Best Garage Door Openers

Best Garage Door Openers of 2016

Are you tired of having to step out of your vehicle to open your garage when you come home from work? Did you think installing a garage door opener had to be difficult and would break the bank? We’re here to walk you through the process of hunting down the best garage door openers of 2016!

Brand & Name Warranty Key Features Ratings Preview & Purchase
Decko 24000 6 years (limited) Chain-drive; 1/2 HP; Easy installment; Wall panel & remote included; Adjustable closing force; Non-polarized wires; Light 4.7 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Liftmaster 8500 Lifetime (Motor);
5 years (Parts)
Jackshaft; MyQ Technology capable; Power Lock & Security+2.0; Light; Timer-to-Close 4.7 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Chamberlain WD832KEVG Lifetime Motor & Belt
5 years (Parts); 1 year (Accessories)
Belt-drive; 1/2 HP; MyQ capable (Gateway included); Quick-install; Timer-to-close; Safety sensors & auto-reverse 4.6 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Chamberlain WD962KEV (Bundle) Lifetime (Motor & Drive)
5 years (Parts); 1 year (Accessories)
Belt-drive; 3/4 HPS; Battery backup; MyQ technology; Timer-to-close; Wireless keypad & 2 remotes 4.6 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Decko 24503 Lifetime
(Motor -- Limited)
Belt-drive; 3/4 HP; Easy-to-install; Bundle package (remotes, panel, & keyless keypad included); Adjustable force; Non-polarized wires 4.6 out of 5
For more information, click here!
SOMMER 1042V003 Lifetime (Entire opener);
2 years (Accessories)
Direct-drive; 3/4 HP; Rolling codes; HomeLink-friendly; Photo sensors; Self-locking; Auto-reverse 4.5 out of 5 
For more information, click here!
Chamberlain PD612EV 10 years (Motor);
2 years (Parts); 1 year (Accessories)
Chain-drive; 1/2 HP; Bundle package (wireless keypad & 2 remotes); Rolling code technology 4.5 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Genie 1022-TH 5 years (Motor);
1 year (Parts)
Chain-drive; 1/2 HP; Bundle package (2 remote controls & wall panel); Adjustable force & limit; Intellicode technology; Safe-T-Beam 4.4 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Genie 4042-TKH Lifetime (Motor);
5 years (Parts)
Belt-drive; 3/4 HP; Bundle package (wireless keypad, wall panel, & 2 remote controls); Safe-T-Beam 4 out of 5
For more information, click here!
Skylink AT-1611 6 years (Motor);
1 year (Parts)
Chain-drive; 1/2 HP; 12W LED built-in; Smartphone compatible; Soft-start & stop; 1 remote control included 4+ out of 5
For more information, click here!

We didn’t really know where to begin, either, so don’t worry about a thing — we’re here to bring you all the basic information you could possibly need before you make your purchase!

What Kind of Garage Door Openers Exist?

The list of commercially available garage door openers can be overwhelming. We’re not going to name every opener ever made, it would take far too long! We are here to tell you there are three basic types of openers to keep in mind before you buy. 

The level of noise the machine makes depends on the type of opener it is, as well. If you don’t want to hear much noise, you’ll probably have to spend more money!

In order from loudest to quietest, our main choices for types of garage door openers are:

  1. Chain-drive
  2. Screw-drive
  3. Belt-drive
  • Chain-drive garage door openers are quite common and might be the most familiar kind to many of you. They’re usually pretty affordable.
    • The author of this review recalls the exact noises made by the one in her grandparents’ old house. (It was heard in the living room and often startled her as a child).
    • Despite their noise levels, chain drive openers are quite dependable! They can usually work for several years to come without much maintenance.
    • Many people like how noisy these are when they have teenagers in the house, though, to help them ground their children appropriately! (We’re only joking about your teens being up to no good, mostly).
  • Screw-drive garage door openers aren’t (usually) as noisy as chain drive openers. They don’t always have many features or as lengthy a lifespan as other options, but they’re ideal to install if you don’t want to hire a professional. Some require frequent maintenance, but many do not. These openers don’t feature nearly as many parts (required for movement) as the other two, which is partially responsible for the lack of maintenance needs.
    • With most models, you’ll need to lubricate your screw-drive opener twice a year.
    • The overall lifespan on one of these doesn’t really compare to that of a traditional chain-drive opener.
  • Belt-drive garage door openers are the some of the absolute quietest on the market. How do they achieve a quieter performance than the competitors? By incorporating a rubber belt into the picture, of course! Rubber on metal tends to be a lot quieter than metal-on-metal.
    • Don’t doubt the ability of the rubber used in these, they’re usually reinforced with steel. That means these puppies can pull a lot!

