garage door openerGarage doors are a familiar feature in modern-day protection of personal property – with garage door openers the key to unlocking the safety and security they offer.

The myriad of models on the modern market offer countless features, functions, and fixtures to cater to any circumstances.

With a garage door opener lasting an average of 12.5 years, you could be stuck with your choice for a while – so knowing what you need most from your device is a must in shrewd selecting.

6 Common Types of Garage Door Openers and Price

Chain Drive

Due to their affordability and adaptability to almost any size or shape garage door, chain-drive are the most popular form of garage door openers on the market.

Activated by a sensor, chain drive openers work on a chain and track mechanism to open and close the garage door and can operate using either AC or DC.

Reliable and robust, chain drive openers are ideal for heavy-duty and insulated garage doors. Prices range from roughly $150-300 (excluding labor costs).

Belt Drive

Belt drive openers work the same way as chain drive openers – except they use a rubber belt instead of a chain to operate the door.

They are smoother and quieter than their chain drive counterparts. However, the mechanism is rubber rather than metal – so they are higher maintenance.

AC or DC-friendly belt-drive openers come with various features – making them a good all-rounder that works well with doors of varying weights.

Due to their extra advantages, belt-drive openers are a more expensive option – prices range between $200-400.

Screw Drive

The oldest type of garage door opener, the screw drive uses the mechanism of a long screw threaded through a metal bar, which turns in one direction to open and the other to close.

The small yet sturdy design of the screw drive opener allows for premium-level power within a limited space – making the design ideal for those seeking to save space.

However, its no-frills simplicity does make the chain drive one of the noisier models – and regular maintenance to maintain peak performance.

The cost of a screw drive opener falls somewhere between $200-500.

Direct Drive

Also known as side mount openers, direct drive openers are only available with DC motors and use a motorized trolley moved by a gear wheel to operate the doors.

Direct-drive openers are ideal for taller doors. However they are incompatible with tilt-up garage doors due to their setup.

Unlike some opener types, they do not use a track system – creating a cleaner, less cluttered look when installed.

Extremely resilient, direct drive openers can last a lifetime – with most costing somewhere between  $300-500.


The jack-shaft garage door opener uses a torsion bar and pulley system to operate the garage doors. Wall-mounted, they are ideal for garages in need of maximum overhead space.

Jack-shaft openers can offer enhanced safety features, with ample choice for customization – making them suited to residential or commercial premises.

A hi-tech option, jack-shaft openers cost between $300-650 (excluding installation).

Hoist Openers

The mechanism of a chain hoist opener works the same way as a jack-shaft  – but with the additional advantage of a chain hoist.

The hoist works as a backup method to operate the doors if there is a malfunction –  useful for garage doors that are too heavy to open manually.

A popular choice for labor-intensive industries, chain hoist openers are often seen in commercial environments – with prices ranging from around $1400-1600.

How Much Horsepower is Enough?

When considering how much horsepower is needed – and therefore, which type of opener would be the best choice –  the main factors to take into account are:

  1. The size and weight of your garage door;
  2. The desired noise level;
  3. Your budget.

Size and Weight of Garage Door

If the horsepower level of your opener is insufficient for the size and weight of your garage door,  it can place excess strain on the inner components – leading to a higher risk of malfunction. The opener will also need replacing far sooner than one with appropriate horsepower.

Therefore, when deciding what level may best fit your garage needs, assessing the scale of your door is essential.

There are two elements to consider:

  • Door Height and Width: Is the door a single or double size? Is there anything unusual about the space (such as low ceilings) that could affect the opener choice? Take these factors into account when measuring the opening.
  • Door Weight: If you do not know the exact weight, guesstimate as accurately as you can with regard to its size and materials (metal and solid wood doors are denser and therefore weigh more).

Horsepower & Newtons

Horsepower (HP) is a unit used to measure the power level an electric motor can produce. The more horsepower a garage door opener can create, the heavier and larger doors it can operate.

