8 Best Garage Door Openers (Fast, Quiet, and Secure)

garage door openers
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Once upon a time, people would get out of their car and open the garage door by hand. Then someone came up with the nifty idea of a remote controlled garage door. The result was an invention notorious for noise, slow movement, getting stuck, and breaking.

Today, the original vision of an automatic garage door opener has evolved into something far more reliable. Some models out there are still a little sub-par, but others can outlive your car. The best garage door opener will be fast, quiet, secure, and reliable.

Here are eight top picks available today including the answer to the great Chamberlain vs Genie debate.

Our 8 Favorite Garage Door Openers

ProductTypePowerWi-Fi Capable?
best-belt-drive-garage-door-openerChamberlain B750Belt3/4 HPYes
best-direct-drive-garage-door-openerDirect Drive 1042V004Direct3/4 HPNo
garage-door-opener-reviewsChamberlain B970Belt1-1/4 HPYes
best-wall-mount-garage-door-openerLiftmaster 8500Direct3/4 HP (equiv)Yes
quietest-garage-door-openerGenie SilentMax 750Belt3/4 HPYes
sideways-garage-door-openerChamberlain RJO20Direct3/4 HP (equiv)Yes
best-screw-drive-garage-door-openerGenie MachForce ConnectScrew2 HPYes
best-chain-drive-garage-door-openerChamberlain C450Chain1/2 HPYes

Garage Door Opener Reviews

#1 – Chamberlain B750 3/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

best-belt-drive-garage-door-openerThis 3/4 horsepower door opener is arguably the best belt drive garage door opener you’ll find on the market. The belt is steel-reinforced for greater durability and is also one of the quietest models around. It’s a huge upgrade over that old chain drive model your home may have right now.

The wall-mounted receiver can pick up signals from the car remote as far as 1,500 feet away giving it better range than most competitors. You can use the myQ app to monitor and operate the door from your phone at any time (perfect for scaring your loved one as they drive up to the house while you’re at work).

Pranks aside, the B750 has a strong emphasis on safety and security. The opener uses advanced encryption to help prevent hacking, while the posi-lock system ensures the door stays closed and locked. Out of the box, it will work with 7 ft. tall doors but optional extension kits are available for use with 8 ft. and 10 ft. doors.

The safety beam prevents anyone (or anything) from getting caught in the door. Finally, the control uses a four-digit code entry to help prevent anyone from using it without authorization.

Chamberlain B750 review

This is one of the quietest openers on the market, although not the fastest. Instead, the door operates using the same safety protocols as elevators. It starts off slow, speeds up, then slows down again at the end.

This reduces the risk of the door not properly stopping when an obstruction is detected and extends the motor’s lifespan by eliminating sudden starts and stops.

The manual for this opener has given many consumers problems. It appears to be outdated and sometimes calls for parts not included in the kit. More experienced DIYers have been able to install the B750 with little problem, but inexperienced individuals may need to hire a professional.

A few owners have also had problems getting the controller to work with their mobile devices, noting that customer support often lacked the knowledge to address these problems. Most homeowners will likely not experience any issues from this powerful, quiet, and dependable garage door opener making it our top choice.

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#2 – Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004 Garage Door Opener

best-direct-drive-garage-door-openerThis German-engineered, whisper-quiet opener can easily replace your existing garage door opener, yet uses only a single moving part. The chain is embedded in a sturdy steel rail along which the motor slides.

This results in a smooth, silent motion and reduced wear while simultaneously providing more power than a rear-mounted motor offers. If you have a living space above the garage, the Sommer unit is ideal as it makes much less noise than typical openers.

Two remote transmitters, a wall control, and a top-quality obstruction sensor make this a perfect match for multi-vehicle homes. Unlike others which require an additional extension for 8 ft. tall doors, this model handles both 7 and 8 foot doors without the need for additional parts.

Sommer Direct Drive 1042v004 review

Obviously, the key selling point of a direct drive system is how quiet it is. With the excellent written instructions and assembly video on Youtube, installation is quite easy. In most cases, you’ll be able to use your existing hardware.

The combination of convenience and effectiveness potentially make the 1042V004 the best direct drive garage door opener in its price range. A lifetime warranty on the entire unit means you’ll never have to worry about a costly replacement.

The design of this opener means it isn’t as powerful as chain or screw drive models, making it less effective on heavier old wooden garage doors so you may want to upgrade your garage door at the same time. The keypad on the door control also has poor backlighting for its undersized buttons and will only control a single door, so you will need a shaded spot to place and additional controls for a multi-door garage.

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#3 – Chamberlain B970 1-1/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

garage-door-opener-reviewsAnother excellent belt drive opener, the B970 provides power, smartphone control, and ultra-quiet performance in one package. It’s more powerful (1.25 vs 0.75 equivalent horsepower) and has more advanced features than our #1 pick Chamberlain but comes at a slightly higher price so it may not be for everyone.

