Cheap Garage Door Openers

A buying guide for the best budget garage door openers under $175.

What We Considered

To settle on our picks, we first consulted garage door opener reviews on sites such as Top Ten Reviews, which has covered and recommended these products for years, as well as information pages on professional installation services' websites. We then scoured hundreds of user reviews posted on HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, and Amazon to get a sense of how garage door openers measure up in owners' opinions.  

We Looked At

The force needed to raise and lower a garage door is measured in horsepower, a value that affects the weight the opener can lift and the speed at which it does so. Most models intended for home use feature a 1/2 HP or 3/4 HP motor, which is sufficient for most single or double garage doors. Figure a "med" opener with 1/2 HP can lift a door weighing up to 300 pounds; more with some models (read the specs carefully). If the door is relatively heavy (e.g., some wooden doors or insulated doors) or its weight is unknown, err on the side of more power and go with a 3/4 HP or "plus" opener. Extra power is also recommended for doors that are frequently used. For extremely heavy or oversize doors, look for an opener with HP of 1 or higher.

Garage opener motors are engineered with either alternating current or direct current. Many Genie openers feature DC motors, with power measured in newtons rather than horsepower. Product descriptions for these models use HPc to indicate that their power is comparable to, say, 1/2 or 3/4 HP. DC motors are quieter than AC motors, a bit faster, and a bit smoother, and can accommodate a battery backup. Chamberlain openers most often feature AC motors.

The best new models are smart garage door openers, giving users control over the door through a mobile device. Reviewers sometimes grumble about the added costs of Wi-Fi-enabled openers but are lured by the many benefits of smart connectivity anyway. Although most product features in the budget/DIY segment vary only slightly from model to model and company to company, when it comes to connectivity, Chamberlain and Genie drive down different roads.

The Chamberlain system is called MyQ. This software is built into models at the higher end of the company's lineup and available with a bridge (starting around $70) on most others. After downloading the app, users can open and close the garage door with their phones, receive alerts about the door's status, and set the garage to close at a scheduled time. MyQ also can be paired with smart lighting controls and -- for a $10 annual fee that reviewers roundly criticize -- integrate with popular home automation platforms, including Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Xfinity Home, Wink, and Nest. It also meshes with HomeLink, an in-car remote, although some vehicles may need a compatibility bridge (starting around $25).

Genie's system is called Aladdin Connect. On some models it's an optional upgrade (starting around $96), but others have smart features built in. The system involves a sensor affixed to the garage door and a control module. Once connected, users can open and close the door and monitor who else is doing the same. They can provide others with temporary or permanent access through the garage, set an automatic closing time, and/or set the door to close automatically after a specified period of time. Currently, Aladdin Connect integrates only with Lowe's home automation platform, Iris, as well as all HomeLink and Lear Car2U in-car remotes. It is compatible only with sectional doors.

Most garage door openers outlive their warranties. We read few complaints about premature product failures. A 10-year warranty on the motor is common, and a few models boast lifetime warranties on this critical component. Warranties on the belt or chain vary by model, and one year on parts and accessories seems to be the norm in the budget segment, with some outliers offering better deals.

Our Top Pick

Chamberlain B550
Our Picks
Chamberlain B550

With built-in Wi-Fi for seamless connection to mobile devices, the budget-priced Chamberlain Ultra-Quiet B550 is hard to beat. Users value the quiet, dependable performance of this belt-drive model with equivalent lifting power of 1/2 HP. The functionality of the MyQ app, which allows a smartphone to act as a remote, is an added boon. Features include status alerts for the door, vacation lock, and automatic closing times.

  • Runs smoothly and quietly.

  • Built-in Wi-Fi for smartphone control.

  • Responsive to smart commands, users report.

  • Remotes have an impressive 1,500-foot range.

  • Comes with a wireless exterior keypad in addition to wall control.

  • Safety features include robust code encryption, anti-theft lock protection, and reversing sensors to bring the door back up if something is in the way.

  • Works with the HomeLink in-car remote control system.

  • Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner.

  • Fee to use with home automation platforms.

  • May need a compatibility bridge for some in-car remotes.

  • Smart system works with only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connections, not 5 GHz.

Genie SilentMax Connect (model 3053)

Users admire the strength and overall performance of the belt-driven Genie SilentMax Connect. A 3/4 HPc DC motor helps keep operation especially quiet and smooth. Buyers who engage the Aladdin Connect smartphone connectivity are generally pleased with its perks, but many say it's an "extra" they'll never use. For those who don't want the added expense of smart technology, the time-tested SilentMax 750 (Model 3055) otherwise has the same basic features. It earns hundreds of 5-star reviews and starts at $178 (buy it at Home Depot).

  • Reviews verify it runs very quietly.

  • Built-in Wi-Fi for smartphone control.

  • Powerful enough to lift 7-foot sectional garage doors up to 500 pounds.

  • In addition to standard safety features -- rolling code technology, reverse sensors -- it includes diagnostic technology that monitors for malfunctions and can stop operation.

  • Illuminated multifunction wall control lets users set a vacation lock and control the lights.

  • Works with both HomeLink and Lear Car2U in-car remotes.

  • Lifetime warranty on the motor.

  • Limited compatibility with home automation platforms.

  • Smart system works with only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connections, not 5 GHz.

  • Mixed reviews concerning ease of installation.

  • Relatively little user feedback on this newer model.

Chamberlain B510

Users like the dependable belt-driven Chamberlain Ultra-Quiet B510 with its 1/2 HP-equivalent lifting force, relatively simple installation, and a wireless exterior keypad included alongside the standard wall control and remotes. A majority of reviewers consider this model a good, straightforward value despite the absence of smart functionality.

  • Quiet and reliable operation.

  • Comes with a wireless exterior keypad in addition to multifunction wall control.

  • Safety features include robust code encryption, anti-theft lock protection, and reversing sensors.

  • Remotes have a 1,500-foot range.

  • Works with HomeLink for remote control integrated into a vehicle.

  • Can be upgraded to smartphone control with the purchase of MyQ Home Bridge.

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars from 700 reviewers on HomeDepot.com; 94 percent recommend.

  • Some grumbling that this model is not backward compatible with older Chamberlain/LiftMaster products.

  • May require a bridge for use with an in-car remote in certain vehicles.

  • A few scattered reports of kits arriving with missing pieces, defective units, or parts that stopped working.

Genie QuietLift 550 (model 2055)

The stream of superlatives thrown at the Genie QuietLift 550 include "great," "amazing," and "so quiet." The 1/2 HPc DC motor takes some credit for the strong performance of this lower-cost, more basic belt-drive model.

  • Speedy and quiet.

  • Power sufficient to lift a 7-foot sectional garage door up to 500 pounds.

  • Wins accolades for easy installation.

  • Links with both Lear Car2U and HomeLink in-car remote systems.

  • In addition to standard safety features, such as rolling code technology and reverse sensors, it has diagnostic technology that monitors for malfunctions and can stop operation.

  • Can pair with smart devices through the purchase of Genie's Aladdin Connect controller.

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 200 reviewers on HomeDepot.com; 97 percent recommend.

  • Some users say operation is a bit slow.

  • A handful of complaints about defective parts.

  • Comes with multifunction wall control, but a wireless keypad for outside access not included.

The amount of power in this chain-drive garage door opener -- enough to lift an 18-foot-wide door, one reviewer reports -- balances out minor weaknesses. Consumers looking for strength, durability, and efficiency in all weather conditions will take to the Genie ChainMax 1000.

  • Speedy, smooth operation with a powerful 3/4 HPc 140-volt DC motor and chain drive system.

  • Chain-drive openers tend to have longer lifespans than belt-drive units.

  • Multifunction wall control with vacation lock.

  • Safety features include rolling code technology, reverse sensors, and diagnostic technology that monitors for malfunctions and can stop operation.

  • Works with both HomeLink and Lear Car2U in-car remote control systems.

