The Best Gate Openers, Driveway Gate Operators 2017 Reviews & Buying Guide

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A gate opener or gate operator is a mechanical device which provides a convenient way to access your home and add an additional layer of safety and security for family and pets. A gate opener is used to open and close a gate automatically via a wireless transmitter (such as a remote controller) or a manual device. A gate opener can be operated by drawing power from the grid to open a driveway gate or fitted with low-voltage systems such as solar panels. Gate openers draw power from a small solar panel are getting popular because it ensures function during the loss of electricity or blackouts. (best gate openers should be compatible with solar panels).

Gate Opener + Outdoor security camera + Solar security light are the 3 best things to maximize convenience and security for your driveway gates, garden gates, and walk-through gates.

Image Product Name Price Rating
Best Single Swing Gate Openers
Mighty Mule MM560 $$ A
USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade $$$$ A+
Ghost Controls TSS1XP Heavy-Duty Solar $$ A
Best Dual Swing Gate Openers
Mighty Mule MM562 Heavy Duty $$$ A
Liftmaster LA400PKGU $$$$$ A+
USAutomatic Sentry 300 $$$$$ A+
ALEKO AS1200 $ B
Best Sliding Gate Openers
ALEKO AC1400 $ A
Viking Access K2 $$$$$$ A+
LiftMaster SL585 $$$$$$$$ A+
Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B $$$$$ A

Types of Gate Opener

Gate openers are designed for both swinging and sliding gates. Swing gates use underground operators which are located by the hinge and operate the gate via a link arm, much like a regular door does. Slide gates use operators with a chain attached across the gate to slide gates from right to left or left to right. Sliding gates are often large, heavy and therefore more hazardous than swing gates they can however be equipped with appropriate safety devices making them some of the safest gate systems available. Sliding gate openers can move very large gates up to thousands of pounds and in some cases up to 100’ long. They are usually cheaper than swing gate openers.

Gate Opener Buying Guide

To determine what type of automatic gate opener is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have a single or dual gate or slide gate?
  2. Does your gate swing into or away from your property?
  3. Long and weight of your gate?

You should consider buying a solar-powered gate opener if your swing gate isn’t within 1000 ft. of a 110V AC power source. Because sliding gates are often heavy and large, you should buy a heavy-duty gate opener. The best 110V/240V AC-powered gate openers should come with an emergency release key which allows you to enter or leave your property even if there is a power outage.

DC Gate Opener or AC Gate Opener?

In the past, most gate openers were primarily designed using alternating current (AC) induction motors but this is rapidly changing. In recent years, manufacturers have increased their range of direct current (DC) motor-driven operators to residential and commercial markets.

You can expect to pay more for a DC gate opener (12V or 24V) than a comparable AC gate opener (110V or 240V). But a DC gate opener will run cooler and therefore have a higher duty cycle rating than an AC gate opener. DC gate openers are also usually smaller than AC gate openers, therefore providing manufacturers the opportunity to design operators that are smaller with different styles and looks.

DC or solar gate opener can offer consumers smoother, quieter, more precise and more efficient operation, while AC gate opener may have a longer motor life (because AC motors are brush less and therefore do not have any wearing parts except bearings.)

Top 10 Best Gate Openers

An automatic gate opener is a versatile system which is ideal for properties on busy roads which need to open quickly due to its fast travel speed. It offers you a peace of mind whenever you want to open a gate without stepping out of the interior of your car, particularly in the winter when outside air temperature is extremely low. Plus, if you own a gate opener at the end of a driveway, you may feel like you’re delving into a world of cryptic and esoteric lingo that all sounds like something out of The DaVinci Code.

If you are looking for a perfect swing or slide automatic gate opener to suit your home or farm that will operate efficiently and reliably. Here are some very best gate openers on the market you should take your time to explore:

Best Single Swing Gate Openers

1. Mighty Mule MM560 Review – Best for the Money

The Mighty Mule MM560 is the best DIY single gate opener in its class. This gate opener can handle gates up to 18 feet maximum in length or a maximum of up to 850 pounds. It can be utilized for many applications including residential, agricultural, farm and ranch and for all types of gates including chain link, tube, panel, vinyl, wood and wrought iron gates.

