Best Gate Opener Reviews 2017

best gate openers 2017

An automatic gate opener provides a convenient way for you to enter your property. You don’t need to exit your car to open the gates manually. With advancements in technology, gates can even open before you get near them which improves your safety.

Finding the correct opener, however is a hassle. You want to purchase quality and practicality. This article will take the burden off your shoulders because it provides the top 4 best gate openers reviews with enough detail to afford you an informed perspective.

1. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener

This strong and highly durable gate opener is suitable to be installed in any type of gate up to 20ft in length. It’s one of the best solar powered gate openers which handles heavy duty gates effectively. This gate opener is easy to install because the product arrives with all the hardware needed for the process. The conservation of the solar energy ensures this gate opener is fully functional for weeks even if the sun doesn’t shine much.

2. Mighty Mule 560 Automatic Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Single Swing Gates

This is the best dual swing gate opener. This gate opener has a powerful motor which ensures the weight of the gate doesn’t hinder the capabilities. This provides constant and smooth operation. You get the best of both worlds with this gate opener because it’s powered by solar panel and can operate off an electrical current. It’s a highly durable product. It will not let environmental conditions impact its functionality.

An added feature is the auto-close timer. This ensures your home is safe when you forget to close the gate. The timer will countdown—you can set a time between 0 and 120 seconds—after which it will automatically close.

3. ALEKO AC1400 Electric Sliding Gate Opener for Sliding Gates

This sliding gate opener supports the weight of 1,400 lbs. without any hassle. The chain drive is perfect for gates that are 400’. The gate opener is light enough for one person to carry. It’s easy to install. No matter the weight this gate opener is supporting, it will constantly have a smooth slide.

4. ALEKO AR1500 Sliding Gate Opener Slide Gate Opener Gear Rack Driven

This gate opener works just as well as gate openers in the higher price category. In addition, the strong build and powerful motor make it suitable to be installed with heavy duty gates. Once you have programmed the pedestrian mode onto the sensors you will have the luxury of the gate’s quick reflexes. This ensures no car is damaged or person gets hurt. For added security rolling technology is embedded and an auto timer closes the gate when you forget to.

Reviews of The Best Gate Openers

USAutomatic Sentry 300 – Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener

USAutomatic Sentry 300This sentry 300 model is designed for:

  • Farm gates up to 20’ in length
  • Ornamental iron gates up to 12’ in length
  • Chain link gates up to 14’ in length

The gate will consistently open and close within 16 seconds. The weight and length of the gate will not reduce this amount of time.

This advanced solar panel gate absorbs and stores so much energy that it’s completely operational for weeks without any sun. It’s easy to install with no need for cables and wires. The mounting brackets are universal for push or pull gates and it can be easily bolted onto most existing gates. Installation is made easy with this feature. On average, it will take approximately one hour to install. Read our full review

You will receive:

  • All mounting hardware
  • Two button transmitters
  • Battery charger and AC transformer for battery
  • Installation DVD
  • Colored user manual
  • Control box with pre-installed components
  • Liner actuator
Things we liked
  • Easy to install
  • Plastic cover that protects the electrical components of the control box
  • Can be easily linked to car’s built-in remote
Things we didn’t like
  • Gets stuck without fully closing
  • Unreliable technical support from manufacturer
  • The receiver or actuator fails at times

Mighty Mule 560 – Automatic Gate Opener for Heavy Duty Single Swing Gates

Mighty Mule 560This gate opener is suitable for all types of gates including ornamental, chain link, tube, panel, vinyl and wood. It can be installed onto gates 18’ in length or 850-lb. panels on each side. This Mighty Mule gate opener arrives with all you need for an easy set up.

This is a dual swing gate opener. It can operate off both solar energy and corded electric energy. When installing this gate, it’s important to ensure that an electrical outlet is close to the gate. The control box makes use of batteries to allow for dual application. Batteries are included; however, it’s suggested to purchase an additional pair.

The DC powered low voltage system (12V) is powerful, reliable and durable. It can be used on push to open gates as well as pull to open gates.

The time it takes to automatically close can be customized to anything between zero and 120 seconds.

You will receive:

  • A standard do-it-yourself kit with an installation DVD
  • Descriptive manual
  • One transmitter
  • All mounting hardware
  • 18V AC transmitter
  • Control box that is prewired for a battery

Other benefits of this gate include:

  • Soft open or soft close feature
  • Adjustable gate activation alert
  • Obstruction sensing system
Things we liked
  • Highly reliable product
  • Resistant to environmental conditions
  • Works well for a long period of time
Things we didn’t like
  • Poor customer service from manufacturer
  • Does not install in five steps as claimed
  • The gate doesn’t open elegantly

ALEKO AC1400 – Electric Sliding Gate Opener for Sliding Gates

ALEKO AC1400This strong gate opener supports up to 1,400 lbs., or 50’ gates. To be strong enough to handle heavy gates, it’s powered by a 120V 3/4 HP motor. The chain sliding gate strength gives the gate opener the power it needs to control heavy duty gates. It can be used on any type of gate.