  • Compatible with Genie's Aladdin Connect smart controller (not included).

  • Lifetime warranty on motor.

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars from more than 60 reviewers on HomeDepot.com; 100 percent recommend.

  • Chain-drive openers tend to be noisier than belt-driven models, although many say this unit is definitely on the quieter side.

  • Scattered reports of missing or defective parts.

Other Products We Reviewed

Crafstman 5390

The Craftsman 53920 (starting at $140, Amazon) is a chain-drive garage door opener manufactured by Chamberlain and offered exclusively through Sears. Craftsman 53920 reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and award this cheap garage door opener four out of five stars for its affordable price, relatively quiet operation, and easy install process, especially when purchased as a replacement for an existing garage opener. Expert reviews are nonexistent, but a popular consumer products review site ranks a similar Chamberlain-built unit, the Chamberlain PD210D, as a best budget garage door opener.

Though customer satisfaction is high, some Craftsman 53920 reviews on MySears.com complain about flimsy plastic gears; other reviews, however, say replacement gears are cheap and an easy fix. Consumers who replace older-model Craftsman garage door openers also gripe in Craftsman 53920 reviews that old remotes won't work with newer models. Note, however, that this is an inconvenience frugal shoppers will likely encounter with any garage door opener upgrade because of security coding and frequency changes made in the mid-1990s for all garage door openers.

The 1/2 hp motor on the Craftsman 53920 is sufficient for lifting most standard garage doors. But as one of the cheapest garage door openers on the market, it comes with few extra features. What you do get is the usual safety sensor and lighting capacity for a 75W bulb that automatically goes on/off when the garage door opens/closes. The Craftsman 53920 also comes with an illuminated doorbell-style wall opener and one single-button remote, which makes it suitable for people who live alone, households with only one car, or those with a programmable remote built into their vehicles. You can also buy an extension kit for garage doors that are taller than the standard seven feet.

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The Chamberlain PD210D chain-drive garage door opener impresses both users and experts with its cheap price and basic-yet-reliable performance, according to Chamberlain PD210D reviews. This cheap garage door opener, sold with slight modifications as the Chamberlain HD200D at Home Depot and the Chamberlain G248730 at Lowe's, earns more than four stars in reviews at both Home Depot and Lowe's. One consumer products review site notes the Chamberlain PD210D is one of its four most recommended models overall.

Fans of this cheap garage door opener, including a consumer who posted a Chamberlain PD210D review on Home Depot, say it delivers on expectations at a price that can't be beat. Do-it-yourself buyers seem to agree that installation is easy, although one Home Depot user notes that you may need to purchase a few additional brackets if you're doing a new installation. Opinions are divided on the noise level of the Chamberlain PD210D; one review on Home Depot says it's noisy in relation to screw- or belt-drive models (which in general are quieter), although reviews on the Lowe's site say it's quieter than expected.

The Chamberlain PD210D (starting at $138, Amazon) features a 1/2 hp motor and standard safety features such as rolling security coding and sensor eyes that prevent the door from closing when obstacles are present. When sold as the Chamberlain PD210D, the unit includes a three-button wall controller and one remote control; the big-box versions, the Chamberlain HD200D and Chamberlain G248730, come with only a doorbell-style wall opener. This basic and cheap garage door opener is ideal for singles and one-car families.

Multiple-driver households may want to consider the Chamberlain HD400D. This cheap chain-drive garage door opener, sold at Home Depot, features the same base unit as the Chamberlain HD200D (equivalent to the Chamberlain PD210D) but includes a host of handy "extras" like two three-button remotes, an outdoor keypad, a multifunction control panel, and dual lighting capacity for a total of 200 watts. Chamberlain HD400D reviews on the big-box retailer's site say it's quieter and faster than older chain-drive garage door openers. Users also write in reviews that they appreciate the separate operation of the unit's two lights. We did note a few grumbles in reviews about the installation hardware. As with the Chamberlain PD210D, one do-it-your-selfer reports he had to buy additional mounting brackets to complete installation; another took issue with the hole spacing on the angle iron.