The Mighty Mule gate openers are designed to be easy to install with no electrician or welding required. This kit includes everything you will need for the installation. It is solar capable with the addition of a Mighty Mule 5-watt solar panel or 10-watt solar panel. It features Dual Sense Technology which makes the gate stop and reverse direction when it comes in contact with an obstruction. This is factory set to the most sensitive setting and must be adjusted during installation. It also has an adjustable auto-close feature. After the gate reaches the fully open position, it can be set to remain open up to 120 seconds before automatically closing.

Highlight Features:

  • Features Mighty Mule’s exclusive Dual Sense Technology that meets UL325 6th Edition Standards for additional protection & safety.
  • Designed for gates up to 18 ft long or 850 lbs
  • Large control box with room for extra battery and accessories
  • AC or Solar powered to meet the needs of 100% of the market
  • Professional Grade Soft Start / Soft Stop feature increases life of hardware and opener
  • Designed for gates that open into or out from the property
  • 12-volt battery backup (included) opens and closes the gate even during power outage.
  • 18-month Limited Warranty

Overall:

The MM560 is Mighty Mule’s most popular automatic single gate opener, and for good reason. This durable swing gate opener will not only bring your home more security but will greatly increase its curb side appeal. It was designed to last for a long time, even through harsh weather. Over are the days where you needed to get out of your car in the pouring rain in order to manually open your gate.

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Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR Gate Opener is a weaker version of this heavy-duty gate opener. It has the ability to open and close gates to and from the property and the power to handle gates up to a maximum of 16 feet long or 550 pounds.

Video: How to install Mighty Mule MM560

2. USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade – Editors’ Choice

US Automatic is an American manufacturer of high-quality solar gate operators and accessories founded in 1994. If you’ve been searching high and low for a top-quality and commercial grade automatic gate opener system, you will love US Automatic gate opener. But gate openers from US Automatic are often much more expensive than other brands. There are a number of reasons as to why so many businesses and individuals decide to protect their property with automatic gate opener systems produced by US Automatic, but I’m sure that the key reason is: Superior Quality.

Sentry 300 automatic gate opener is the first high-quality commercial grade DIY gate opener. The superior design and features of the Sentry 300 automatic gate opener make it impossible to compare the cost of similar products. Quality, reliability and no hidden additional costs associated with the Sentry gate opener make the Sentry kits the best value on the market.

Made in the USA and powered by a 12 Volt DC battery which is charged by the included AC transformer or optional solar panel kit. US Automatic recommends the solar option for charging this allows for remote installations and qualifies for a 30 percent federal tax credit. The Sentry energy efficient design makes it the first truly solar charged gate opener that can provide weeks of operation with no sun. The Sentry is designed to be installed on farm gates up to 20 feet in length, ornamental iron gates up to 12 feet in length and chain link up to 14 feet in length. A full line of solar friendly accessories is available to allow you to customize your automated gate system to your needs.

With 3 year warranty from the most reliable company in the US, we strongly recommend you buy this gate opener.

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3. Ghost Controls TSS1XP Heavy-Duty Solar Single Automatic Gate Review

Ghost Controls is a designer and manufacturer of innovative gate automation solutions for the North American market. Millions of gates are sold annually, only to be manually opened or closed with cumbersome locks and chains.

The Ghost Controls TSS1XP kits are ideal for residential gates or farm gates. It features SafeForce Technology that automatically limits the amount of force that the automatic opener system will exert on a moving gate to prevent injuries to people or animals. This gate opener offers new leading-edge technology that helps the opening system run very quiet, very fast and safe. It has a proprietary maintenance free gear box and motor designed for smooth, quiet operation regardless of age and high cycles.

