Best Smart and Traditional Garage Door Openers of 2019

Written by | Updated August 9, 2019
Best Overall
Chamberlain WD832KEV Garage Door OpenerChamberlain WD832KEV
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Belt driver system
  • Door timers
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Belt driver system
  • Door timers
liftmaster 8500 elite series garage door openerLiftMaster 8500
  • Jackshaft mechanism
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Side mount
  • Jackshaft mechanism
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Side mount
genie quietlift 800Genie QuietLift 800
  • Easy installation
  • Safe-T-Beam system
  • Belt driver system
  • Easy installation
  • Safe-T-Beam system
  • Belt driver system

Open sesame! From jackshafts and belt drivers to openers with home automation capabilities, we reviewed six garage door openers, both traditional and smart, to ensure you can make the best buying decision for your home. Regardless of what kind is best suited for your garage, know that you can trust SafeWise to provide you with transparent, honest reviews of these home safety devices.

Compare the Best Garage Door Openers

Product Image
Power
Drive Type
Warranty
Batteries Required
Smartphone Compatible
DIY Installation
Tech Support
Ceiling Mount
Timer
Backup Battery
Price
Chamberlain WD832KEV LiftMaster 8500 Genie QuietLift 800 Decko 24300 Sommer Direct Drive Opener Craftsman 1/2 Horsepower
Chamberlain WD832KEV Garage Door Opener liftmaster 8500 elite series garage door opener genie quietlift 800 decko 24300 garage door opener
1/2 hp 24VDC 1/2 hp 3/4 hp 3/4 hp 1/2 hp
Belt Jackshaft Belt Chain Rail Chain
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
No No No Yes No No
Yes Yes Yes No No No
Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes No No No
Yes Yes No No No No
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon

How Does a Garage Door Opener Work?

Before we delve into the things to consider before choosing a smart garage door opener, let’s examine how these devices work. The mechanisms that enable an opener to lift your garage door are usually one of the following:

Jackshaft

This is a generic term for a mechanism that transfers and transmits rotational force or power. Jackshafts can take a variety of shapes, but often times they’ll consist of two pulleys, a belt, and cranks.

Rail

A rail system guides a motorized or non-motorized garage door opener. The mechanism will usually be reinforced by a chain, screw, belt, or motorized driver.

Chain Driver

This mechanism for garage door openers has been around the longest. It basically uses a chain, similar to a bike chain, to open and close the door. The only downside to these types of garage door openers is that they’re louder, so if you have an attached garage, you might want to consider other options.

Screw Driver

This kind of driver is shaped like the body of a screw. Most garage door openers with this mechanism are quieter and cheaper than chain drivers, but they require more upkeep.

Belt Driver

This is by far the quietest but most expensive garage door opener mechanism. The belt driver works just like the chain driver, but because it’s made of steel reinforced rubber, it doesn’t have the loud metal-to-metal contact when the door is opened or closed.

Things to Consider in a Garage Door Opener

Now that you have a good understanding of how garage door openers work, let’s start talking about the specifics of what you should look for in a smart garage door opener.

Motor Power

The garage door opener’s motor power is measured in horsepower (hp). How much horsepower you need depends on the type of door you have. In general, most standard doors require 1/2 hp, wooden doors 3/4 hp, and large or industrial doors 1 hp.

Maintenance

Almost all electronic mechanisms require some maintenance. And because garage door openers are something you use daily, it’s important to inspect them frequently as a preventive measure.

Make sure the roller brackets are tightly in place, and inspect them at least once a year. If the rollers have cracks or look worn, replace them right away.

Frequently grease the different parts of your garage door to ensure the components run smoothly.

Clear the door-tracks by removing debris that might obstruct the door from working properly.

Warranties

Big-ticket items should come with a warranty. Garage door openers usually cost a few hundred dollars, so look carefully at the warranty details. Warranties generally vary from three to five years, but most reputable brands provide a motor-specific warranty which can range from 10 years to the entire lifetime of the product. You should also consider the service fee; some companies offer warranties that cover the mechanics, but they may charge you for a service call.