We like these two models for the value-to-price ratio, but if your home has large or heavy garage doors, you should investigate garage door openers with a more powerful 3/4 hp motor, such as the Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive.

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The Genie Powerlift H4000-07 (starting at $174) is one of the least expensive screw-drive garage door openers on the market and it happens to be highly rated. Sold largely by Home Depot, Genie Powerlift H4000-07 reviews on the Home Depot site give the model four out of five stars. Like most value-priced garage door openers, reviews by experts are nowhere to be found.

According to Genie Powerlift H4000-07 reviews, satisfied users appreciate the easy-to-follow installation instructions and simple upkeep. On the negative side, some do-it-yourself purchasers had difficulty running the wires, as these reviews note on Buzzillions and Home Depot. Genie Powerlift H4000-07 reviews, including one on Home Depot also caution that the unit may wear out quickly if not properly maintained (i.e., periodic lubrication of the screw-drive mechanism keeps things moving). Screw-drive garage openers are generally quieter than chain-drive openers.

With two one-button remotes, lighting capacity for two bulbs, and an illuminated wall mount, the Genie Powerlift H4000-07 is a good deal for a screw-drive garage opener. Families with small children appreciate its quiet operation. The 1/2 hp motor works for single or standard-weight double garage doors, but if you have larger or heavier garage doors it may be wiser to invest in a model with a heftier motor.

The Chamberlain PD210D chain-drive garage door opener impresses both users and experts with its cheap price and basic-yet-reliable performance, according to Chamberlain PD210D reviews. This cheap garage door opener, sold with slight modifications as the Chamberlain HD200D at Home Depot and the Chamberlain G248730 at Lowe's, earns more than four stars in reviews at both Home Depot and Lowe's. One consumer products review site notes the Chamberlain PD210D is one of its four most recommended models overall.

Fans of this cheap garage door opener, including a consumer who posted a Chamberlain PD210D review on Home Depot, say it delivers on expectations at a price that can't be beat. Do-it-yourself buyers seem to agree that installation is easy, although one Home Depot user notes that you may need to purchase a few additional brackets if you're doing a new installation. Opinions are divided on the noise level of the Chamberlain PD210D; one review on Home Depot says it's noisy in relation to screw- or belt-drive models (which in general are quieter), although reviews on the Lowe's site say it's quieter than expected.

The Chamberlain PD210D features a 1/2 hp motor and standard safety features such as rolling security coding and sensor eyes that prevent the door from closing when obstacles are present. When sold as the Chamberlain PD210D, the unit includes a three-button wall controller and one remote control; the big-box versions, the Chamberlain HD200D and Chamberlain G248730, come with only a doorbell-style wall opener. This basic and cheap garage door opener is ideal for singles and one-car families.

Multiple-driver households may want to consider the Chamberlain HD400D (starting at $169). This cheap chain-drive garage door opener, sold at Home Depot, features the same base unit as the Chamberlain HD200D (equivalent to the Chamberlain PD210D) but includes a host of handy "extras" like two three-button remotes, an outdoor keypad, a multifunction control panel, and dual lighting capacity for a total of 200 watts. Chamberlain HD400D reviews on the big-box retailer's site say it's quieter and faster than older chain-drive garage door openers. Users also write in reviews that they appreciate the separate operation of the unit's two lights. We did note a few grumbles in reviews about the installation hardware. As with the Chamberlain PD210D, one do-it-your-selfer reports he had to buy additional mounting brackets to complete installation; another took issue with the hole spacing on the angle iron.

We like these two models for the value-to-price ratio, but if your home has large or heavy garage doors, you should investigate garage door openers with a more powerful 3/4 hp motor, such as the Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive.

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Craftsman 53985 Review

The Craftsman 53985 garage door opener gets 3.5 out of 5 stars in Craftsman 53985 reviews on the Sears website. Although this cheap garage door opener is ignored by consumer product experts, it wins kudos in many users' reviews for an attractive price, a manageable installation process, and quiet operation.

