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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.

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.

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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.

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In this review:
  1. Cheap Garage Door Openers
  2. Garage Door Opener Reviews
  3. Best Garage Door Openers
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