Sometimes you get annoyed when you get in a car, put on your seat belt, start your engine and then you realize that you forgot to open the gate. The only thing that can save you from being annoyed is an automatic gate opener.
At present, there are so many gate openers out there that it is hard to find the best automatic gate openers that fit your needs. But don’t worry we are here to help you with your search.
We did all the research on gate openers. Our research began by getting the popular 17 automatic gate openers to our lab. After 74 hours of testing and analyzing we sorted out seven gate openers that performed beautifully in our tests.
If you want to know more about our testing process feel free to scroll down to the section that describes it. We also provide you with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you make right decision.
Best Automatic Gate Openers
|Product Name||Type||Max. Weight||Max. Length||Price|
|Ghost Controls TDS2||single/dual||1000 lbs||20 ft||Check Price|
|Liftmaster LA400PKGU||Dual||850 lbs||16 ft||Check Price|
|ALEKO AS1200NOR||dual||660 lbs||20 ft||Check Price|
|USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300||Single||1000 lbs||20 ft||Check Price|
|Mighty Mule||single/Dual||850 lbs||18 ft||Check Price|
1. Mighty Mule Automatic Opener – Heavy Duty Automatic Gate Opener
- The new MM560 features Mighty Mule's exclusive Dual Sense Technology that meets UL325 6th Edition Standards for...
- Designed for heavy duty single swing gates up to a maximum of 18 ft. long or maximum of weight of 850 lbs.
- Ideal for the DIY (Do It Yourself) property owner, the MM560 comes equipped with detailed instructions, installation DVD...
Mighty Mule is probably the most popular automatic gate opener. According to the manufacturer, it can handle gates with a maximum length of 18 ft and a weight of 850 lbs. Yes, it comes with remote control. So you don’t have to get out of the car.
Its look and specification suggest that it is suitable for residential buildings, farms, ranch, small warehouses, etc. We tested it with all types of gates including chain link, wrought iron, wood, tube, vinyl, etc. It worked perfectly with all. However, it is slower when we compared it with other gate openers, but it is acceptable because it can handle heavy gates with ease.
We tested many gates that were complicated to install, but Mighty Mule comes with a DVD and a manual that takes you through the entire installation process. It does take some time to install the gate part but it’s worth it.
We also loved the fact that it runs on both the AC power source and solar panel. Also, in case of power failure, it has a battery backup. The device is available for both single and double door gates. We were satisfied with both products. There is not much difference in terms of performance.
2. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 – Best Automatic Solar Gate Opener
- Qualifies for 30% tax credit if solar charged
- Operates gates up to 20 feet in length
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
The USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener is another popular gate opener that we came across. It was one of our team members who suggested this one. According to him, he chose this option and used it with a solar panel because he was able to get 30 percent tax credit. He also told us that it was able to work even if the sun wasn’t out for weeks. Going by his word, we were excited to test the product.
Gate works with AC supply as well as the solar panel. We recommend using a solar panel because you can avail 30 percent tax credit on it as our team member did. Mind you this may be a good gate opener, but not the cheapest. It also accommodates a battery which is useful in case of a power outage, but it is not included in the package. You will have to get it separately. It comes with two remotes that work perfectly within 3 feet of it. The range is more than enough. The only thing it doesn’t have is that it does not have is an on-off switch.
3. ALEKO AS1200NOR Automatic Dual Swing Gate Opener – Budget-Friendly Automatic Gate Opener
- 24VDC or 110VAC motor gives you a broader range of power options compared to motors which only operate on AC
- Works on its own, or can be operated with a battery pack or solar power, sold separately
- Designed for gates up to 10 feet long and 660 pounds per leaf, for a total of 20 feet long and 1320 pounds
Need something that is in the budget? We recommend getting Aleko AS1200NOR. It was one of the best dual swing gates opener that impressed us with its performance. It can handle up to 660 lbs per leaf and 20 feet per leaf. Such a rating is suitable for the medium-sized gates. You can use it for your residential, office, farms, etc.
However, the good thing about it is that it has a soft start and soft stop which helps keep the door in condition. Otherwise, we have seen some door openers put too much stress on the door, and it feels like, after continuous use of 2-3 years, doors will need replacement.
The kit includes 24VDC motors which can also run on battery. The battery pack is available separately. The two remotes it uses are very effective. It works well within 3 feet of the opener.
4. Liftmaster LA400PKGU Swing Gate Opener Kit – Best Automatic Dual Swing Gate Opener
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Liftmaster is a reputed company that has years of experience in gate opener manufacturing. We had to admit it is one of the most expensive dual gate opener. However, the Liftmaster gate opener reviews that grabbed our attention. We check out several on several customers but not a single person had negative reviews. Everyone is satisfied with the product.