The B970 is made of sturdy construction-grade materials to ensure durability and smooth, quiet operation. A battery backup ensures the door will function during power outages, while the MAX Lift power system can raise even the heaviest door with ease.

Best of all, the opener has a 1500 foot remote range, 100 billion code encryption, and posi-lock anti-theft protection for a safer and more efficient experience every time. While less powerful units may struggle with older wood garage doors, this one will lift 7 ft. doors like a champ and even 8 ft. and 10 ft. doors with an optional extension kit.

Chamberlain B970 review

Owners of this opener find it works extremely well once installed. The app itself is very intuitive, and installation is a snap outside of the WiFi programming. Some users have reported being able to manipulate the door from several blocks away, while others are just thankful for the almost inaudible motor.

The B970 seems to have difficulty using signals other than 20MHz. As a result, the opener has limited compatibility with routers and requires variable bandwidth antennas to be set to 20MHz only. Programming can also be a headache, leaving many owners frustrated during installation.

Finally, while this device works with Alexa, Google Home, and other services, each requires its own subscription, making it costly for homes that use multiple services.

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#4 – Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

best-wall-mount-garage-door-openerPerfect for a garage with low clearance, the Liftmaster 8500 is a small, powerful wall mounted garage door opener that mounts on the wall instead of the ceiling to save space. This jackshaft-driven opener is also commonly referred to as a direct drive. Since no overhead track is needed, it can lift doors up to 14 feet in height.

Liftmaster garage door openers are actually manufactured by Chamberlain. While Liftmaster is often marketed for professional installers (while Chamberlain for DIYers), there is no complicated install with this one.

This opener is designed specifically to work with a front mount torsion bar system and is naturally more quiet by not creating ceiling vibrations. Its 24V DC motor provides a variable speed smooth start and stop while adjusting force to account for temperature fluctuations and variations in floor height.

An enclosed gear case self-lubricates for longer life and the 6-foot cord makes connecting to an outlet hassle-free. Safety is also a priority, with an infrared sensor beam to detect obstructions, security 2.0 MyQ rolling code technology, and a 5-year parts warranty/lifetime motor warranty to help prevent injury from hardware failure.

Liftmaster 8500 review

The 8500 is generally easy to install, provided your previous door had a one-inch diameter torsion bar. Programming is also easy and you can even set the door to close automatically in 1 to 10 minutes.

Owners love the smooth operation and incredibly quiet performance of this opener, which make it great for townhouses and other homes with an integrated garage. You’ll be amazed how much larger your garage will look with no track or motor hanging from the ceiling.

One of the biggest problems with the 8500 is how specialized it is. Be sure to do your homework on this one, as a system incompatibility can lead to costly return fees. Also, make sure you have an outlet available nearby to plug the unit in as the cord is only 6 ft. long.

Issues have also arose from customer service, which often sends the wrong parts or employs individuals unfamiliar with the system since it’s a newer style of opener.

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#5 – Genie SilentMax 750 3/4 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

quietest-garage-door-openerThis popular 3/4 horsepower belt drive opener provides both power and peace of mind to lift sectional garage doors up to 7 ft. in height (8 ft. with optional extension kit). Arguably the best value in garage door openers, it’s no surprise it’s one of the top-selling models out there.

The motor and gearbox are designed to be maintenance-free and are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. Smartset programming and a strong, snap-together rail system mean installation is a breeze.

The wall control panel includes a vacation feature, independent light control, and the ability to add a personal PIN code. The Genie Intellicode adds an extra layer of security by changing the access code whenever the remote is used.

Genie SilentMax 750 review

Owners are quick to point out how easy the SilentMax is to install and program. Even first-timers were able to install the unit without much difficulty. Operation is smooth and quiet while the remote compatibility ensures good range.

The biggest issues with the SilentMax seem to revolve around its longevity. Sudden blackouts have been known to fry the opener, despite no visible signs of damage. The opener also will not work on single-panel doors, so be aware of this before purchasing.

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#6 – Chamberlain RJO20 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener

sideways-garage-door-openerComparable to the Liftmaster model above (they’re both made by Chamberlain), this wall-mounted direct drive opener saves space while providing plenty of power to your door. Apart from aesthetics, they are very similar although you don’t get battery backup with this one.

You can use the myQ app to activate your garage just about anywhere, while the automatic garage door lock deadbolts the door every time it closes to provide superior defense against break-ins. Security is further provided through Chamberlain’s proprietary encryption software.

The RJO20 is a step up for the majority of its owners from their previous openers. It installs easily and works like a dream.

Chamberlain RJO20 review

Like the Liftmaster jackshaft drive opener above, you only get one remote and no outside keypad but both can be purchased separately. The only other complaints are a few issues with Homelink integration and no Alexa compatibility which might make some potential buyers want to pass this up.

