Ask any homeowner what is the most important tool that they can’t live without and they would probably say a bottle opener.
Well although that is true, there is another tool that can be a lifesaver, especially if they have a gate, and that is an automatic gate opener.
The thought of having to get out of the car to close and open a gate, just doesn’t make much sense, especially in inclement weather or an emergency.
So where does one start?
Well this guide is a good place. But before that, we can check the below table to make a pre-decision quickly.
Best Automatic Gate Openers 2020
|Gate Name||Best For (length)||Weight|
|Mighty Mule FM 500||18 ft||850 lbs|
|Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR||16 ft||550 lbs|
|US Automatic Sentry 300 S||14 ft||1000 lbs|
|ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding||40 ft||1400 lbs|
|Mighty Mule MM360||16 ft||550 lbs|
|Mighty Mule MM560||18 ft||800 lbs|
|Ghost Controls TDS2XP||20 ft||300 lbs|
|E8 400MM Stainless||26 ft||1200 lbs|
|CO-Z Automatic Sliding||40 ft||1400 lbs|
|E8 500MM Stainless Steel||30 ft||1250 lbs|
Well, if you are not satisfied with short info of the above table, you can read more. This guide will go into detail on what one should look for when considering what gate openers would be most suitable for their needs. It will give a thorough review from a panel of experts on the Top 10 automatic gate openers available from the top selling brands.
The great thing about these gate openers, is that they are very easy to install and will not require any special tools or welding, so anybody can install them. It could make for a quick weekend project. Only thing to take into consideration the amount of force these gates use when in operation. It is best to take pre-cautionary measures after installation.
Why Own a Gate Opener?
Yes, there are many reasons that installing a gate opener makes perfect sense. They work great with all different types of gates like cantilever, swing & boom & sliding. The important thing to remember when selecting a gate opener is make sure that the gate is best suited for the gate that it will operate.
Here are some advantages:
It is so much easier to open a gate when one does not have to exit their vehicle. Especially in bad weather. The system will make sure to lock the gate after one exits their premises.
A gate opener’s automatic locking capabilities makes it a secure option. Gate openers also provide security not only for drivers but for their passengers as well. Some systems have built in perfect way with mechanisms that will keep the property safe from trespassers.
Adds Value to Property
When considering selling a property, any additional feature that can save a potential buyer some money makes for a nice upgrade. Especially an installation of an automatic gate opener. A potential buyer will appreciate the fact that they will not have to invest the time and labor that buyer spent to have it installed. They will be more likely to spend more which can translate into a higher asking price.
Whatever weather events that transpire, an automatic gate opener can withstand almost anything that Mother Nature throws at it. Built to function outside through the most extreme conditions, gate openers are perfect for both home and commercial use.
What Make A Gate Opener the Best Buy?
Now that one has made the decision to start to look for the perfect automatic gate opener for their property, the question that comes up is; What should one look for when comparing different types?
There are so many gate openers that are available on the market, the task to find the right one can be quite daunting. A gate opener can obviously make opening and closing a gate much easier, mounted and secured on different types of gates, and programmed to open and close the gate after a reasonable amount of time. All it takes is a simple radio transmission to set the gate in motion.
A system that is remote operated is highly recommended. A quick push of a button and the gate starts to operate. A remote will not only allow the operator to stay inside the vehicle but to be able to operate the gate from a distance.
So, what makes one better than the other?
Compatible with Property Gate
Not all gate openers will work with every gate. Properly measure the gate and select the best opener that will be able to support both the weight and the length of the gate that it will operate.
The quality of materials used to assemble a gate opener is important. This will ensure that the system will function for a long time. There is nothing worse than having to replace parts constantly through the life of the system. Make sure that the motor, the accessories, such as the mounting hardware and brackets are assembled out of high-quality materials.
Ease of Assembly
Make sure that the given instructions for the installation, are clear and easy to understand. This can itself be a challenge since most installation instructions are incomplete and just confuse the installer.
Also make sure that the unit has the operating instructions come with the installation kit as well. Unfortunately, most gate openers fail to include an easy to follow instruction manual on how to use the system.
Easy to Use
The gate opener should not only be easy to install, but the system should also be easy to operate as well. Look for a system that is easy to program and has a reasonable range.
Traction and Running Speed
Great indicators of a gate opener’s performance. Highly rated openers offer a pulling force of between 500N to 700N with the door drive’s maximum running speed to be at least 11 centimeters per second.
Withstand the Elements
Since most units will be outdoors, it is important that the gate opening system is able to withstand the elements. The system should be able to work well in both cold and hot temperatures, with most high-quality drive systems are able to operate at temperatures that range from -10 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius, and obviously waterproof.
The moving parts, springs, rollers, hinges, and ropes should require very little maintenance. Look for galvanized parts and coated with a corrosion inhibitor to keep them from rusting or corroding.