Installation is really easy. It took us only an hour to install the gate and connect it to the app on our phone. It can handle the maximum weight of up to 850 lbs and manage height up to 16 feet. It does take 18 seconds to take open the door but within an acceptable range. And it quickly closes the door once the vehicle has passed.
It also works with both AC supply and solar panel. Also, it works of battery if the power is out. It can continuously operate on battery for 97 days or 400 cycles in case of power outage.
5. ALEKO AC1400NOR Sliding Gate Opener – Top Automatic Sliding Gate Opener
- Chain driven sliding gate can be used to open gates up to 1400 pounds of 40 feet in length.
- User programmable and user erasable remote codes; supports up to 100 remotes on its own, or more with the use of an...
- Aluminum alloy chassis is corrosion resistant while still being light enough for 1 person to carry.
The ALEKO AC1400NOR is sliding door opener that can handle weight up to 1400 lbs. It is one of the best automatic gate opener for sliding doors. And we were surprised to see that for such a heavy duty opener, it is cheap.
If you look at the structure, it uses steel chassis that adds to the strength needed for moving heavy gates, despite being so heavy-duty, the kit is light. It can be easily carried by a single individual.
It is known to support to 100 programmable remotes which are useful if you are installing it for your warehouse or office building. If you want to use more than that it requires an external receiver.
6. Ghost Controls TDS2 – Complete DIY kit Automatic Gate Opener
- Quiet and Fast Post Mount Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Gate Opener Kit for Swing-type Gates
- Lifetime Warranty on Motor and Gear Assembly. 18 Month Warranty of remaining parts, can be extended to 24 months when...
- Requires 12V battery (not included), Solar Power Optimized with optional AXDP Solar Panel. Optimized for Tube Gates and...
They are one of the leading designers and manufacturers of a gate opener. The best thing about this model is that you get four variants, single gate kit, single gate kit with solar, dual gate kit and dual gate kit with solar. The solar panel variants get a panel of 10 Watts which is enough for any gate that weighs up to 1000 lbs and 20 feet.
For this Ghost Controls gate opener reviews are very positive. Installation is really easy. The kit you get is DIY kit hence it makes it easy for you. It also requires a 12v battery which is not included in the package. Once we installed it, we tested its closing and opening time. It was around 17 seconds which is quick compared to most of the openers we tested.
One thing that we loved is party mode on the remote. Using this button, you can leave the gate open for your guests if you are hosting a party or event of some kind. Besides, there is a test button too in case you want to make sure that your gate opener is working perfectly. To add more security, it comes with a wireless keypad using which you can set master pin, activate or deactivate different modes.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider While Buying Automatic Gate Openers?
There are so many varieties of gate openers that it requires the right knowledge to make the right choice for your requirements. When you are looking for best automatic gate opener, you have to understand a few factors like what kind of gate you have, the load of the gate, power source, installation, and control.
It is only by understanding these parameters you will be able to determine your needs and find the model that fulfills that needs. We have also designed our tests based on these parameters.
More on tests later, for now, let’s see these factors one by one:
1.Type of Gates
Openers are available based on the type of gates. There are generally three types of gates:
This type of door has a single frame that opens from one side. Hence, the whole weight of the frame will be on one opener. Depending on the weight of the door, you have to decide on the opener. If the gate is heavy you can go for Mighty Mule Automatic Opener or Ghost Controls TDS2 single gate opener.
As the name suggests, such gates have two leaves. Each requires one opener. These doors are usually used in case the gate has to cover a large area. Even in this type, you will have to consider the weight of the gate. The only difference is you have to consider the weight of the one of the leaf because leaves will be installing openers on both leaves. For heavy doors, you can use ALEKO AS1200NOR Automatic Swing Gate Opener. It can support variety of dual gates.
This type of door uses a different mechanism than single or double. In single or double gates, the leaf swings around the hinge but with the sliding, the door moves back and forth with the help of small wheels at the bottom. It is like shuffling of two cards. Among the best automatic gate opener for the sliding door we tested, ALEKO AC1400NOR opener impressed us the most. You must buy this opener if you have a sliding door.
All the automatic openers we have mentioned are DIY kits. The manufacturer provides you everything required for installation within the package. All you are required to do is to assemble. Not all manufacturer provides clear instructions on installation. So you want a kit that at least comes with an installation manual.
The openers we have mentioned most of them come with CD to guide through the installation process. In case you are looking to buy a model that doesn’t come with any kind of installation guide, you must check out the website. Usually, the official website has a resource from where you can download an installation guide.
There are many reasons that could lead to the failure of the opener. One of them is quality. Usually, the chassis is responsible for the strength. If the quality is not good, it can break after a few years of use. Also, wiring can also be a weakness as most of the gates have to go through all kinds of weather. The wires will also have to withstand that weather. Check if the wiring and control panel is weatherproof or not.
