“how to find the best cheap products” — kiplinger

Cheap Garage Door Openers Buying Guide

Our research shows that available garage door openers are generally dependable. Deciding which cheap garage door opener is best for your needs really comes down to the details.

Related Guides:
Car Rentals, Car Seats, Cheap Tires, GPS, Hybrid Cars and Radar Detectors
There are four types of garage door openers: chain drive, screw drive, belt drive, and torsion drive. Chain-drive units, which have been around the longest, require the least amount of maintenance and tend to be the cheapest. Screw-drive systems, said to be somewhat quieter, cost slightly more. Ultra-quiet belt drive models surpass the cheap garage door opener price point altogether. Torsion-drive openers are the most expensive, and are offered solely under the Wayne-Dalton brand.

Garage door openers are sold under multiple brand names, although there are only three primary manufacturers. Chamberlain makes the Sears Craftsman line, the Chamberlain retail line, and the LiftMaster professional line, which is sold only through distributors. Overhead Door Corp. manufactures both Genie retail models and a line of distributor-only cheap garage door openers under the Overhead Door name; the company acquired the Wayne-Dalton brand in 2009. Linear LLC acquired Allstar Corporation in 2007 and continues to offer the Allstar line of residential garage door openers under the Linear name. Other product lines previously distributed under the Allstar label include Allister, Challenger, MVP, and Pulsar.

Limited retail options exist for the frugal do-it-yourselfer. Local hardware and big-box stores carry a handful of brands, usually Chamberlain, Craftsman, Genie, and Wayne-Dalton. Of these, Craftsman is exclusive to Sears. A company called Linear also offers cheap garage door openers through home improvement chains on a private-label basis, although we weren't able to locate any vendors. Brands such as LiftMaster and Overhead Door, as well as professional versions of retail brands, can be purchased through authorized installers. While the units themselves aren't necessarily more expensive than what you find on the shelves, you're on the hook for the additional expense of professional installation -- usually around $100 per garage door.

Review continues below

Due to the small number of manufacturers, cheap garage door openers vary only slightly from model to model. It may be difficult for the typical buyer to figure out what the differences are, or why they should matter. Why is the Chamberlain HD200D recommended above the Chamberlain HD400D, when they're the same but for different accessories? Only because the HD200D -- Home Depot's version of the Chamberlain PD210D -- represents the better dollar value. The bottom line is that all the cheap garage door openers on our list rank high in user satisfaction, and their similarity frees you up to make a decision based solely on the little things -- like, which comes with a keypad or happens to be on sale.

by Gina Briles (Google+ Profile)

Back to top »

Filed in: Appliance, Autos, Cars,
Sign up for our
Free Newsletter
In this review:
  1. Cheap Garage Door Openers
  2. Garage Door Opener Reviews
  3. Best Garage Door Openers
Cheapism.com on Facebook
 
 
From our blog
What to Buy in September

This month grab savings on mattresses, cars, appliances, summer gear, school supplies and more.

Weekly Update: Best Cheap Paper Shredders, Labor Day Deals, & More

Today kicks off Labor Day weekend and all the accompanying sales and deals. ...

How to Buy a Futon on a Tight Budget

A futon may be the answer for folks living on a tight budget in a small space. Choose a wood or metal frame and a mattress that provides comfort.

All Our Blog Posts

Subscribe