Garage door openers with a motor using an alternating current (AC) system are measured in units called Horsepower (HP), whereas those running on direct current (DC) measure in Newtons.

The torsion system in a garage door must be perfectly balanced to serve as a dead-weight counter and enable the door opener to work effectively.

Type of Garage DoorSize of DoorHorsepower (HP)
& Newtons (N) Required
Single garage doors, Lightweight steel doorsLess than 8ft wide1/3 HP/230N
Single & double garage doors in steel, aluminum, or composite8-13 ft wide½ HP/500N
Solid wood, extra thick, and oversized garage doors13ft wide +¾ HP/700N

AC vs. DC Power

Electronic garage door openers run on either alternative current (AC) or direct current (DC).

Direct Current (DC)

Direct current continually flows in one direction, and its voltage does not change.

DC-powered motors increase speed gradually, then tail off speed when stopped. Due to this undulation, DC-powered openers are quieter.

DC power loses strength the further it travels, but may be stored. Therefore, DC motors can support a backup battery –  a crucial lifeline in a power outage.

The ability of DC motors to allow a user complete control over speed (as well as softer starts and finishes) makes them an attractive option for some appliances.

Alternating Current (AC)

Pioneered by Nikola Tesla, the alternative current was a groundbreaker in the electricity market because it made voltage variation possible for the first time.

AC power switches the direction of its flow at regular intervals, and its motors maintain the same speed.

Although its openers are heavier and noisier, AC is a more potent electrical current. However,  AC power does not store.

The more potent AC-motored doors are ideal for commercial and industrial premises using heavier-duty doors.

Garage Door Opener Features

Garage Door OpenerNoise Level

A low noise volume is one of the top sought-after features for door opener buyers.

The key is seeking one that works with minimal vibration:

  • Motor: Motors running on DC are quieter
  • Mechanism: Belt or chain drive openers make less noise than screw drives.
  • Modification: Vibratory noise can reduce by adding insulation

Due to customer demand, garage door openers with lower noise levels are more expensive – with most quieter models starting from $550.

Smart Connectivity

Smartphone apps that allow users to operate their garage door remotely are available on AC and DC-run openers.

Numerous brands offer this feature, which includes options such as home security monitoring, door status checking, and even carbon monoxide protection.

Smart features suit those who are security conscious, have busy schedules, or spend a lot of time away from home, as the door’s status can be checked and operated remotely anytime from anywhere with a signal.

Openers with smart features tend to be more expensive than those without. Sticking to necessary features only helps to balance the budget.


In an emergency, safety features are crucial for your garage door opener. The main methods are backup power, rolling code technology, and automatic reverse.

Backup Power

With most garage door openers digitally operated, backup power provides a safety net in an electricity outage.

Backup power comes in the form of a battery, which enables a motorized garage door to remain operational without a functional power supply. Batteries can also encourage the smooth streaming of electricity when power is inconsistent.

Batteries run on DC power and can last 1-2 years with average usage. Available in several shapes and sizes (and also solar powered), they are designed to be simple and speedy to set up.

Rolling Code Technology

Rolling code (also known as ‘hopping code’) technology is a security measure for keyless entry systems that generates a new entry code every time the door opens.

Randomly selecting a different code out of 100 billion possibilities aims to protect against digital hackers who may attempt to steal it by hacking into the system.

Rolling code technology has been popular since its creation in response to hoards of homeowners accidentally opening their neighbor’s garages with their remotes.

Automatic Reverse

Automatic reverse forces a garage door to rewind if it detects any impact. This feature prevents injury to people or animals, plus property damage.

Automatic reverse can function either optically or mechanically. An optical system activates whenever an invisible beam breaks, and a mechanical system reverses whenever load limit is exceeded.

Ideally, a garage door has both automatic reverse systems integrated for maximum safety.

What Is Your Budget?

Your budget is the most crucial factor when choosing your garage door opener.

Generally, the quieter, faster, and easier the operation is, the more it will cost. Heavy-duty, DC-powered openers for weightier doors will also be pricier.

