Chamberlain PD210D

PD210D 1/2HP Review

The PD210D is a product from a simpler time – made using modern technology, but with only the bare minimum of functionality.

That being said, the PD210D is not the cheapest product in the Chamberlain range (the DIY side of LiftMaster).

So is it a worthwhile product? Would you be better off getting something cheaper with the same feature set, or is there enough of a difference in basic build quality or reliability to make it worth a look?

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Sibling Rivalry

THe PD210D’s biggest problem is it’s younger brother, the PD220 (reviewed here). Although the PD220 appears to be a replacement for the 210, there are a few differences that may sway you one way or another. For one thing, the PD210D has been on the market for much longer, which means long-term user reviews are available. Any serious issues will, in other words, have reared their heads. The PD220, being newer, is still somewhat of an unknown quantity. Thanks to the long life cycle of garage door openers, they are some of the few products where newer doesn’t necessarily mean better. Which is probably why Chamberlain still sells them side-by-side.

Beer Goggles

The PD210D is . . . well, it’s not pretty. It’s not exactly ugly either, but it sort of looks like a pencil eraser. It appears especially dated when compared to the PD220, which I personally think is not only a better-looking product than the PD210D, but also the best-looking garage door opener I’ve seen. I don’t know who they got to redesign the look of the PD210, but I hope they keep that person on the payroll, because the younger brother certainly got all the good genes when it comes to looks.

On the plus side, this should look pretty good sitting over your late 90s fiberglass speedboat.

By The Numbers

From a technical perspective what you’re getting for your money is a 1/2 HP unit, so that’s good for doors up to 300 pounds. This is a chain-drive unit, so don’t expect it to be as quiet as a belt-driven system. Chamberlain makes a big deal of how durable the motor is, noting that it has an enclosed gear case with continuous lubrication.

The usual security and safety features are present. You have IR sensors that cast a beam of infrared light over the door, halting or preventing any opening if an object, person or animal is in the way. The lights on the unit (up to 100W, bulbs not included) will also automatically come on if the beam is broken. The IR beams use a rapid snap-on system for installation, so it shouldn’t be too much of a pain to fit them.

You only get a single, visor-mountable, one-button remote as part of the package. Despite it’s age, the PD210 features rolling-code technology. Every time you click the remote it changes the code for the next use. So the technologically-savvy criminal is out of luck when it comes to code hijacking. It’s a nice feature on a low-end product. This opener also has a posilock system that keeps the door locked while closed. So no power-outage opportunities either. The PD210D says it’s Homelink compatible, but there have been so many reports of problems with specific models across the Chamberlain range that it’s worth confirming compatibility with their customer service people.

There’s also the ubiquitous wall-mounted door control, but no keyless keypad-entry system. The wallpad also lets you operate the lights independently from the door, something which is a small concession that some lower-end openers don’t have.

Test Driven

There are multiple user reports of these openers past the four- and five-year mark, almost all positive. There are a handful of people who have had mild to serious issues, but they are far outweighed by positive reviews from as far back as 2004.

Negative issues included minor packing errors (e.g. a chain that was too short), but I expect this to be a thing of the past. As always, people say Chamberlain has great after-sale service and will ship replacement parts immediately.

Reported noise levels are good, but this unit is not what most people would call quiet. You might not want the PD210D for an attached garage.

Most users seem to feel the installation was pretty simple as well, so based on real-world reports it seems the unit has good build quality and should nicely suit the DIY consumer on a budget. Install times varied from as little as 45 minutes to about 2 hours. If you’re fairly handy, 90 minutes is a fair estimate.

Family Feud

Overall, the PD210D seems like a solid little performer that has almost a decade of positive user reviews to back it up, as well as a six-year warranty on the motor. Unfortunately, I can’t honestly recommend it over the newer PD220. It’s more expensive, less attractive, and slightly less feature-rich than the PD220. Still, if you value a product with a known history and find the hundreds of user reviews compelling, you don’t lose much by opting for the older model. However, if it were my money I’d buy the PD220 instead, in a heartbeat.

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