steel-reinforced belt drive ensures that your garage door is always open and closed smoothly.

This garage door opener can connect to your favorite smart home automation system. That way, you can control your garage with voice commands or by adding it to your routines. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and Walmart InHome.

The Stealth Drive Connect garage door opener has a battery backup that will let you open the garage even if the main power is out. This is a great feature to have in case of emergencies. You will be able to open the garage from either inside or outside the house.

This smart garage door opener is easy to install. You don’t need any extra hardware. It also works with BILT, a system that gives easy instructions for assembly.

The Genie Stealth Drive Connect smart garage door opener works on residential sectional garage doors up to 7ft tall. For 8ft high doors, use the extension EKTB.

The Genie Stealth Drive Connect smart garage door opener comes with two remotes that you can program, a keypad to open the garage door with a code and a wall console with a button to control the lights.

Genie Chain Glide Connect Essentials Smart Garage Door Opener

This Genie Chain Glide Connect garage door opener can be integrated with many popular smart home automation systems. This way, your garage can be a part of your favorite smart home. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Walmart InHome, and many more. You can also make it a part of your routine or use voice control to do many things.

The Genie Chain Glide Essentials smart garage door opener has a heavy-duty chain drive system that allows for long-lasting, durable operation.

The DC motor is easy to install and can provide power to open residential sectional garage doors up to 7 feet tall and 500 lbs in weight (or 8 feet tall with an extension kit – sold separately).

This smart garage door opener is easy to install because it has a strong rail system that snaps together. It is lightweight and does not require any extra hardware. This smart garage door opener works with BILT intelligent 3D interactive instructions, making it even easier to assemble.

This garage door opener includes LED bulbs that are bright and reliable. There is a non-WiFi option available. There is a limited 10-year warranty on the motor & gearbox, five years on the chain, and one year on parts and accessories.

Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener – Wall Mounted – myQ Smartphone Controlled

The wall mount garage opener mounts discreetly on the wall next to the garage door. This saves space and minimizes vibrations throughout the home. The opener includes our most advanced technologies, like myQ, which enables smartphone monitoring and control.

You can set up customized notifications on the myQ app to let you know when your garage door opens or closes. This will help you keep track of what is happening at home and give you peace of mind that your garage is secure.

The heavy-duty construction and top accessories are included in this home, like the automatic garage door lock, meaning that your home is always safe. With the wall mount garage opener, you can save space and have convenient security and control.

This is the RJO heavy-duty garage door opener. It includes the automatic garage door lock, remote light, the protector system safety sensors, a three-button tri-band remote, and the multi-function wall control.

The wall mount garage opener mounts near the garage door, giving you more space in the garage. The automatic garage door lock will keep your home safe by locking the door every time it closes.

This unique wall-mounting system eliminates vibrations through the ceiling, making your garage door nearly silent. Plus, the myQ app includes core features that let you control your garage door, get status notifications, and set schedules from anywhere.

Chamberlain provides how-to installation videos, but there are some things to consider before purchasing.

This direct drive opener was easy to install and worked perfectly on my door. If your current garage door system does not satisfy the following conditions, then you might have some problems installing this:

  1. Check how much the torsion bar extends beyond the bearing plate.
  2. Check how high your torsion bar is. It should be at least 3″ below the ceiling.
  3. Ensure the drum that holds the wire attached to the bottom of the door has a diameter between 4 and 6 inches.
  4. Check that the torsion bar is horizontal.
  5. You’ll need at least 9 inches of wall clearance on the side you intend to install the opener.
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11/22/2023 10:19 am GMT

LiftMaster 8500W 2-893MAX remotes Jackshaft Garage Door Opener MyQ Enabled

This jackshaft garage door features a space-saving wall mounting design beside the garage door that does not require an overhead garage door track. It has an ultra-quiet, durable, and powerful p3 motor.