In Craftsman 53985 reviews purchasers write that they like its responsive motion sensors and convenient features, including a keyless entry pad, two three-button remotes, a control console, and lighting capacity for two 100-watt bulbs. And yet, one glaring safety concern keeps popping up in reviews. This cheap chain-drive opener has a habit of randomly opening on its own, according to several reviews on the Sears site.

On the surface, the Craftsman 53985 (starting at $160) is a good choice for multi-driver households or families whose members come and go frequently and don't want to be bothered with keys. The 1/2 hp motor is sufficient to lift most single or double garage doors, and the accessories noted above all lend themselves to easy garage access. However, this model's unpredictable tendency to roll open may pose a security risk that frugal consumers may find too heavy to bear.

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Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive Review

The Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive garage door opener (starting at $158) is a good value, write consumers in Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive reviews. This chain-drive model features a multi-function wall-mounted opener and two three-button remotes. It boasts a 3/4 hp motor, making it a good choice for buyers who must contend with oversized or heavy garage doors. In reviews on the Lowe's website, this cheap garage door opener earns four out of five stars. But with just a score of actual reviews, it's difficult to accurately assess performance.

Consumers who like the Chamberlain 248735 remark in Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive reviews that it's quiet for a chain-drive garage door opener, which is usually noisier than a screw-drive garage door opener. This model is considered easy to install, but most consumers posting reviews on Lowe's report the included angle iron is inadequate for mounting. One consumer posting a review on Epinions reports he's had no problems during the seven years it's been in use, adding that it's smooth, fast, and hefty enough for two doors.

The Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive comes with two three-button remotes, a wall-mounted control, and capacity for 200 watts of light. While user information for the Chamberlain 248735 is minimal, those who have reviewed it seem satisfied with the product. With 50% more horsepower than most other cheap garage door openers, the Chamberlain 248735 Power Drive offers consumers high-value features for less than $170.

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Another Sears exclusive, the Craftsman 53990 garage door opener is priced slightly above the Cheapism ceiling but offers consumers plenty of power and extra accessories. This chain-drive unit garners 4.5 out of 5 stars in Craftsman 53990 reviews at Sears, where it is commended for quiet operation, reliability, and easy installation. Craftsman 52990 reviews also report it runs fast, but some gripes occasionally surface. One review notes that compact fluorescent light bulbs don't work with this model, another expresses a preference for a sturdier mounting structure, and a third laments that the remotes have a more limited range than those of older models.

The Craftsman 52990 (starting at $180, Amazon) boasts a 3/4 hp motor, perfect for opening large or heavy garage doors, as well as two three-button remotes, a keyless entry system, capacity for two 100-watt bulbs, and a motion-detecting sensor that turns on/off the light when you enter/leave the garage. The garage door can also be controlled from vehicles with built-in remotes on the visor.

Despite some complaints, purchasers of the Craftsman 53990 seem satisfied overall with their purchase and the conveniences it affords. For those who need a higher horsepower unit and multiple remote or keypad options, it may be worth investing a little more for this garage door opener.

Priced higher than our budget picks, the Chamberlain Ultra-Quiet B970 features more bells and whistles, more power, and arguably better build quality, including anti-vibration technology. Users give it a thumbs-up for the usual reasons -- easy assembly, quiet and smooth operation, good range with the remotes -- and also occasionally gripe about the usual, including defective units.

  • 1 1/4 HP-equivalent maximum lifting force with a super-strong belt.

  • Wi-Fi compatibility.

  • Battery backup for operation during power outages.

  • Multifunction digital wall control and a wireless exterior keypad.

  • Code encryption and anti-theft lock protection for security; doors will stop and reverse if sensors detect obstructions.

  • Lifetime warranty on the motor and belt.

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars from nearly 700 reviewers on HomeDepot.com.

  • May need a bridge for use with an in-car remote (compatible with HomeLink).

  • Fee to integrate with home automation platforms.