As one of the simplest – and loudest – mechanisms, chain drives tend to be the cheapest, with jack-shaft and smart openers the most expensive.

As well as the opener, it is also crucial to factor in installation costs (which vary depending on the size and type of garage door), plus the possible maintenance costs needed to keep your system in good working order.

Garage Door Opener Brands

Many brands sell garage door openers in the modern age – and each comes with strengths and weaknesses.

However, some stand out more than others for their reputation. Here is a summary of 6 of the top brands:


American Garage Door Opener Manufacturer - The Genie CompanyOne of the oldest companies in the industry, Genie has been selling and installing everything related to garage doors for over 60 years.


  • Well Established
  • Keypad & Remote Options
  • Automatic Reverse Feature


  • No Battery Backup
  • Complex Programming


American Garage Door Opener Manufacturer - The Chamberlain Group LLCOne of the largest garage- focussed enterprises worldwide, Chamberlain began its trading life in Illinois, USA.


  • Reliable
  • Easy Installation
  • Up-to-date Firmware
  • Range of Accessories


  • Unclear Instructions
  • Flimsy Remotes (and none for cameras)
  • Charged Video Storage


American Garage Door Opener Manufacturer - LiftMasterNow part of the Chamberlain portfolio, UK-based Liftmaster Ltd was launched in 1985. It is now one of the best-known names globally for garage door equipment.


  • Quiet Motors
  • Sturdy Products
  • Extra Premium Features
  • Good Warranties


  • Expensive
  • Door Closing Issues
  • Not a DIY installation


A new market player, BeamUp began in 2019 – and has since rocketed to recognition. With offices in the US, UK, and Middle East, BeamUp’s product range has a global reach.


  • Budget Friendly
  • Easy to Install
  • Low Volume


  • Limited Range
  • Singular Remotes


Garage Door Opener Supplier in Canada - Skylink Technologies (Canada) Inc.Skylink was established in 1990 and has multiple offices across Asia and the Americas. A maker of its goods, Skylink boasts a manufacturing facility of over 100,000 square feet.


  • Value for Money
  • Installation Parts Included
  • Simple Setup & Programming
  • Compact


  • Limited Power & Remote Choice
  • Cheaper Parts Used
  • No Wi-Fi

RAX Technology

Top Automatic Door Opener Manufacturer in China - Hebei RAX Door Technology Co., LtdEstablished in 1999 in northern China, RAX Door manufacture a selection garage doors and accessories. RAX Door boast an elite team of over 50 experienced engineers, importing their goods to over 100 countries globally.


  • Very reasonable prices (direct from manufacturer)
  • Wide variety of door choice
  • Customization available


  • Minimum order is in batches
  • No installation service

Where To Buy?

Garage door openers are available from various sellers of hardware-related products:

  • Home Improvement Stores: Best for openers for lighter-duty garage doors
  • Department Stores: Limited product lines but reasonably priced installations
  • Online Retailers: Buying direct from manufacturers is possible; a wide range of products.


garage door opener installationA worthwhile warranty provides security, peace of mind, and confidence in your purchase – as well as a safety net if something goes wrong.

Warranties can cover numerous issues, including defects, damage caused by ordinary use, poor craftsmanship, and the malfunction of components. However, accidents, vandalism, natural disasters, or post-installation modifications can invalidate a warranty.

When choosing your garage door, the type and length of the warranty supplied is crucial – check before buying. Cover can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer, with a difference in the warranty offered for different parts – such as five years’ cover for hardware and three years for electronic parts.

With the tools and time, a garage door opener can be a DIY job – but many warranties will not cover DIY installations. It is also worth remembering that sometimes, it is best to leave an installation to a professional.


Complex challenges require advanced answers – and in the cut and thrust of contemporary times, technology creates streamlined and sophisticated solutions within a constant sea of change.

Convenient, clever, and contained garage door openers provide privacy, elevate efficiency, and strengthen security.

With an array of openers available, finding the optimum opener has never been easier – allowing you to focus attention on more enjoyable aspects of life.

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