As a bonus, it wouldn’t hurt to briefly discuss direct-drive garage door openers, too.

  • Direct-drive garage door openers are pretty straightforward.
    • There’s only one part found on the whole contraption that actually moves, and it’s known as a motor sprocket.
    • This feature makes these openers even quieter than belt-driven openers, in many cases!
    • These types of openers are growing increasingly popular with updating technology, as well.

Questions to Ask Yourself about Garage Door Openers

If you’ve never done this before, it’s pretty important to make sure you know exactly what you need out of your machine and its equipment. Let’s take a look at several questions and see if we’ve covered all our needs. If not, extend the list on your own and continue your research! (We always encourage extra research — it’s fun to learn!)

  • How much money are you able to spend, comfortably?
    • Do you want to install the garage door opener yourself?
      • Or do you want to hire a professional?
    • The unit may come preassembled if you choose the professional route, so get the measurements before you drive a two-door sports car to the dealership to pick it up!
  • What kind of garage door(s) do you have?
    • Does it slide, fold, or roll to open and close?
    • Swinging doors usually look best and are the most energy efficient compared to competitors. Carriage doors and other swing-style doors are usually designed to seal off extraordinarily well.
      • While they are wonderful, they tend to be slow due to their heaviness or size.
  • Do you know how much your garage door weighs?
    • The material your door is made of affects its weight, flexibility, and durability. You’ll most commonly find garage doors that are made with steel, aluminum, wood, fiberglass, or vinyl.
    • This knowledge should influence your choice of horsepower (for the machine’s motor). Most openers that are readily available to all of us will offer somewhere between 1/4 and 3/4 HP.
      • If you aren’t really sure about what size motor you could need, just remember that higher HP means more lifting power. There is usually a slight difference in price level between different sized motors… but it’s not really enough to make us throw a fit!
    • This will also impact the door’s springs.
      • What are those?
        • Torsion springs or extension springs.
        • Both extension & torsion springs are coiled (or twisted) springs. The reason they’re shaped like this is to help absorb as much shock and tension as possible, making sure your garage door doesn’t go flying off the rails in either direction!
      • Both types of springs are extremely dangerous to maintenance yourself, so we suggest hiring a professional if you don’t know what to do.
        • If they’re already faulty, you could put yourself at serious risk by attempting to replace or repair them. Please consider your options in this situation very carefully. We do not have the appropriate information to guide you through those repairs, but there is plenty of material available online.
  • How tall is your garage door?
    • This is important because most openers can handle a door a little over seven feet tall, but will need an extension kit for anything taller. We encourage you to take specific measurements (if you can, safely).
  • Do the particular models you’re interested in feature safety cables or other security features?
    • We’re basically begging you to ensure your opener of choice comes with plenty of safety features if you don’t live alone! We wouldn’t want to worry about anyone accidentally getting hurt, so we like safety cables!
    • Does the model in question come with keyless entry pads, lights, and battery backup? Any or none of the above?
      • If you already have an energy source for light in your garage, you don’t need to worry about this feature. Many of us depend on our garage door openers to provide our garages with light, though, and should ensure the desired model features a light.
      • Battery backup and keyless entry pads are pretty much just bonuses for when things go wrong with your day.
        • We love keyless entry pads, though, because you won’t have to freak out and call your spouse or neighbor to bring the extra remote to you if you forget your keys inside the house!
        • Battery backup makes it possible to open your garage door despite a power outage.
  • Does the opener come with a remote?
    • In order to live a life of luxury, we suggest making sure the machine you choose comes with at least one remote. That way you can push the button when you’re close enough and not get out of your car until you’re completely ready!
  • Does the model come with a warranty?
    • If it doesn’t, you might want to keep looking. Why? In case an ice storm hits or you have no idea your motor is malfunctioning until your door comes crashing down.
    • Some of the parts & accessories warranties we discuss may be void through third party purchases, but many are valid.
  • Does it have a vacation setting?
    • This is totally a luxury, but it’s a security precaution, too. With certain models, you can disable the opener when you leave for vacation so no transmitters can communicate with the opener. This feature might help lessen the nightmares about a burglar or homeless person living a life of luxury in your house while you’re away!
  • Is the closing force adjustable?
    • Can you easily adjust or reset the force function in case the optical sensors fail to work properly?
    • The closing force can act as an assistant in preventing unnecessary accidents or fatalities. If you have no idea how well the optical sensors work on your garage door opener, please be sure to check the force feature!