Warranty and Guarantee
A manufacturer should stand behind their product. This is usually in the form of a warranty or guarantee. Even after normal wear and tear, a manufacturer should have a reasonable warranty period. Most manufacturers offer a warranty period of 5 years while some only offer between 1 and 2 years.
High quality gate openers are tested and equipped with various safety options. An automatic obstacle detection feature will make sure that the door will stop automatically when obstructed. Some systems come with a thermal protection system that will shut the system down if it starts to overheat. Make sure that there is an emergency release in case of a power outage.
Garage door openers are always online. One should be aware of the power consumption a unit uses when it is in operation, and when it is in standby mode. Most equipment that is available today is energy efficient and is quite cost effective in terms of its energy consumption. The energy values should be included within the product information.
Top 10 Automatic Gate Opener Reviews
Well, here are top 10 automatic gate opener reviews including pros and cons. If you like to choose your best automatic gate opener, better you can check the list.
1. Mighty Mule Automatic Gate Opener (FM500) for Heavy Duty Single Swing Gates
The Mighty Mule Automatic Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Single Swing Gates tops the list for a variety of reasons. First, it is perfect for use on single swing gates which is 18 ft in length, & weigh 850lbs. The FM500 is the best option to use for all types of gate. It works well with tube, ornamental, vinyl, wood, & panels gates.
This gate comes with clear and detailed instruction on how to install the system and an easy to use instructions on how to operate the system. The included DVD makes this the perfect system for new users. The DVD provided the easy DIY guide for additional assistance. No welding required nor help from a technical person. Mighty Mule warranty and technical support period is 18 months.
The FM500 works well with heavy-duty gates weighing over 600 lbs. The FM 500 works with over 18ft long gates. The best heavy-duty gate opener in its class. 18 month extended warranty is an added plus point.
2. Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR Gate Opener Solar Kit
The Mighty Mule EZGO-Solar Gate Opener Solar Kit is battery operated and designed specifically for swing gates and single leaf gates up to 16ft and weigh up to 550lbs. The most important part of this gate is the E-Z Gate 5-Watt Solar Panel that is used to charge the battery. Comes with two remotes. This gate can be installed using the DIY kit that is included.
The Mighty Mule EZGO-Solar Gate Opener Solar Kit is suitable to areas that get a lot of sunshine. This kit is affordable and a includes a Do-it-Yourself kit with easy instructions. Ideal for single leaf or swing gates.
3. US Automatic Sentry 300D Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
The US Sentry 300D is a high-quality commercial gate opener that comes with a DIY guide. Powered by a 12V DC battery that can be charged by an AC transformer. This comes with the system. Works with a solar panel as well.
Comes with an additional feature called Sentry Plug N Go wiring harness that makes installation very easy. Following the instructions correctly, one can take as little as an hour to install.
The linear actuator gives about 400lbs of thrust and the compression rating equals to 1000lbs.With this power the gate can open and close in as little as 16 seconds. The Sentry is ideal for large gates in homes, other residential or commercial centers and even farms. The Sentry 300D can be used on chain link fences up to 14 fts and the best fit for massive ornamental iron gates up to 12ft long.
The US Automatic Sentry 300D comes customizable with features that are unique compared to other automatic gate openers. Take advantage of a 30% Federal Tax Credit by including a solar panel.
The US Automatic Sentry 300D is one of the top-rated openers on the list. It comes at an affordable price and makes for an excellent long term investment. The additional purchase of the solar panel will help to increase the systems performance.
4. ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener
The ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener is a great option to use for large and heavy sliding gates. The price alone makes it one of the best options on the market. The ALEKO AC1400 is inexpensive compared to other large sliding gate openers.
Featuring a chassis made from steel which gives the ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener the strength needed to move those heavy gates. Gates that weigh 1400lbs and that are over 50ft in length are not a problem. A light-weight system considering , the powerful motor and steel chassis that comes equipped.
This system is easy for a single person to install thanks in part to its DIY guide with clear and concise instructions. A corrosion resistant metal protects the exterior parts from corrosion and helps to ensure a longer life. Great for repetitive use throughout the day.
A long chain ensures high performance. Contains two sensors and a great feature is the gate will automatically stop and return to its original position if sticking an object while the gate is in motion.
The ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener is the perfect option for gates weighing 1400lbs and over 40ft long. A smart buy at this price range for use throughout the day. Corrosion resistant chassis gives it the additional strength it needs to run for a long time.
5. Mighty Mule MM360 Automatic Gate Opener for Medium Duty Single Swing Gates for 16’’ Long or 550lbs.
The Mighty Mule MM360 Automatic Gate Opener works with medium-duty swing gates that are 16’’ in length and weigh up to 550 lbs. An easy gate to install due to the step by step instructions that along with the DVD guide.
