Chamberlain WD832KEV

Chamberlain (which is actually Liftmaster) is one of the better known brands in garage door openers – a good thing, since buying a garage door opener is something you’ll probably do less frequently than buying an actual car. It’s not like I keep up with who is making the best door openers or subscribe to “Garage Door Openers Weekly”. I’d heard good things about this brand, though, and despite the unnecessarily abstract name (WD832KEV? Seriously?) the feature list on this ...

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Sommer Direct Drive

I like things that are different just for their own sake. If everyone is buying Coke, maybe I feel like having a Pepsi. I know this is sort of a hipster attitude, but I liked being different before it was cool, OK?

Anyway, this garage door opener from Sommer works a bit differently than the chain- or belt-driven products that we see more frequently in the wild. Instead of having a stationary motor that pulls a chain or belt attached to ...

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Decko 24300

Decko may not be as well known as Chamberlain/Liftmaster, but on paper the Decko 24300 3/4 HP garage opener looks like a great deal. Because it’s a bit more powerful than 1/2 horsepower models, you can use it with heavier doors – up to about 500 pounds. Sitting around the $200 mark means the Decko is priced comparable to the Chamberlain Group PD762EV, another 3/4 HP unit that I quite liked and so unavoidably is a benchmark against which I’ll ...

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Chamberlain PD762EV

The sub-$200 garage door opener niche is flooded with half-horsepower products, which are fine for the majority of double-car steel doors you’d typically find in a middle-class home. If, however, you have an older style wooden door or something a bit fancier (and heavier) than a plain steel one, your only real options are North of that price point.

This product from Chamberlain’s “premium” range sits right on that dividing line at $200 (depending on what specials are running) and it ...

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Genie Excelerator II 1500

There are basically five types of garage door opener drives: direct, chain, belt, screw or jackshaft. The most common types are are chain-driven and belt-driven openers, especially in DIY products. Jackshaft openers are essentially reserved for professional installation. Direct-drive units are a special design from Germany and aren’t really seen outside of Sommer’s product range. Screw-drive openers are an interesting addition to this mix. They work by rotating a threaded rod that moves a carriage back and forth.

Screw-drives don’t have ...

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SOMMER 1042V002

Originating in Germany, Sommer (German for “summer”) is probably best known for its direct-drive garage door opener design. They’ve been one of the big names in the industry on U.S. soil for quite some time now and have established the brand pretty well.

I’ve read about some of their other models before and have been impressed, but this is the first one I’ve seen from this company with smartphone connectivity. We’ve seen plenty from Chamberlain (aka LiftMaster) though – every opener ...

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