Best Smart Garage Door Openers

Chamberlain WD832KEV

Chamberlain WD832KEV Garage Door Opener

Chamberlain WD832KEV

If you love having a connected home, the Chamberlain WD832KEV is a great option. It has everything you want in a high-end garage door opener, from the best safety features to connectivity capabilities.

Pros

  • Smartphone Compatible This garage door opener is equipped with Chamberlain’s smartphone-compatible technology called MyQ, which allows you to remotely control and monitor your garage door. In order to connect the garage door to your phone, you must purchase the MyQ Internet Gateway—sold separately.
  • Extremely Quiet If your garage is attached to your home, you’ll appreciate that the belt driver mechanism reduces noise and is extremely quiet.
  • Door Timers If you’re really busy—running around with kids or multitasking—you can set a door timer that will automatically shut your garage door, so you never have to worry about leaving your house exposed.

Cons

  • Confusing Instructions The installation instructions are not clear or very detailed, making it hard to install. Customers have complained that it took 10+ hours to complete the installation process in some cases, so consider getting professional installation.

LiftMaster 8500

liftmaster 8500 elite series garage door opener

LiftMaster 8500

If you’re concerned about keeping your garage looking clean and clutter-free, the LiftMaster 8500 is your best choice.

Pros

  • Jackshaft Mechanism The jackshaft mechanism offers you the best of both worlds: a sleek look and powerful motor.
  • Smartphone Compatible This garage door opener can be controlled from your smartphone, so you’ll never have to wonder if you forgot to close the garage door again. However, in order to utilize the garage door remotely, you must purchase the MyQ Gateway device separately.
  • Side Mount Unlike most garage door openers that mount to the ceiling, this one mounts on the side wall, providing a clean look and saving headspace.

Cons

  • No DIY Option It’s more complicated to install than other garage door openers on this list, so it requires professional installation.

Genie QuietLift 800

genie quietlift 800

Genie QuietLift 800

The Genie QuietLift 800 is as quiet as it is safe. It features pressure-sensitive sensors, so if the garage door encounters an obstacle on the way down, it will stop, preventing injury to your loved ones and pets.

Pros

  • Easy Installation and Instructions If you’re busy, you’ll enjoy that this is very simple to install, so you won’t spend your entire weekend trying to figure out how things work.
  • Safe-T-Beam System This feature sends an invisible infrared beam across the door frame. If anything crosses the beam when the door is closing, the door will reverse itself and open back up, which is especially useful if you have young kids that like to run around.
  • Belt Driver System The belt driver design ensures minimal noise, which is a feature you’ll really appreciate if your garage is located next to or underneath a bedroom.

Cons

  • Small Buttons One thing that’s lacking with the Genie QuietLift 800 is the design. It has very small control buttons that can make it hard to press the right one if you have your hands full or are in a hurry.

Best Traditional Garage Door Openers

Decko 24300

decko 24300 garage door opener

Decko 24300

The Decko 24300 is durable, powerful, and easy to install and has great customer reviews, making it a good overall value.

Pros

  • Easy Installation The Decko 24300 features clear instructions and non-polarized wiring, which makes for an easy, breezy, and error-free installation.
  • Powerful Motor With 3/4 horsepower, this garage door opener can handle heavy doors.
  • Temperature Fluctuation Control It’s designed to work well in extreme cold and heat, which is incredibly useful if you live in an area that has drastic climate changes.

Cons

  • Chain Driver It’s louder than garage door openers with a belt driver mechanism. If your garage is not attached to your house, then this might not be a deal breaker for you.

Whether you choose a smart or traditional garage door opener, trust the mechanism to bolster your home’s overall security, sheer convenience, and curb appeal.

Written by Monique Seitz-Davis

The SafeWise Team is here to help you keep your home and family safe. Whether you’re looking to pick a security system or identify and remove common risks in your home, we’re here to help you find the best products and well-researched answers. At SafeWise we combine our years of experience in home safety and security with user reviews and feedback to help take the guesswork out of living safe. Learn more

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