The Mighty Mule MM 360 comes with reserve power and a large battery that ensuring a long-lasting performance. The MM 360’s large battery provides up to 10 times more power and reserve capacity making the MM360 the best product in its class.
The MM360 can work on solar energy with the addition of the Mighty Mule 5-watt Solar Panel (sold separately).
The MM360 is one of the top systems on the list. The MM360 is the best value for the money in the medium-duty category. It comes equipped with a battery that is considerably larger and can run for hours non-stop.
Solar panel not included but can be purchased separately for solar capability. Works with ornamental, vinly, wood, tube, and chain link gates. Install this gate in a few hours thanks to the DVD and instruction manual included.
6. Mighty Mule MM560 Automatic Gate Opener
The Mighty Mule MM560 Automatic Gate Opener is a great option for those heavy-duty gates. This gate opener makes for one of the easier DIY projects due to the clear and easy to use instruction manual. Like other models from Mighty Mule, the MM560, is a heavy-duty gate opener that works best with gates that are 18ft in length and weight 850lbs.
MM560 is solar capable with the purchase of the solar panel (sold separately). Professional Grade Technology makes the MM560 top on this list when it comes to heavy duty performance.
The MM560 can open and close in or out of the property. Comes with an adjustable auto-close option with alarm. The MM560 comes with a soft start and stop to help extend the life of the gate opener. Battery and control box are included with the MM560 making it a powerful performance kit.
The MM 560 works well with properties with large single leaf gates. A great value as far as price goes. An easy DIY project that will take only a few hours to complete.
This is due in part to the helpful and easy step-by-step video guide that is so simple to follow that a technician does not need to be present for the installation. If a customer is in need for more support, customers can benefit from the assistance that is available 24/7 by Mighty Mule.
7. Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener Kit
The Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener is tops among swing gate openers and the perfect solar powered solution. Works best with dual gates at residential or commercial properties and farms. Suitable for tubular style gates. This innovative gate opener system is designed specifically to offer first rate quality solutions for both residential and commercial properties.
The TDS2XP comes with two separate operator arms. One arm comes with a 6” cable and the other arm comes with a 30’ cable. The kit also comes with a 10-watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (non-diode for maximum charging potential). The kit also includes fasteners, brackets, and a mounting arm.
The Ghost TDS2XP is the perfect choice for dual swing gates, ideally used for residential, commercial, or even on large properties. Easy access to a lockable system. Can easily work on a commercial gate that is 20ft in length. It provides easy access to a lockable system control box. A great buy and the only solar powered gate that includes the solar panel with the kit.
8. E8 400MM Stainless Automatic Gate Opener
One of the top rated automatic gate openers on the market, the E8 400MM Stainless Automatic Gate Opener, durable. High-quality stainless- steel help makes The E8 400MM sturdy but also one of the more reliable and longer lasting gate openers on the market. The screw driven system makes the E8 400MM a more reliable and an easy to use system. The IR beams needed for this gate opener come included in the kit.
Ideal for gates that weigh over 1000 pounds and extend up to 22 feet that would normally require a dual gate opener. In case of a power outage, the E8400MM comes with an additional AC/DC backup system to ensure the system continues working.
The E8 400 MM can work with solar panel (sold separately). The kit contains a Soca ST-120keypad, a D1 control board and a control box. Kit includes primary and secondary gate holding brackets, nuts and bolts required for installation.
The E8 400MM Stainless Automatic Gate Opener is one of the finest openers on the market. Made ofhigh-quality stainless steel that is strong and sure to last.
The E8 400MM is perfect for gates weighing over 1000 pounds and extend up to 22 feet that would normally require a dual gate opener.
Back up system is perfect in case of power failure. Add a solar panel as an accessory for solar capabilities. A good value for one of the best built heavy-duty gates on the list.
9. CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener Hardware Sliding Driveway Security Kit (Sliding Gate Opener)
The CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener is one of the more cheaper options when compared to other the gates that were reviewed.. The CO-Z is not an easy gate to install. This gate will take a quite a bit of effort and a good amount of time to install, due to its sliding gate system.
The CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener is one of the cheaper options for gates that weigh up to 1400 pounds and are close to 40 feet in length. The gate opener packs enough power to support heavy gates. The CO-Z l is one of the most customizableand can easily program up to 23 different remotes.
This system comes with an auto-close option and features the option to be able to set the amount of time for the gate to close (12, 24, and 36 seconds) seconds after the gate opens. This gate does not use batteries which could pose a problem for some users.
The CO-Z is a cheaper option than the other gate openers reviewed for this article. It is a suitable option for heavy-duty usage for large swinging gates.
The install does take more time and may require the assistance from a trained technician.