This gate opener system is low voltage (DC) and solar optimized for environments without access to AC power and require minimum maintenance and installation expertise. Unlike the Might Mule MM560, a 10W Solar Panel is included in this kit. The remote that included in this kit is preprogrammed, its range more than 100 yards from the gate, that means it will work from inside your house.

You can’t go wrong with the Ghost Controls TSS1XP, we would definitely recommend this product to you.

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Best Dual Swing Gate Openers

1. Mighty Mule MM562 Heavy Duty – Best For the Money

Like its single version MM560, the Mighty Mule MM562 is the best DIY dual gate opener in its class. This gate opener can handle gates up to 18 feet maximum in length or a maximum of up to 850 pounds per leaf.

This dual swing gate opener was designed to be installed in just a few hours. Its included manual gives you enough information to install it step-by-step without expert’s help. Additionally, you have access to a 24/7 troubleshooting guide as well as customer support. The MM562 has the ability to open and close gates that open to and from the property, adjustable auto close option with alarm, soft start and stop to extend the life of your gate opener, a control box and a battery is included in the power performance kit.

This gate opener and all Mighty Mule automatic gate openers are solar capable with the addition of a Mighty Mule 10-Watt solar panel. It’s compatible with all Mighty Mule keypads, gate opening remotes and gate opening sensors. The MM562 kit includes everything you need for installation. But you have to buy a solar panel separately.

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Video: How to install Mighty Mule MM562

2. Liftmaster LA400PKGU Dual Swing Gate Opener– Editors’ Choice

 

LiftMaster LA400PKGU is one of the most expensive dual swing gate opener on the market, and is best one in delivering unsurpassed performance and secure access to your property.

The best feature of the LiftMaster is it can be connected via MyQ Technology which allows you to control your garage door opener, gate operator, or home lights by using an Internet-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer from anywhere, anytime. Just imagine if you forgot to close your garage door, need to let the service or repairman in when you’re not at home, or you are on vacation or at the office. LiftMaster MyQ technology gives you control from anywhere! This App is available for download from the App Store and Google Play for ultimate reassurance and convenience.

Video: MyQ App

The LiftMaster has an ultra-efficient battery backup system, providing up to 400 cycles or up to 97 days of standby power when the power is down. Because this is a 24v motor it has a high duty cycle of 20 times per hour, ideal for multi user properties and also the built in hard stops means that no external hard stops need to build in to the ground. It also boasts stop and reverse obstacle detection which is unique to the 24v operators for added protection.

Features + Benefits:

  • Rated for gates up to 16 feet in length or 850 pounds.
  • Control your gates and garage door from your smartphone using the MyQ application
  • Get notified if your gates open whilst you’re out or if you forgot to close them
  • Customize your security alerts
  • Features a Heavy-Duty Cast Aluminum Housing DC Motor powerful enough to perform in the most demanding applications. Soft start/stop operation extends operator and hardware life for heavy-duty gate use.
  • Never wait for the gate and safely enter your property with Security+2.0™ – patented multi-frequency secure radio technology virtually eliminates interference and offers 2X the range of standard remotes.

If you don’t care about the price, this one is the best choice.

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Please note that LiftMaster LA400PKGU uses 24V motor and can be operated by solar power, but if you don’t know how to wire a 24V solar system, we recommend you buy the Liftmaster LA412PKGU kit.

3. USAutomatic Sentry 300 Dual Gate Opener

Like the Sentry 300 single gate opener above, the U.S. Automatic Sentry 300 dual swing gate opener is the most reliable and durable gate opener available.

It is powered by a 12V DC battery (not included). This battery is charged by the supplied transformer which requires AC power (120 VAC) to be either at the gates area or within 1000 feet of the gates area. If the AC power is more than 10 feet from the gate openers control box then additional extension cable is required. The battery also can be charged through a solar panel (sold separately). Typically only one panel will be required. The Sentry dual swing gate opener is capable of a high number of cycles per day.

The Sentry 300 control board features high-quality components and industry leading ideas such as auto resetting fuses for motor protection. The old auto type fuse that blows and must be replaced has been designed out of this controller to avoid the unnecessary expense of buying fuses. Another patent pending item designed into the control board is the on-board potentiometers for adjusting stop limits.