We believe this list of questions could go much further, but we hope you have grasped the basics of what you need to look for so far.

Let’s start getting acquainted with our top models and what they have to offer you!

Our Top Ten Picks for Best Garage Door Openers of 2016

Decko 24000

  • The Decko 24000 is a chain-drive garage door opener.
  • With a 1/2 HP motor, this qualifies as a heavy-duty model.
    • That motor should be able to lift approximately 300 pounds.
  • This Decko can handle an opening that is seven feet tall and eighteen feet wide.
    • If you need an extension, the manufacturer does offer an eight-foot extension. (You will obviously pay a separate fee for that).
  • The package it comes in will measure about 8.875 inches in height, 25.875 inches in width, and 11.5 inches in depth.
    • The device weighs about thirty pounds, out of the box.
  • Features optical sensors and adjustable closing force.
    • With functioning sensors, the door will automatically reverse its course if it comes into contact with something other than the ground.
    • The adjustable force is controlled by a button push. Be careful and ensure you don’t set it higher than necessary!
  • The connections aren’t polarized, so you won’t be as likely to mess up the installation! (We won’t be as likely, anyway).
    • Decko wanted to make it easy for pretty much anybody to install a garage door opener themselves… and it seems they’ve done it!
      • Set-up should be fairly simple.
  • This garage door opener can handle both hot and cold temperatures.
  • Worried about the price (even though it’s not steep)?
    • Let go of that anxiety by appreciating the six-year (limited) warranty included with your purchase!
  • Hoping for a little light?
    • This opener has the ability to house a 100-watt bulb, but you will have to purchase it separately.
  • Included with your purchase should be a wall panel and a single-button remote control.

Liftmaster 8500

  • The features that make this garage door opener stand out to us are the jackshaft and wall mount style.
    • Jackshaft openers work on the side instead of above.
      • What does that mean?
      • Instead of using a trolley-type mechanism, the lifting is done vertically.
        • If you have a garage that is difficult to install a traditional opener in, this may be for you. Need to lift a fourteen-foot-tall door? Fine!
        • You will not benefit from this type of opener if you have a door that isn’t very tall. In fact, one of these could prove to be quite useless in that circumstance.
    • The heaviest part needs to be installed on a wall instead of a ceiling.
    • Torsion springs are necessary.
      • Front-mount, to be specific. You should receive all of the necessary installment information with your purchase.
  • This opener can handle doors a bit over six hundred pounds in weight!
  • These are definitely not cheap.
    • But that’s perfectly fine! All of the wonderful features make up for what you’ll have to spend.
    • To make things a lot better, the motor will be under warranty for a lifetime.
      • The parts will be covered under a five-year warranty!
      • That’s enough to make us a lot more comfortable with spending that extra money!
    • The manufacturer requests that a professional install this if you aren’t familiar with installing equipment like this. (You will probably void your warranty otherwise).
  • The Liftmaster 8500 features Security+2.0 technology!
    • Are you scratching your head, wondering what in the world that means? (We were).
      • This technology means you can rest much easier at night. How’s that, you ask?
        • It shields your system against anyone trying to interfere with its radio signal or trying to access its codes.
        • The frequencies will change the code each time you use the remote! Since it’s an enhanced technology, it is slightly better than your average systems that may also guard against these things.
  • Have we mentioned how quiet this garage door opener is?!
    • The way it works helps work against vibration and excessive sound in your walls compared to more common models (such as chain-drive).
  • This opener is light-friendly, giving you the option to use 200 watts of lighting power!
    • A motion detector is built in and should trigger the light to come on when you walk into visibility.
  • The garage opener will give noise and visual clues when the door is about to close, so getting into an accident should be a little more difficult.
    • On top of that, the Power Lock option deadbolts the garage door so securely that most force cannot open it. (After watching a few end-of-society movies, we are totally for that option, too!)
  • Do you want to control (or keep an eye on) your garage door and the lighting of your home from work or anywhere that isn’t home?
    • You’ll need to purchase the Internet Gateway accessory, to plug into your router.
    • Once you do that, download the MyQ app and go crazy! (We don’t really suggest going crazy, but we do suggest having fun with this feature).