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#7 – Genie MachForce Connect 2 HP Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

best-screw-drive-garage-door-openerEasily the most powerful model on this list, the MachForce Connect is the best screw drive garage door opener for homes with double or wooden garage doors.

The 2 horsepower motor can lift the heaviest doors with ease, and a battery backup system can be purchased to power the drive up to 50 times with no electricity. While powerful and quick, don’t expect it to be as quiet as typical belt driven openers.

Aladdin Connect WiFi smartphone technology, HomeLink and Car2U integration and Safe-T-Beam door sensors make control safe and efficient. Meanwhile, the GenieSense monitoring technology alerts you to any issues and the Intellicode adds rolling code technology for superior security.

Genie MachForce Connect review

One of the best features the MachForce provides is the backwards compatibility with older HomeLink and Car2U systems without the need for additional hardware. The drive runs smoothly with even the heaviest doors and is overall quieter compared to other screw drive systems.

Some users have reported problems with the screw connection loosening up frequently. This is compounded by the fact that the screws are not auto-lubricated, causing this door to get louder over time without proper maintenance.

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#8 – Chamberlain C450 1/2 HP Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

best-chain-drive-garage-door-openerRounding out our list is the best chain drive garage door opener on the market today. Chain drives are among the loudest traditionally, but the C450 manages to stay quiet while providing durable, reliable opening power.

Using the myQ app, you can control the door remotely from anywhere, while your car’s remote can activate the opener from up to 1,500 feet away. For security, the system uses a 100 billion code encryption and posi-lock anti-theft protection.

As mentioned, chain drives are inherently noisy due to the motors, but the C450 manages to reduce the noise to levels that won’t disturb a living space above the garage. Still, if you’re looking for a quiet unit, consider one of the other options above.

Chamberlain C450 review

Although it’s also easy to install, you may need a few additional parts, depending on your previous setup.

The WiFi capabilities of the C450 have disappointed many owners. Not only does it have some compatibility issues, but using Google Home or similar services will require a subscription fee. Those who don’t wish to use this feature won’t have any issues, but this is a major problem for those that do.

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Finding the Perfect Garage Door Opener

garage door opener types

Once upon a time, picking a garage door meant getting one that opened manually. With today’s technology, a good garage door opener is almost essential no matter what size of garage you have.

There are a lot of things to take into consideration. Here’s what you need to know to help find the perfect opener for your needs.

What Size (HP) Garage Door Opener Do I Need?

The amount of power depends largely upon the size and material of your door. Measure the door to see if it classifies as a single or double (over 10 feet wide by 8 feet tall). Also, take note of the material.

Aluminum is much lighter than wood and thus requires less power to operate, while insulation always makes a door heavier and increases the power requirement..

The average home will benefit just fine from 1/2 horsepower, which can handle heavier single doors or lighter weight double doors. A 1/3 horsepower opener is best suited to a lightweight, uninsulated single door.

2/3 horsepower motors are great for wooden or insulated double doors up to 16 feet wide. For anything larger, you will want a 1 horsepower motor.

What Type of Garage Door Opener Should I Get?

There are several kinds of garage door opener, each with its own pros and cons. You will want to consider your needs and then choose which of the different types will work best for your home.

Is a Garage Door Opener Hard to Install?

This can be a complicated question, depending upon your existing hardware and the type of opener system you plan to use. Even the easiest to install can be a pain when you have to completely remove the old hardware first instead of reusing certain components.

Taking this into consideration, the overall process of installing a garage door opener is generally something most experienced DIYers will have no problem with.

Is a Garage Door Opener Secure?

Most modern garage door openers come with security features meant to protect your home from intrusion.

Some of the most common features are a posi-lock anti-theft system to prevent manual entry, encrypted security codes that can feature up to billions of combinations, and sensors to detect obstructions that might damage the door or family members.

A few models even allow for remote monitoring via smartphone so if you’re laying in bed at night and aren’t 100% sure you closed up the garage, a couple taps on your phone will confirm you did or didn’t and allow you to close it up without physically pushing the close button in the garage. 

Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your opener can be a lot easier than other functional parts of your home. Here are a couple quick tips to ensure the opener functions at its best:

  1. Pay attention to the sound. Squeaks, grinding, and other unusual sounds signal trouble as does a garage door that doesn’t close or open smoothly. Regularly lubricating the parts can help prevent these symptoms, barring any serious issues.
  2. Check the balance by manually opening the door halfway. You’ll know the springs need adjusted if the door doesn’t stay put. Note that working with the springs can be very dangerous and best left to a professional.
  3. Check limited life parts. Weatherstripping can wear out, and the rollers need checked twice per year and replaced after seven.
  4. Over time, the hardware can loosen up from frequent use. Be sure to tighten things now and then to ensure the brackets and bolts are all working efficiently.
  5. Check the door and cables for visible signs of damage. Fraying, warping, and water damage can all be signs that a professional needs to come in or the door should be replaced.

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