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 are out there that it is hard to find the best automatic gate opener that fit your needs.
We did all the research for the review. Our research began by getting the popular 17 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 the right decision.
Best Automatic Gate Opener
1. Mighty Mule – Best For Heavy Duty Use
Mighty Mule gate opener is probably the most popular 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 Mighty Mule mm560 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 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 and makes it easy to install. It does take some time to install the gate part, but it’s worth it.
We also loved the fact that Mighty Mule gate opener runs on both the AC power source and solar. 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. US Automatic 020320 Sentry 300 – Solar Powered Option
The US Automatic 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 solar powered gate opener because he was able to get 30 per cent 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 solar because you can avail 30 per cent tax credit on it as our team member did. Mind you; this may be a good 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 remote controls 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 Dual Swing – Best For Budget Conscious User
Need something that is in the budget? We recommend getting Aleko AS1200NOR. It was one of the best dual swing gates openers 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 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 opener in condition. Otherwise, we have seen some door gate openers put too much stress on the opener, 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 handy. It works well within 3 feet of the gate opener.
4. Liftmaster LA400PKGU Swing Kit – Best For Dual Swing Doors
Installation is effortless. It took us only an hour to install the electric 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 gate opener quickly closes the door once the vehicle has passed.
The opener also works with both the AC supply and solar panel. Also, it works on the battery if the power is out. It can continuously operate on battery for 97 days or 400 cycles in case of a power outage.
5. ALEKO AC1400NOR – Best For Sliding Doors
The ALEKO AC1400NOR is an electric sliding gate opener that can handle weight up to 1400 lbs. The gate opener is one of the best 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, the sliding gate opener uses steel chassis that adds to the strength needed for moving heavy sliding gates, despite being so heavy-duty, the kit is light. A single individual can easily carry it.
Aleko ac1400 electric sliding gate opener is known to support 100 programmable remotes, which are useful if you are installing the gate opener 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
They are one of the leading designers and manufacturers of a gate opener. The best thing about this opener 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. It is easy to install. The kit you get is a DIY kit; hence it makes it easy for you. The gate opener 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 gate 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 correctly. To add more security, it comes with a wireless keypad using which you can set master pin, activate or deactivate different modes.
If you are looking for a DIY kit that has everything including solar equipment to operate, we recommend you to check out Ghost Controls TDS2. It is among the best gate openers if you need something cheap.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider While Buying?
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 the 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 fulfils 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:
Gate Openers are available based on the type of gates. There are generally three type of gates:
All the best gate 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 gate 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.
Many reasons could lead to the failure of the gate opener. One of them is quality. Usually, the chassis is responsible for the strength. If the condition is not good, it can break after a few years of use. Also, wiring can 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 box is weatherproof or not.
4. Weight Load
Gate has its own which the gate openers moves or swings. An gate opener must produce enough power to move the weight of the door. There several type of gate. Each gate has a weight that you must know. You have to understand, the gate opener you use must compliment the door. If the gate opener has less power, the gate opener will not last long, and if the gate opener has high power, the gate may be out of service soon.
Hence, the gate opener with the right amount of power is crucial. If you have heavy-duty gate which is around 1000 lbs than a gate opener like US Automatic 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 gate Opener Kit or ALEKO AS1200NOR Automatic Swing Gate Opener.
Control includes both remote control and control box. The first thing you have to look at is the remote. It is the main reason why you buy automatic gate opener. The valid range of remote must be around 3 feet or less than that will leave you frustrated.
Another thing you have to look at is the control box. It should be easy to use and should be weatherproof as it will be attached to the gate opener right at the gate. This control box 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 the internet. If you want to manage your gate, even you are away, then recommend this Liftmaster gate opener.
Warranty will be essential while buying the gate opener. Buying gate 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?
We began by bringing in the 17 openers that are popular in the market. Then we designed the tests based on 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 observations 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 circumstances, the user experience is still helpful.
For instance, we wanted to learn more about how the weather affects the gate 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 particular model.
After considering all the information, our team scored each model on several parameters. After calculating the overall score, we sorted out the openers. 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|
1. If there is no power at the gate, what can you do?
Firstly, you can try using solar-powered gate openers. But in case you are more comfortable with Ac power supply, we suggest hiring a technician to lay the cable to the gate. Nowadays, most of the gate can be operated with solar panels and also uses the battery in case a power outage occurs. Consider getting an gate opener with a solar panel.
2. If a car stalls while the gate is closing, will it damage your car?
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.
3. Can other remote devices interfere with the operation of the gate opener?
No, most of the other devices use different frequencies, which is entirely different from the remotes used for the gate openers. However, still, check with the manufacturer for information on the remote of the gate opener you are looking to buy.
4. How long the electric gate opener last?
Gate are designed to last more than ten years. However, the life span of gat may vary depending on how the gate has been used.
5. How much does an automatic gate cost?
The cost may vary from $750 to $1800. Also, there is an installation cost.
6. Does adding an automatic gate increase the property value?
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.
7. How does the sensor of automatic gate opener work?
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 box to operate the motor and open the gate.
8. Which is the best dual gate opener?
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 gate openers in the market. However, you have to understand several type of gate 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.