Chamberlain WD832KEVG

  • This Chamberlain model has power close to 1/2 HP. (The manufacturer refers to this as 1/2 HPS — the “S” meaning “similar”).
    • The reason horsepower isn’t the real champion here is because this opener runs on an AC motor.
      • AC motors run on an alternating current. (Wires).
      • DC motors run on direct currents. (Batteries).
        • In many cases, you can’t count on AC motors to have a battery backup feature, like many DC motors do. It isn’t because they’re weaker (AC motors are quite powerful), it’s because they’re heavier and bigger all-around.
  • The Chamberlain WD832KEVG is a belt-drive garage door opener!
    • Can you remember what that means?!
      • Minimal noise levels! Belt-drive openers are much quieter than chain-drive ones!
    • This opener will cost a bit more than traditional ones.
  • Worried you won’t get your money’s worth?
    • You definitely will. How do we know?
      • This opener comes with 2 remotes and a keyless entry pad!
        • Seriously, the fact that those three things are included with your purchase would cost more separately elsewhere (most likely).
      • If the remotes aren’t enough to convince you, is the fact that it has a timer-to-close?!
        • You can set this timer to close your garage door after one, five, or ten minutes!
      • Still not convinced?
        • What if we mention the fact that this opener only uses about one watt of power when it’s on standby? (No unsightly utility bill)!
      • This is equipped with MyQ technology, so when you download the app and have the Gateway, you can control and view the activity of your garage door anywhere!
  • You will receive a lifetime warranty on the motor and belt for this garage door opener.
    • Along with that, parts will be covered for five years accessories will be covered for one year!
  • Illuminate your path with the motion-activated light!
    • You can control the lights in your home with one of the remotes, as well.
  • The WD832KEVG is equipped with safety sensors and a manual release handle to give your anxiety levels a break!
  • This should be fairly easy for most people to install on their own.
    • We would like to point out the fact that certain types of cars/trucks may require a bridge connection. More information on understanding this is available on the manufacturer’s website!

Chamberlain WD962KEV (Bundle)

  • This Chamberlain model features a 3/4 HPS, AC motor!
    • Hopefully, this power stands out to you! (Especially if you have a garage door made of wood or a similarly heavy material).
    • Battery backup is included with this model! As we discussed with a previous model, this is an unusual (but highly beneficial) feature for AC motors!
      • This feature caught our attention immediately, along with the fact that this is a bundle purchase!
      • Don’t worry about not being able to get into your garage the next time you come home from work and the power’s out! (It should last about twenty hours on its own if power is lost).
  • The WD962KEV is another belt-drive opener, offering you a peaceful entrance or exit.
  • You can set a timer so the door closes one, five, or ten minutes after you’ve left.
    • That helps lessen the likelihood of fidgeting all day at work, wondering if you remembered to shut the garage door or not!
  • Your bundle should include a keyless entry pad & two remote controls that have three buttons.
  • Worried about the warranty?
    • You should receive a lifetime motor & belt warranty.
  • Download the MyQ app and control your door completely!
  • Installation should be fairly easy. (Really, it is designed to take a literal minute!)
  • Certain types of vehicles do require a bridge or home link, so be sure to see if your vehicle requires that extra purchase or not.
  • This model boasts automatic force-sensing technology.
    • The best part about that is knowing your garage door opener is adjusting the force according to the weather (mainly, temperature).
  • Two lights may be installed, each having a wattage of 100.
  • If you need to extend the height clearance for the opener, an eight- or ten-foot kit is available.