4. Load Of The Gate
Gate has its own which the openers moves or swings. An opener must produce enough power to move the weight of the door. There several types of gate. Each gate has a weight that you must know. You have to understand, the opener you use must complement the door. If opener has less power, the opener will not last long, and if the opener has high power, it is quite possible the gate will be out of service soon.
Hence, the opener with the right amount of power is crucial. If you have heavy-duty gate which is around 1000 lbs than a opener like USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300, or Ghost Controls TDS2 is just perfect.If the gate is smaller with weight around 500-600 lbs than something like Liftmaster LA400PKGU Opener Kit or ALEKO AS1200NOR Automatic Swing Gate Opener.
Control includes both remote control and control panel. The first thing you have to look at is the remote. It is the main reason why you bought an automatic gate opener. The effective range of remote must be around 3 feet or, less than that will leave you frustrated.
Another thing you have to look is the control panel. It should be easy to use and should be weatherproof as it will be attached to the opener right at the gate. This control panel gives you master access to the gate if you do not have control.
One gate opener that impressed us with its control is Liftmaster LA400PKGU Swing Gate Opener Kit. It has a remote control as well as a wireless keypad. Also, you can control the gate using your smartphone via internet. If you want to manage your gate, even you are away, then recommend this Liftmaster gate opener.
Warranty will be important while buying the best automatic gate openers. Buying openers are expensive. So you want it to run without a hiccup for years. Even if something goes wrong, you may want to be fixed without spending a dollar. It is where the warranty will help you.
Most of the manufacturers offer a warranty on parts as well as the motor. When you are looking to searching for the gate opener, contact the manufacturer or ask the seller about the warranty on parts and motor it uses. Usually, both have different warranty periods, so be aware of that.
How We Conduct Tests For the Best Automatic Gate Openers?
We began by bringing in the 17 automatic gate openers that are popular in the market. Then we designed the tests based on the parameters like power, usage, durability, and maintenance. We carry tests for each model one by one for these parameters.
Beyond tests, we also like considered user reviews and expert views. So we also brought 11 experts who had years of experience in gate openers. Their views helped us interpret the tests we do and also learn more about the products we tested. Sometimes they have uniques insight about the product that not others know about which is helpful.
In addition to experts, we also considered the user’s review. Why user reviews? Because users always speak from their experience. Sometimes it is hard to simulate or create certain conditions in tests. To learn about such conditions, the user experience is always helpful.
For instance, we wanted to learn more about how the weather affects the openers. In the lab, we can create the humidity and other climatic conditions, but there is no replacement of time. Hence, we also consider the views of users that have years of experience of using a certain model.
After considering all the information, our team scored each model on several parameters. After calculating the overall score, we sorted out the best automatic gate opener. Here is the scorecard:
|Product Name||Power||Ease of Use||Durability||Overall||Price|
|Ghost Controls TDS2||98||96.2||95.8||96.67||Check Price|
|Liftmaster LA400PKGU||97.6||97.1||96.1||96.93||Check Price|
|ALEKO AS1200NOR||97.2||97.4||96.8||97.13||Check Price|
|USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300||98.2||97.6||97.5||97.77||Check Price|
|Mighty Mule||97.8||98.2||97.6||97.87||Check Price|
Firstly, you can try using solar-powered openers. But in case you are more comfortable with Ac power supply, we suggest hiring a technician to lay the cable to gate.Nowadays most of the gate can be operated with solar panel and also uses the battery in case a power outage occurs. Consider getting an opener with solar panel.
Fortunately, most of the gate openers revert upon hitting an obstacle. Even the speed with which the gate closes is controlled hence there no chance of damaging your car.
No, most of the other devices use different frequencies which is completely different from the remotes used for the gate openers. However, still, check with the manufacturer for information on the remote of the opener you are looking to buy.
Gates are designed to last more than 10 years. However, the life span of gat may vary depending on how the gate has been used.
The cost may vary from $750 to $1800. In addition, there is also an installation cost.
Yes, it is true. According to experts, just by adding an automatic gate can increase the cost of the property to ten thousand or 20 thousand.
Sensors use the simple principle of the magnetic field. When a car or any other vehicle approaches the gate, the magnetic field of the sensor is disturbed. This signals the control panel to operate the motor and open the gate.
We have tested several gates for this post, and we can confidently say that Liftmaster LA400PKGU is the best dual gate opener on our list.
We did thorough research to give the list of automatic gate openers that perform much better than the rest of the openers in the market. However, you have to understand there are several types of openers that cater to different needs. So all you have to do is find your requirements. Know what kind of gate you own, the size, use weather condition, and budget. Once you know your needs, and budget you can move ahead with your search.