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FREE Shipping On Orders Over $399*


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9656 Bujacich Rd NW
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Gig Harbor, WA 98332

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What Is The Best Garage Door Opener?

There are a lot of perfectly good garage door openers out there. But you don't just want good. You want the best. However, there's no single best garage opener. 

That's probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth (sorry to disappoint!). It all depends on the kind of doors you have and what features are most important to you. There's more to the decision than looking at online ratings. And you definitely shouldn't just get an opener because it's the least expensive. 

Maybe what you want most is a quiet garage door opener. Or accessories like WiFi and HomeLink compatibility. Perhaps you want an opener that you don’t have to regularly maintain—or all of the above! If so, keep reading to learn about the different types of garage door openers to find the best one for you. 

What are the different types of garage openers? 

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

This is the most common residential garage door. It uses a chain that runs to an assembly unit. The assembly unit connects to tension springs that open and close the doors. 

One of the downsides of this kind of opener is that it doesn't have quiet operation. It tends to make the most noise. It sometimes shakes or wobbles, so it isn't the smoothest. It also requires some maintenance to keep the chain rust-free. 

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Similar to the chain drive garage opener, a belt drive opener has a rubber belt instead of a chain. This makes them among the quietest garage door openers. But they are also more expensive than their chain drive counterparts. 

Outswing Garage Door Opener

This type of opener is designed for outswing carriage doors. There are two variants for carriage doors.  

Dual motor: this type has two motors, one for each door panel. The motors have arms that connect to the doors and push them open or pull them closed. Dual motor openers are low profile and allow for maximal clearance above the doors. Our dual motor opener is called the Franklin 

Franklin Autoswing® Swinging Carriage Garage Door Opener - Sliding Barn Door Hardware by RealCraft

Ceiling mounted single motor: This works like the chain drive garage door opener above. But to open the doors, it pushes out two rods. Ours is called the Fremont 

Fremont Ceiling Mounted Outswing Garage Door Opener (AOCM) - Sliding Barn Door Hardware by RealCraft

Sliding Door Garage Door Opener

This type of garage door opener uses a chain drive with the motor connected to the door via a metal arm. It opens and closes the door from a track installed above. You can install the track either on the ceiling or the wall. Ours is called the Edison.   

In our opinion, the Edison is the best chain drive garage door opener for sliding doors. It’s also the best garage door opener for heavy doors. The 1 1/4 horsepower motor is weight rated for doors up to 1500lb. For commercial applications of sliding doors, the Edison is a must. And yes, it’s still pretty quiet despite its power. 

For wide doors, we offer Edisonextension kits as well. 

Is there a silent garage door opener? 

Not exactly. But the Franklin, Edison, and Fremont openers all run very quiet. This is because they rely on low voltage technology, and because the doors themselves are less noisy.

Here's a secret that the roll up garage manufacturers won't tell you: Roll up doors by their nature are kind of loud. Straight door panels sliding up on a curved track are always going to creak as they go. If the clanging metal sounds of rollup doors bother you, then outswing carriage doors or sliding barn doors are better options. 

Of the three operators we offer, the Franklin is the most quiet. It mounts one small motor just above each door. The Franklin is our top garage door opener because of its unique configuration and suite of accessories. It can be customized for virtually any home. 

What safety features should I look for in a garage opener? 

Motion sensors, also called photo eyes or safety eyes, are a non-negotiable. These sensors make sure there isn't anything blocking the garage door and if there is, the door(s) will stop moving. Most door openers come with these sensors as standard. 

You should also look for a battery backup. A battery backup protects you in the event of a power outage. You'll be able to exit your garage even if the power is out. This accessory is required in the state of California. In the event of a wildfire or other natural disaster that cuts the power, this accessory can save your life. 

You should also think about a buzzer alarm. This alarm will sound if someone attempts to break in, which is especially important while you travel. Our door openers also “learn” the force required to open and shut the doors. The openers will apply counterforce if someone tries to push them open because they can sense that the force is coming from the wrong direction.   

What are the best residential garage door opener accessories? 

Car remotes are usually included. But what else do you need to make your garage opener setup seamless and efficient? Here's what we recommend:  

Wi fi connections: while built-in Wi Fi isn't common, many openers have a Wifi hub. Our Franklin opener has aWiFi hub thatallows up to 5 users approved to operate the opener through a smartphone app. 

HomeLink Receiver: HomeLink is integrated into many vehicles and allows you to control your automated door opener with your car’s own interface. 

Extended Range Antenna: This accessory allows you to extend the range of your opener if you have a long driveway. 

Wicket switch/pedestrian access sensor: For bypassing sliding garage doors, the wicket switch is essential to reliable operation. It can also be used to allow for pedestrian access with a single door. 

Wireless cameras: Whether interior or exterior, a wireless camera allows you to monitor your garage. Enhance security and deter break-ins with an outdoor wireless camera. 


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