10. E8 500MM Stainless Steel Automatic Gate Opener
Last but not least, the E8 500MM Stainless Steel Automatic Gate Opener is perfect for gates that have a wired keypad. The kit also includes safety IR Beams and exit buttons. The E8 500MMis made ofhigh-quality stainless steel that gives this system the durability it needs to function for a long time.
The E8 550MM is solar panel compatible, and it comes equipped with an AC/DC battery backup in case of a long power outage. Again, there is no solar panel included with this kit. The screw driven type system gives this system more reliability, and there are manual release keys on the gate opener.
The E8 500MM is the perfect gate opener to use for residential and commercial properties that use 2 leaf gates that weigh up to 1250lbs and are over 30ft in length. Comes with a One-year manufacturer warranty. The backup battery that comes with this kit is perfect during long periods of without power. Overall the E8 500MM is a great option not only for the affordability but also for the reliability that comes with it.
If none of these gate openers fit the job, here is a list of the top brands of automatic gate openers on the market today:
Choices. When it comes to options for an automatic gate opener that are available on the market, Mighty Mule has plenty. There is a model designed for any kind of gate, especially for those gates that weigh between 700lbs and 1200 lbs.
Mighty Mule kits all come with a step by step guide that is available on a DVD and an easy to use installation guide. The extended warranty offered by Mighty Mule is an extra bonus. All this is what makes Might Mule one of the top brands when it comes to automatic gate openers.
US Automatic Sentry
US Automatic Sentry is another leading brand known for manufacturing gate openers and accessories. US Automatic Sentry’s products are highly customizable and has unique features that no other system offers like for example, the Sentry Plug N Go. This feature is a wiring harness that does not use any wires and makes the installation of the system much easier.
Sentry gate systems are ideal for large gates found in homes, residential or commercial centers, and farms. Top choice to use on iron gates that can measure up to 12 ft long. and chain link fences that measure up to 14 ft long.
Ghost Controls offers systems that have one goal in mind: a quality solution. So it is the best choice for dual swing gates, especially if the use of solar power is important. This brand’s gate openers are ideal for dual gates that can be used for residential or commercial properties and farms.
ALEKO provides systems that are best suited for heavy and large sliding gates. Know what else is great about this brand? The price. ALEKO products are very inexpensive for the power that these systems provide.
For additional strength, ALEKO systems feature a steel chassis, which is perfect to move gates weighing 1400 lbs. and measure over 50 ft. in length. The systems are lightweight considering the steel chassis and its powerful motor. An affordable solution for both residential and commercial properties.
E8 Gate Openers
Perfect option for 2 leaf gates used at residential and commercial properties. A backup battery makes E8 systems dependable when the lights go out. Comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty and is affordable and solid system.
Few common issues on automatic gate opener. If you know these issue, you can select your gate opener easily within a short time. So lets go we try to know these topics.
Q1. My gate is very heavy and wide. Will size and length effect a gate openers performance?
No, but it is best to choose a gate opener that best suits the weight and length of the gate.
Q2. Can an unauthorized individual open the gate?
Since gate openers on the market come with security features. Choose a gate opener with a self-locking gearbox, so that it cannot be tampered with.
Q3. Will my car sustain any damage if the gate cannot close because of an obstacle?
Since most gate openers on the market come with an obstacle detection system, it is highly unlikely that a car, person or any other object would suffer an injury or damage if struck. If the gate hits an object that will prevent it from closing, the gate will move back about 10 cm to remove the object that is causing the obstruction.
Q4. Is it possible for other radio devices to interfere with gate operation?
No, because most devices use a special frequency (868.8 MHz) for the remote control. Which can only be used by devices that have extremely low frequencies. Baby monitors and wireless headphones will not pose any issues with operation of the remote, since they communicate on a different frequency.
Q5. Can the gate opener work in the case of power failure? Can it still open manually if the backup fails too?
Yes, most gate openers can open manually if there is a power failure. Some systems come with a battery backup that will allow the gate system to continue to operate during a power failure.
Q6. What can I do if I ever lose the remote control?
Reset the code. Each remote has its own individual code, which the receiver receives from the remote. Just delete the code that the radio receiver receives from the remote and reprogram a new code. If found, the lost remote with the now deleted original code will no longer work.
Automatic gate openers are important in the sense that they help to save time and effort when coming and going from a property. Safety is important when it comes protecting a property but having to get out of a car in the pouring rain or during a snow storm, just isn’t very convenient.
When shopping for a gate opener make sure to know the measurements of the gate. This is to ensure selecting the right system. Different size gates will require specific systems to work more efficiently. Select one that will be easy to install and not take a rocket scientist to operate.
A warranty is an added benefit as well as additional customer service that is available after purchase. It is always important to research each product thoroughly, making sure that it is what fits best.
Remember this purchase is a huge investment that can have great benefits, but it is one purchase that should only be made the one time.