Top Garage Door Openers
Garage door openers are vital to most every garage door system, but which garage door opener brand and type should you choose for your home? Let’s walk through our favorite garage door openers in each category to help you choose the right opener and brand for your garage door.
Before we get into which garage door opener brand is best for your home, let’s tackle some popular misconceptions when it comes to garage door openers, especially in terms of horsepower and motor types. First of all, horsepower was a marketing strategy garage door opener brands used to help consumers best choose the right opener. However, it turned into an opportunity that got exploited, pressuring consumers to upgrade to AC motors for more power. But, let’s fast forward many years. Now consumers are demanding quiet garage door openers, not just powerful ones. This has caused garage door opener motors to go from AC powered to DC powered. This is because, although AC motors are typically more powerful, they lack in many other areas. However, DC motors are quiet and typically come with a soft start feature, preventing the opener from lurching forward which is common on AC motors. These important consumer shifts are making DC motors the best option for upgrading your garage door opener.
Now let’s talk about power. Most garage door openers will lift the majority of garage doors on the market. You rarely need a garage door opener with a tremendous amount of power. This is because the counterbalance system of your garage door should be supporting your garage door’s weight, not just the opener. In fact, the garage door opener isn’t designed to lift a significant amount of weight. It’s designed to guide the garage door up and down the tracks. Instead, the counterbalance system of your garage door springs, cables, and opener all work together, making your garage door operate reliably. This is why a properly balanced garage door is vital to the health of your garage door system, not just a powerful garage door opener.
Now that you know about horsepower and AC & DC motors in garage door openers, let’s break down the best garage door opener brands and types on the market by category.
Trolley Garage Door Opener With The Most Tech
The LiftMaster WLED is our favorite for the most tech but only if you add the smart camera (MYQ-SGC1WLM). The LiftMaster WLED garage door opener comes standard with 3100 lumen LED lights built in, backup battery, wifi app, quiet belt drive operation, smart control panel, Time to Close (closes door after a set amount of time), LCD screen with time and temp, and a cycle counter, all included with a soft start/close DC motor. Even more, the smart camera allows you to see into your garage from the LiftMaster MyQ app and communicate two ways with someone in the garage. This garage door opener even has the ability to be set up with Amazon Key. This operator is also compatible with the LiftMaster auto slide lock that adds additional security to your garage door. This feature-rich garage door opener wins the “most tech” category hands down.
Best Residential Side Mount Garage Door Opener
For the longest time, LiftMaster had this category locked up. Not because they were the best, but because they were the only solution on the market. But in recent years, the side mount garage door opener has become extremely popular and other brands are launching new solutions. In 2019, Genie introduced their side mount opener, quickly becoming the fan favorite among our certified service professionals and customers. Now the title for best residential side mount garage door opener is between the LiftMaster 8500W and the Genie 6170HB.
We think the Genie 6170HB is the best residential side mount garage door opener even though it’s only been available since 2019. We’ve installed over 50 of them, and we’ve been very happy with the ease of installation and operation. But let’s discuss the pros and cons of these two options, and why we chose the Genie 6170.
What’s better about the LiftMaster 8500W?
We love the control panel which comes with a motion sensor for the light, built in screen with time and temperature, and the Time to Close feature. We also like the MyQ app better than the Genie Aladdin app.
What’s better about the Genie 6170HB?
We love the compact size of the Genie 6170. In many cases, the size of the 8500W has caused issues with tight installs. We’ve installed over 100 of the Liftmaster 8500Ws and most issues start with the cable tensioner. However, the Genie 6170 has a proprietary technology that allows it to bypass a cable tensioner. The downfall is that it has a small stutter prior to coming down full speed to avoid the opener from needing a cable tensioner.
They both come with LED lights, but the one on the Genie 6170 is round, making it easier to install level. They also both come with Auto Slide Locks, but the Genie 6170 in most cases does not require drilling holes in the track. But what we love most about the Genie 6170 is the wireless control panel. We can’t stress how great this is. The wireless control panel is important because most homes are wired for trolley openers, and the low voltage wire runs from the middle of the ceiling to the control panel near the entry door. But Genie supplies a wireless control panel with their garage door opener to avoid running exterior wires. This makes the installation and final appearance on a Genie 6170 garage door opener simple and clean. Also making it our favorite option for residential side mount garage door openers.
Quietest Trolley Garage Door Opener
The Marantec 380 is the quietest trolley garage door opener on the market. We aren’t experts in this opener because we do not offer it. However, we’ve found them in homes where we’ve completed garage door repairs and replacements and been impressed by the functions. (You can find more about the Marantec here: https://www.marantecamerica.com/synergy-200-series) A great alternative to the Marantec is a side mount opener like the Genie 6170 or the LiftMaster 8500W. Scroll back to the sections above to learn more about why we love these two side mount garage door openers!
Most Versatile Garage Door Opener
The Sommer 2060 garage door opener is a German-engineered garage door opener that is very unique. It’s voted the most versatile garage door opener because of all the ways it can be installed and used. There is no other opener with this type of versatility. For example, we installed the Sommer 2060 garage door opener on its side along the horizontal track. This specialized installation made up for a lack of side room, creating a seamless appearance for our client’s new glass garage doors. The Sommer 2060 also has an adaptor for carriage swing-out doors. Even better, with tons of add ons and accessories, the opportunities are limitless with a Sommer 2060 new garage door opener.