Opening your garage door is something you might do several times everyday. If you’re still manually lifting that heavy garage door open every morning, moving your car, then hopping back out to shut your garage door, then there’s no doubt you’re ready to buy a new garage door opener!

Or maybe the garage door opener you already have is loud, shaky, and so old you’re afraid to trust it any longer. In this case, it’s time to upgrade to a new garage door opener and see just how far the technology has come since your last garage door system was installed. You can also pick up a new garage door remote to go with your new opener.

If you have a gate leading to your garage, we also cover some of the best automatic gate openers.

Check out the table below of the best garage door openers available today, and keep reading for some buying and installation advice!

 

Choosing the Best Garage Door Opener Type

There are three main types of garage door opener types used by modern garage door openers today. Let’s take a look at each and breakdown the advantages and disadvantages.

 

Chain Drive Door Openers

These garage door openers used a metal chain, similar to a bike chain, to move the garage door open and shut. This is by far the most widely used garage door opener type.

Chain Drive Pros

  • Reliable in all weather.
  • Cheaper than other drive types.

Chain Drive Cons

  • Noisier and more vibration than other drive types.
  • Chain can require adjustment and lubrication.

 

Belt Drive Door Openers

Belt drive garage door openers use rubber belts and an electric motor to move the door, resulting in quieter operation.

Belt Drive Pros

  • Quiet operation with less vibration than chain drive models.

Belt Drive Cons

  • Usually more expensive than chain drive models.

 

Direct Drive Door Opener

Direct drive garage door openers are the newest technology, and place the motor directly on the overhead rail. The motor travels along the stationary overhead chain to open and shut the garage door.

Direct Drive Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Low maintenance
  • Most quiet and vibration-free

Direct Drive Cons

  • More expensive than other types

 

Garage Door Opener Drive System Power Key Features Warranty Price
Chamberlain WD832KEV
Belt 1/2 Horsepower
    • Best Value Garage Doop Opener
    • Automatic Close Timer
    • Door will stop if contact is made with person or object
    • Possible to control with Smartphone
    • Automatically locks once shut
Lifetime Motor, Lifetime Belt, 5-Year Parts, 1-Year Accessories
Decko 24000
Chain 1/2 Horsepower
    • Easiest to install
    • Pre-assembled wiring for easy installation
    • Designed to withstand extreme cold and heat
    • Easy force adjustment
6 Year Limited
Sommer Direct Drive 1042
Direct Drive 3/4 Horsepower
    • Quietest Garage Door Opener
    • No vibrations
    • Only one moving part, less chance of breakdowns
    • Works on doors up to 8 feet tall, no extender required
Lifetime Warranty, 2-Year Accessories

 

Buy a chain drive garage door opener for the best value. If you’re looking for a quiet garage door, you should look into the direct drive garage door openers.

The below video demonstrates how much more quiet a new garage door opener can be versus and older model-

 

Garage Door Opener Power

Most garage door openers on the market range from from 1/2 horsepower to 1 horsepower. Most homeowners that have a fiberglass or vinyl garage door will be fine with a 1/2 horsepower opener. If you have a heavier garage door, like those made from wood or metal, you would be safer with a 3/4 horsepower motor or larger.

You can view a round-up of other garage door features from this useful About.com page.

 

Silent Garage Door Openers

While most new garage door openers are very quiet in comparison to older models, some are better than others when it comes to quiet operation and reduce vibrations. We did a full write-up of this topic on our best quiet garage door openers page.