Again, this is very nice product from US Automatic, we think you would be please if you buy one!

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4. ALEKO AS1200 Electric Gate Opener

If you are looking for a low-cost option of electric gate opener, the Aleko AS1200 may be the right choice for you. Aleko is a Washington-based company was only found in 2005, but they have built their reputation as one of the most trusted and technologically advanced companies in gate opener market.

AS1200 is a benefit to the residential and commercial applications. It applies remote usage and avoids the manual operation that keeps you calm and dry inside your vehicle. It uses a 24V DC motor which regulates the opener and can resist gates weighing up to 1320lbs and length up to 20ft (10ft and 660lb per leaf). The smooth running of motor gives the opener a greater life and durability. Optional built-in battery backup provides seamless operation of the gate operator and all DC control and sensing devices in the event of a power loss.

Overall: Best Low-Cost dual gate opener to buy.

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Best Sliding Gate Openers

1. ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener – Best Buy

The Aleko AC1400 is the most common sliding gate opener on the US market, it is an AC-powered addition to the ALEKO family of slide gate operators. You will get amazing starting torque along with continuous operation with this gate opener, this sliding gate opener is ideal for most applications.

The Aleko AC1400 is made with an effective aluminum alloy chassis. It’s corrosion resistant and light enough for one person to carry and install. This opener’s heavy-duty motor is able to handle gates that are till 1400 lbs, along with a maximum of around 50 ft. precisely in length. This gate opener is designed as such that when it experiences any obstruction on its way then it will reverse back. In this way you do not need to worry about your pets or infants getting stuck while your gate is closing.

This less expensive gate opener is a great addition to your home.

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Video: How Aleko AC1400 Work

2. Most Expensive Sliding Gate Opener: Viking Access and Liftmaster

The Viking Access (K2) and LiftMaster (SL585) all offer a good lineup of chain driven slide gate operators. All 2 brands can run on 110VAC/220VAC or 24VDC Solar and include the batteries for full-time battery backup at no extra charge. They’re really expensive option for a gate opener, the price is 3-4 time more expensive than the Aleko.

The LiftMaster is the most expensive. It is a durable heavy-duty gear-driven operator for use on heavy gates and high-cycle applications such as gated communities and industrial locations. It supports gate lengths up to 75 feet and gate weights up to 1900 pounds. This gate opener can be controlled via MyQ App on your phone.

The Viking Access has an incredible reputation in the industry and provides great support. The newly redesigned K2 features the VFlex control board with on-board diagnostics LCD display and simple push-button digital limits setup. Featuring a built-in heater, increased gate capacity of up to 700 lbs.

Viking Access and Liftmaster offer great operators, but because they are such big name brands in the industry you will be paying more initially.

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3. Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B Single Slide Gate Opener Review

The MM-SL2000B can automatically open heavy-duty slide gates weighing up to 1000-Pounds per leaf and up to 30-Feet in length per leaf (or a 20-Feet driveway opening). This model is ideal for light commercial and residential slide gate applications, and is a compact design for tight spaces.

The SL2000B is powered by a 12 volt DC motor and is solar compatible (requires at least 10-Watts of solar power). The MM-SL2000B is an access ready package that includes Battery, Radio Receiver, Entry Transmitter, AC Transformer, and all necessary mounting hardware for a standard installation.

Features + Benefits:

  • For slide gates up to 30ft. long with a 20 foot opening and weighing up to 1,000 lbs. (each leaf).
  • Solar compatible
  • Includes built-in Internal Friction Brake Locking Device that locks the gate in the closed position for added security Compatible with all Mighty Mule accessories.
  • Easy installation for a multitude of applications.
  • Opening time of 1 ft. per second
  • High-cycle capability
  • Compact design for tight spaces

Overall:

You will be extremely pleased with the Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B and we would recommend it to anyone who wants to add convenience and security to their home, ranch or farm gate.

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