Built-in WiFi allows controlling the garage door efficiently from anywhere with your smartphone. It has a battery backup system to provide uninterrupted operation even when the power goes out. It also has a bright 1,500 lumens myQ remote LED light built-in. For added security, the Automatic Garage Door Lock will deadbolt the garage door after it closes.

Jackshaft garage doors are pricey, but they come with a lifetime warranty on the motor, a 5-year warranty on parts, and a one-year warranty on the battery and remote control.

How To Choose A Garage Door Opener

If you understand what to look for, picking the best one is not difficult. The following are the most important factors to consider while making your decision.

garage opener lg

The Type of Drive System

Overhead garage door openers are available in two types of drive systems: chain drive and belt drive.

A drive mechanism usually includes a motor, a trolley, a rail track, and a belt or chain that runs through the track. The motor drives a trolley via a belt or chain that goes through the rail track, either opening or closing the door.

Here are the different types of garage door openers:

  • Chain drive openers – are the most popular choice and use a metal chain to move the garage door.
  • Belt drive openers – are quieter than chain-driven models but more expensive.
  • Wall Mount openers – jackshaft garage door openers that are great for garages with low ceilings.
  • Screw drive openers – have a lifting device that moves along a threaded steel rod.
  • Direct drive openers – have a garage door opener that is one piece and mounts directly to the garage ceiling.

Some models have innovative features like WiFi, classifying them as smart garage openers.

Over my years as a home inspector, I’ve operated thousands of garage doors and have seen each type in operation. We see more chain drive models than all the other models combined, primarily because of their affordability.

Overall, the most popular are chain and belt drive openers. They are more affordable and now have improved DC power for quiet operation, even when lifting heavy garage doors.

Below are some of the best options available on the market today. Take your time to read through and find the best garage opening solution for your specific needs.

Since the emergence of automated garage door openers, people have had three types to choose from chain-drive models, belt-drive models, and screw-driven models.

However, innovation has struck this industry, bringing new door opener types like direct-drive models and jackshaft openers. With technological advancements, models in all five classes have WiFi and smartphone control options and can be considered smart garage door openers.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

Chain drive garage door openers are the first and oldest type of garage door opener. Chain-drive models use a metal chain driven by an alternate current (AC) motor. The chain pushes or pulls a trolley that connects to the garage door via a metal bar known as a J-arm.

The chain-driven model is perfect for industrial buildings, detached home garages, or any place where noise and vibration won’t be an issue. These models feature a simplistic wall control unit with open/close buttons and a light switch if the unit has lighting.

However, chain-drive models have stepped up their models with quieter DC motors and soft start and stop technology for quieter performance than AC models.

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Belt drive garage door openers are similar to the chain drive openers in terms of the whole trolley and J-arm functionality. The significant difference is that, instead of a chain, a belt drive system to lift the garage door. The belt material varies from brand to brand. They are usually made of polyurethane, fiberglass, or steel-reinforced rubber.

On average, a belt drive opener is about $45 higher in price compared to chain drive openers. However, the belt drive models are slightly quieter than the chain drive models because of the smooth belt operation.

Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

Next comes the wall mount garage door opener. These are unique because they are mounted on the wall next to the garage door. They run on a 24-volt DC motor. One thing to note is that the jackshaft opener only works on garage doors that use torsion spring systems. 

The motor drives several cables and pulleys to turn the torsion bar and open the door. To close, the motor loosens the tension on the cable. Unlike the types mentioned above, the jackshaft opener saves ceiling space thanks to where it is placed. Another advantage of these door openers is how quiet they are. This makes them perfect for garage doors close to living spaces or bedrooms.

Jackshafts are not without drawbacks, though. The main problem is that they are expensive, especially compared to most other garage door openers.

Direct Drive Garage Door Opener

There are different types of garage door openers. We will be looking at direct drive openers. These openers are designed and manufactured in Germany and are very quiet.

Many people in the industry say that direct-drive openers are the quietest garage door openers because the only moving part is the motor. These units have a motor that moves along an overhead metal rail to either open or close the door, attached to the motor via a J-arm.

Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

Screw drive garage door openers are one of the three traditional types of garage door openers. This type has a trolley that sits on top of a rotating steel rod. The bottom of the trolley and the top of the rod have threads so they can connect.

A motor turns the rod to either lift or lower the door. These are a good choice because, on average, they open faster than chain or belt models. They also have fewer moving parts than most other door openers, which reduces the likelihood of mechanical failure.

LiftMaster stopped making screw drive openers with the invention of DC motors and belt drive models. The screw drive openers were more controlled and smooth when opening, but they needed lithium lubrication every winter. Most homeowners only bother with their garage door openers if they stop working.

Some manufacturers are discontinuing screw drive openers, so the future looks bleak.

Garage Door Opener Lifting Power

Before buying a garage door opener, the size and weight of the door must be determined so that you can determine how much lifting power will be required to open and close it successfully.

They all employ a DC or AC motor to open and close the garage door. The lifting power of the motor, also known as Horse Power Equivalent (HPe), determines how strong the opener should be.

If you have a garage that has a heavy one-piece door in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, you’ll need an opener with a 1-1/4 HP for maximum lifting ability.

You will add an opener with a plus lifting capacity equivalent to 0.75 or 3/4 HP for heavily used garages in moderate weather conditions.

A 1/2 or 3/4 HP motor is often sufficient for lightweight sectional aluminum doors.

garage door open

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a Garage Door Opener Cost?

Garage door openers can range from $100 to $600, not including labor costs. A simple chain drive opener can cost as little as $100 to $175. Whereas, for a wall mount opener, you’ll pay $400 to $600 or more plus labor.

More expensive models are more durable and have a wide range of accessories. When choosing a garage door opener, it’s essential to consider your budget and needs.

Which Type of Garage Door Opener is Best?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best garage door opener for you will depend on your budget and needs. For example, chain drive openers are the most popular, but belt drive openers are quieter. A wall mount opener might be a good option if you have a small garage.

Ultimately, the best garage door opener is the one that works when you need it. Some important features to consider are the motor’s horsepower, quiet operation, wireless keypad or smartphone control, and battery backup in case of a power failure (now required in California).

Which is Better Belt or Chain Drive Garage Door Opener?

Belt garage door openers are more expensive than chain drive models but are quieter and smoother. If noise concerns you, a belt garage door opener might be the best option.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Garage Door Remote?

Most manufacturers provide two garage door remotes with new door openers sold today. Additional remotes can be purchased from the manufacturer if needed. If you need to replace your garage door remote, it can range from $15 to $50, with an average cost of about $25.

Garage door openers cost anything from $218 to $511, with the national average at $356. You may operate and close your garage door from the safety of your automobile using a remote-control button. Garage door openers are convenient but provide security, protection, and peace of mind.

Is it Hard to Replace a Garage Door Opener?

Installing a garage door opener can take four to six hours for a professional and six to eight hours for a DIY project. Garage door opener installation is a difficult task that necessitates an understanding of garage door opener components and how they function together.

Some electrical knowledge is also required for garage door opener installation, mainly if a power source does not already exist. We recommend you have a friend to help as lifting and installing the rail and opener can be cumbersome.

How Long Does it Take a Professional to Install a Garage Door Opener?

Installing a new opener will take around four to six hours, depending on the complexity of the task and whether the contractor has a helper present. The installation of a garage door opener is a time-consuming procedure that necessitates knowledge of garage door opener components and how they function together. Garage door opener installation also necessitates some electrical expertise.

You may need additional time if the professional contractor has to install an electrical outlet to plug the opener into. Installing a wall mount push button will also take about an hour or more. Installing the auto-reverse motion sensors will also take about an hour to complete.

How Long Will a Garage Door Opener Last?

A garage door opener should last about 15 years. Because a garage door opener is a complex piece of equipment, parts will wear down and need to be replaced over time. Garage door openers are also prone to deterioration from the elements and weather. If you maintain your garage door, springs and rails will help your garage door opener last longer.


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.