  • Smart system works with only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connections, not 5 GHz.

Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004

European manufacturers are known for quality engineering and innovation, and users marvel at the quietness of the German-made Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004 garage door opener. A few reviewers balk at the 3/4 HP unit's slower speed and hard-to-manage remotes, but the drumbeat of praise for its unobtrusive operation easily carries the day.

  • Extremely quiet direct-drive technology; ideal for an attached garage.

  • Easy installation and low maintenance; the motor travels along a rail, so there are fewer moving parts.

  • Needs minimal clearance.

  • Comes with multifunction wall control and remotes.

  • Rolling code technology for security and reverse sensors for added safety.

  • Lifetime warranty (2 years on accessories).

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 700 reviewers on HomeDepot.com; 95 percent recommend.

  • No smart control capability.

  • Small buttons on the remotes; only two included (as opposed to three with many units).

  • Comparatively slow to open and close.

  • Many users have had issues connecting to the HomeLink in-car remote control system.

  • Some reports of components going bad over time and customer service that's not particularly helpful with troubleshooting.

Buying Guide

Choosing a Garage Door Opener

With a cheap garage door opener, consumers can stave off arm strain and avoid leaving the car on cold winter nights. Today's models open the garage with a simple push of a button on an included remote, an in-vehicle remote control system or, increasingly, via Wi-Fi using a smartphone or home automation system. Cheapism dug through scores of consumer reviews to find the best garage door openers for $200 or less. Our picks allow money-saving do-it-yourself installation, include plenty of features, require minimal maintenance, and should provide years of reliable service.

Garage Door Opener Brands.

A limited number of manufacturers rule the garage door opener universe. The LiftMaster and Overhead Door brands sell primarily through authorized dealers, often at prices competitive with chain retailers, but they generally require professional installation. Fees for this service can add another $200 or so to the final price. Dominant players in the lower-cost do-it-yourself segment are Chamberlain and Genie. Their garage door openers are sold as kits that contain the necessary hardware and controls and are available at national and regional home improvement chains and sometimes through Amazon. Those averse to taking the DIY plunge also can call on installation help from these retailers; fees start at $127 at Home Depot, for example, and around $211 through Amazon.

Most residential garage doors are 7 feet high, and components in the installation package are designed for that specification. Chamberlain and Genie offer extension kits for 8-foot doors that start at about $30. Chamberlain also makes a 10-foot extension kit, with prices starting around $45 (the amount varies by model).

Pricey vs. Cheap Garage Door Openers.

There are several types of garage door openers, each distinguished by its drive mechanism. In the DIY segment of the market, belt-drive, chain-drive, and screw-drive openers tend to be the most prevalent and least expensive choices. Prices for these models start around $100, with chain-drive garage door openers on the low end. Belt-drive garage door openers run about $30 to $50 more, and a bit more than screw-drive openers with the equivalent lifting force (i.e., horsepower). Direct-drive garage door openers and wall-mounted jackshaft openers are slightly pricier options that cater to consumers with specific power and/or configuration needs.

Chain-Drive Garage Door Openers.

Chain-drive garage door openers can handle slightly heavier and wider doors with greater ease than belt-driven units, don't slip, are impervious to weather conditions, and generally last longer. On the other hand, they need regular lubrication, may be a tad shaky, and make more noise (although reviews say the clatter on current versions is far less objectionable than on older models). One such model that won a spot on our list with its power and popularity is the Genie ChainMax 1000 (starting around $176).

Belt-Drive Garage Door Openers.

Although belt-drive openers cost a bit more than their chain-drive counterparts, they've become less expensive in recent years. They're significantly quieter than chain-drive models, run somewhat faster, and need no lubrication. Also, the steel-reinforced belt is easier to replace than a chain if it happens to break. On the downside, belt-drive openers aren't quite as strong or long-lasting and may get a little balky in extreme temperatures or humidity.

