Skylink EQ-1522BK

I’ve never heard of Skylink, but a quick look at their corporate site confirms that this is a Chinese manufacturer. Although, to be fair, it’s hard to find a company that still makes anything on U.S. soil these days, whether the company itself is U.S.-owned or not.

I stumbled across the EQ-1522BK while looking for good deals at the budget-end of the opener market, and this one sits comfortably between the $100 and $200 price points. At that price though, there ...

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LiftMaster 8550

Most low- to mid-range garage openers use a chain drive. It’s a design that makes for an affordable product, but they can be jerky, noisy and a bit unpleasant, even if perfectly functional.

Belt-driven openers are in principle very similar to chain-driven openers, but they are quieter and smoother. Think of it as a refinement of the chain-drive principle. That’s the main selling point of a product like the LiftMaster 8550 Elite Series opener. It’s targeted at a more premium segment ...

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Genie 4042-TKH

Genie has quite a few models of garage door opener on the market, but I haven’t seen too many belt-driven ones. Most have been inexpensive chain-drive units. Belt-drive openers are generally superior, but a little more expensive. They operate more smoothly, put less strain on their motors, and are much quieter, especially when combined with a DC motor.

That’s exactly what Genie has done here with the 4042-TKH SilentMax 1200, which I will mercifully only refer to as the SilentMax from ...

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Genie 1022-C

I really love a bargain. I’m one of those people that sort stuff on Amazon by price from “low to high”. I like those products that actually get the job done without gut-punching my wallet. Something the British refer to as being “cheap and cheerful”, which basically means something that’s cheap, but not junk.

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Budget Genie

The Genie 1022-C seems very promising as a “cheap and cheerful” product. It’s one ...

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Chamberlain PD612EV

As far as residential garage door openers go, the closer you get to the $500 mark, the closer you are to the pinnacle of the price range. Especially so if we’re talking about chain drive openers. Pay over that amount and you’re into commercial territory, and probably have a garage like Jay Leno, you lucky dog.

The PD612EV (The “PD” is short for “Power Drive”, apparently) from Chamberlain certainly isn’t cheap and yet it’s only a half-horsepower unit. So your expensive ...

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Chamberlain PD210D

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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Chamberlain PD220

This is the age of convergence. My phone is now also where I watch TV, read the newspaper, and write letters to people. Every device is smart, everything connects to the internet, and everything talks to everything else. More features means “better” in the modern world, but sometimes a company is still brave enough to release a product that does just one thing – a product that isn’t “smart” and doesn’t have an “i” in front of its name. Something ...

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