Decko 24503

  • This Decko model has a belt-drive, 3/4 HP, DC motor!
    • This thing packs a serious punch! It’s wonderfully powerful and can lift oversized sectional doors!
      • (With standard measurements — 7 ft H x 18 ft W). You may purchase an eight-foot extension if you have bigger needs, though!
    • The wired connections aren’t polarized, so installation shouldn’t be too difficult.
  • The Decko 24503 we’re suggesting from Amazon is an awesome bundle package!
    • Included with the purchase of the opener itself should be a wireless keypad (for keyless entry), two remotes (with three buttons on each), a wall panel with three functions, & a wireless wall button! You’ll also receive the battery required to begin using your opener.
    • We’re convinced that all of these accessories, on top of it being a belt-drive opener, make every penny worth spending.
      • Believe it or not, you usually won’t even have to spend more than $300 before extra fees are applied (such as sales tax)!
      • The chain-drive model is only forty-ish dollars less than this model! Less noise for barely any extra money? We’ll take it!
  • The motor is covered by a lifetime (limited) warranty.
  • Two lights may be installed, each capable of emitting 100 watts.
    • Safety sensors are equipped in the form of photo eyes.
    • If something blocks the door’s path, the opener should trigger the door to reverse its motion automatically.

SOMMER 1042V003

  • This Sommer opener is exciting for us to bring to your attention! Why?
    • It’s a direct-drive, 3/4 HP, DC motor garage door opener!
      • If you missed our quick info on these types of openers earlier, direct-drive openers are even quieter than belt-drive machines! They work a little slower, but we’re okay with that sacrifice!
    • Power isn’t sacrificed; a door weighing approximately 500 or so pounds can be lifted easily by this motor.
  • Forget about your paranoia with technology that is secure.
    • Sommer uses rolling codes to help prevent people from opening your garage door without your permission! (The only people that do this are criminals and this technology combats said criminal activity).
  • This is also a bundle deal, offering you two transmitters and a wireless keypad for keyless entry along with your original purchase!
    • You’ll need two CR2 batteries, but the manufacturer should include them with your bundle.
    • Wondering how long you can expect the batteries to live on their own? Approximately 30 thousand hours! (No, that isn’t a typo!)
  • You’re covered by a lifetime warranty on the whole opener in and of itself. Just request it upon checkout! (As you must with many purchases through Amazon).
    • Need new accessories? Many are covered for two years.
    • You might also enjoy knowing that this type of garage door opener will require little, if any, maintenance!
  • You will need to pair certain vehicles with HomeLink in order for the transmitters to work.
  • The motor locks itself after use in an effort to secure your home — even when the power’s out!
  • Photo sensors give us a sense of relief, knowing they’ll cause the door to reverse automatically if anything gets in its way.
  • The manufacturer’s website has a handy how-to video in case you find the installation to be trickier than you expected.
    • We watched it twice just to understand how these openers work!

Chamberlain PD612EV

  • This Chamberlain model is a reliable, 1/2 HP, chain-drive, AC motor garage door opener.
    • It can handle most standard doors, but if you need more, you can purchase an eight-foot or ten-foot extension kit!
    • The manufacturer boasts industrial strength from this machine!
    • Reminder, it is a little noisy, but if durability is your concern, chain-drive openers rarely disappoint.
  • If you want to control your garage door from a distance, download the MyQ app!
  • Sensors are installed so safety is this opener’s priority.
    • When motion is noticed while the system’s in use, it stops.
  • You may use up to two 100-watt bulbs for lighting with this device.
  • Some vehicles will require the use of a bridge connection, which will require an additional purchase.
  • Installation should be fairly easy, the system comes in five pieces.
  • Included with your purchase should be a wireless keypad and two remote controls with three buttons.
  • This is one of the cheaper options but we think it’s a pretty great deal!