Overall, consumers have been won over by belt-drive systems despite their somewhat higher prices. As a result of their growing popularity, and because there are more models to choose from, as well as more user reviews, four of our top five garage door openers are belt-drive models. For best in class, we named the Chamberlain B550 (starting around $198) and the Genie SilentMax Connect (starting around $198), both of which offer "smart" connectivity in addition to remote controls. Following close behind are the Chamberlain B510 (starting around $187) and the Genie QuietLift 550 (starting around $168), a model that earns particularly high praise for easy setup. For an affordable belt-driven opener that can lift the heaviest of doors, the Chamberlain B970 (starting around $238) is a solid mid-range option.

Screw-Drive Garage Door Openers.

Screw-drive systems use a threaded steel rod to move the trolley that pulls the garage door up and down. They are somewhat quieter than chain drives, require no maintenance, and cost slightly more. Their strengths are speed and power. Still, screw-drive openers are poorly suited for cold weather or climates with wide temperature fluctuations and have fallen out of favor with consumers and manufacturers. The available options are few and far between, and none appear among our top picks.

Direct-Drive Garage Door Openers.

Direct-drive systems are engineered differently. Instead of remaining stationary, the motor on a direct-drive opener runs along a chain in the ceiling rail and pulls or pushes the door up or down with what's known as a J-arm. Direct-drive models are exceptionally quiet and can lift larger and heavier doors than chain-, belt-, and screw-drive openers. They're also more expensive, coming in above the $200 mark. But with only one moving part to worry about, there's less to go wrong, and they come with lifetime warranties. One model with enthusiastic reviews that's priced only slightly beyond our Cheapism range is the Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004 (starting around $228).

Jackshaft Garage Door Openers.

Jackshaft openers are the newest drive option. In this system, the opener is mounted on the wall next to the door instead of on a center-mounted rail, as with traditional trolley-style openers. Here the rail is set off to the side of the door and curves up to run parallel to the floor. A jackshaft drive, which works only on sectional doors, is the optimal choice when the ceiling is very low, very high, or sloped; the door itself is very tall; or owners prefer to use ceiling space for storage. This type of garage door opener can also offer greater security, as many jackshaft models act as deadbolts once the door is closed. These perks come at a premium, however: Prices run at least 25 percent above the other drive types. And, while some say these systems can be installed by owners without much difficulty, you won't find them at your local home improvement store.

Features Comparison

Sort by:
Review Score:
Product Title
Drive System
Lifting Force Equivalence
Connectivity
Remotes (2)
Wireless Exterior Keypad
Warranties
Product Title
Drive System
Lifting Force Equivalence
Connectivity
Remotes (2)
Wireless Exterior Keypad
Warranties

Chamberlain B550

$198
Belt
1/2 HP
Wi-Fi; HomeLink in-car remote
3-button
Yes
Motor: 10 years, Belt: 15 years, Parts and accessories: 1 year

Genie SilentMax Connect...

$198
Belt
3/4 HPc
Wi-Fi; HomeLink and Car2U in-car remotes
3-button
No
Motor: Limited lifetime, Belt: 15 years, Parts: 5 years, Accessories: 1 year

Chamberlain B510

$187
Belt
1/2 HP
HomeLink in-car remote
3-button
Yes
Motor: 10 years, Belt: 15 years, Parts and accessories: 1 year

Genie QuietLift 550...

$168
Belt
1/2 HPc
HomeLink and Car2U in-car remotes
3-button
No
Motor: 10 years, Belt: 15 years, Parts and accessories: 1 year

Genie ChainMax 1000...

$176
Chain
3/4 HPc
HomeLink and Car2U in-car remotes
3-button
No
Motor: Limited lifetime, Chain and parts: 5 years, Accessories: 1 year

Chamberlain B970

$238
Belt
1 1/4 HP
Wi-Fi; HomeLink in-car remote
3-button
Yes
Motor and belt: Lifetime, Parts: 5 years, Accessories: 1 year

Sommer Direct Drive 1042V004

$228
Direct
3/4 HP
HomeLink in-car remote
2-button
No
Entire unit: Lifetime, Accessories: 2 years