Genie 1022-TH

  • The Genie 1022-TH has a 1/2 HP, DC, chain-drive motor.
    • (To be fair and technical, AC and DC motors aren’t usually measured in horsepower. The proper unit of measurement, in this case, would be 600 Newtons).
    • You can depend on this garage door opener to lift approximately 350 pounds with ease… and probably not quite as loudly as you’d expect.
  • Durability shouldn’t be an issue, either.
    • This system should last thanks to a dual pinion gear chain drive!
    • Though it’s a chain-drive opener, it’s a relatively quiet model.
      • It doesn’t quickly accelerate, so a sudden racket doesn’t happen.
  • You’re already paying a super sweet price (usually less than $250), but you’re also backed by a five-year motor & one-year parts warranty!
    • Plus… a wall-mounted button and two remote controls!
  • The force can be adjusted easily and quickly thanks to IntelliTouch technology.
  • With Intellicode technology, you won’t have to worry so much about anyone accessing your transmitter’s codes.
    • The codes will change each time you use your opener.
  • If anything gets in the way of the door closing, it will open all the way instead.
    • If it does happen to come into contact with something, it will reverse.
    • Beyond that, if your door doesn’t close all the way, a mere 30 seconds will pass before it opens back up.
  • You can use a 75-watt bulb for light.
    • It will turn on when the door opens and turn off on its own a few minutes later.
  • This Genie does have a manual release, in case of emergencies.

Genie 4042-TKH

  • The Genie SilentMax 1200 has a belt-drive, 3/4 HP, DC motor.
    • It’s powerful, quiet, and is also backed by a (limited) lifetime motor warranty.
    • This model probably isn’t as slow as you’d expect!
      • It can open your door quickly, between .5 and 9 inches per second!
  • Need to add a little lighting to your garage?
    • The SilentMax 1200 can host two bulbs with 100 watts of power each.
  • Should work easily with any vehicle hosting a HomeLink or Car2U system.
  • Since this is another bundle package, you will receive a wireless keypad, wall console, and two remote controls.
  • Setup should be a breeze with SmartSet. You pretty much just have to push a button!
  • This Genie has rolling code technology, helping to protect your garage (and home) from unwanted visitors.
  • Safety isn’t sacrificed here; if anything blocks the invisible beam that shoots across the door’s opening, the door will stop what it’s doing and open back up.

 Skylink AT-1611

  • The Skylink AT-1611 has a 1/2 HP, DC, chain-drive motor.
    • Though it’s a chain-drive opener, it’s impressively quiet. Don’t forget how durable chain-drive types are!
    • This model is one of the newest on our list and has a 12W LED built in!
    • On top of that, you don’t have to freak out during a power outage… thank you, battery backup! (You will have to make a separate purchase, but that’s worth it — this is a fairly cheap garage door opener).
  • You’ll need a hub (and to download the app), but you can control this opener from your mobile phone.
  • You’ll receive a six-year motor warranty and one year of coverage for parts and accessories.
    • You should also receive one remote control.
    • You won’t get a wireless keypad with the purchase of this garage opener, but it is available separately.
  • Safety sensors are installed!

Our Favorite Garage Door Opener of 2016

We have many marvelous choices in front of us, but if you ask us to choose one… and only one, we think the Chamberlain WD962KEV (Bundle) is the best.

For our own general needs and purposes, it has everything we could ask for!

For instance, it’s a belt-drive, 3/4 HP system! It might not be the newest on the market, but it’s still impressing a lot of us to this day!

That means it’s super powerful and quiet.

After having reviewed all of the other garage door openers, we realize how awesome it is that this one has plenty of accessories included with the original purchase.

Among these accessories include a built-in battery, wireless keypad, two remote controls, and an auto-close timer!

See why we’re so enamored with that model now?

We can’t go without mentioning the fact that if you have an “unconventional” garage door, the Liftmaster 8500 is also an excellent choice.

It might be a bit pricey compared to the other selections, but it’s worth it if you have a high ceiling in your garage!

No matter what you decide, if you choose any of these, we’re happy you took the time to learn about each of these models with us. Good luck and happy shopping!

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