The gate is manufactured with an aluminum alloy chassis. It’s durable in most weather conditions as it’s corrosion proof. This product is easy to install, as it’s light enough for one person to carry.

You will receive:

  • 1 sliding gate opener
  • 1 20’ chain
  • Obstruction sensors
  • Mounting brackets, bolts and metal base
  • 1 installation and user manual
  • 2 remotes

Although the packaging arrives with all the tools needed to mount the gate opener, it doesn’t come with the wires needed. When purchasing the gate opener, it’s advised to research its wire compatibility first. This way you know you’re purchasing the right wires. Read our full review

Things we liked
  • Highly durable product. It usually lasts up to 5 years
  • Easy to install
  • Smooth sliding of gates
Things we didn’t like
  • Motor shaft is too short for gear box
  • Plastic mounting for magnets breaks off easily
  • The remote control cannot be synced to garage doors, although it has four buttons

ALEKO AR1500 – Sliding Gate Opener Slide Gate Operator Gear Rack Driven

ALEKO AR1500This gate can support the weight of 1,500 lbs. The 1 1/2 HP motor gives the gate opener the power needed to control heavy duty gates. There will be a smooth operation, without the jerking motion heavy gates can cause.

You will receive:

  • Mounting hardware with the needed bolts and screws
  • Two remote controls
  • Built-in auto close feature

The remote control is equipped with rolling technology. A new code is sent every time the gate operates. This serves as a security measure as it can’t be hacked. The gate opener also has a stop and reverse feature that is activated when an obstacle comes into contact with the sensors.

Things we liked
  • Easy to install
  • Constant smooth operation
  • Fast reaction from sensors
Things we didn’t like
  • Gate opener doesn’t work if magnets are not positioned properly
  • Need to program the pedestrian mode for obstacle sensors
  • Poor instructions which makes it hard to install for inexperienced individuals

Gate Opener Buying Guide

When buying a gate opener, it’s always wise to ensure the features are in line with your requirements. There are different types of gate openers that accommodate the different types of gates. Before purchasing you will need to evaluate the type of gate you have.

Swing gate or slide gate

Swing gateSlide gate
  • Is your gate a single or a dual swing type?
  • The gate opener needs to be picked according to the size and weight of each side
  • A higher torque power is needed to ensure your gates open smoothly
  • The chain drive needs to match the length of your gate
  • The length and height of the slide gate contribute to the weight
  • Heavier gates need a chain drive that’s attached to a powerful motor

Source of power

There are 3 main sources of power for gate openers. The following advantages and disadvantages of each guide you in selecting the right one for you.

Direct motorAlternating motorSolar panel

This electrical motor runs on a direct current. The most common types rely on the power produced by magnetic fields.

Advantages
  • Excellent for speed control when accelerating and decelerating
  • Simple drive design
  • The motor can be brushed or brushless
Disadvantages
  • High maintenance. Care is required in maintaining the mechanical engine to ensure the current is rotating correctly
  • Dust particles accumulated decrease the performance

An AC motor is an electrical motor of which the power is generated through alternating currents.

Advantages
  • Low cost
  • Speed variation
  • High power
  • Reliable operation
Disadvantages
  • Unable to operate at low speeds
  • Poor positioning control
  • Prone to producing a whirlpool of currents

The main source of energy is the sun. Solar panel gate openers don’t need electrical circuits.

Advantages
  • Utility cost savings
  • The power source can be installed in a remote location
  • The gate will work despite power outages
Disadvantages
  • Needs to be installed in direct sunlight
  • No ‘one size fits all’ panels
  • The brackets holding the panel needs to be stainless steel

External interfaces

Infrared photo beamsAuto-close

For added safety, it’s important that the gate opener is manufactured with safety sensors. This ensures the gates either stop, or stop and reverse when an obstacle crosses the sensors. This guarantees no person is hurt or car is damaged.

By choosing a gate opener with an auto-close feature, you help ensure the safety of your property. Some auto-close features are pre-set with a timer. Others you can adjust according to what you deem best. The settings range from 0–120 seconds.

Loop detectors

Exit loopsSafety loopsShadow loopsEntry loops
These are placed a couple of feet away from your gate. Once your car crosses its path inside your property, it triggers the gate to automatically open.
These are often called reverse loops. If an obstacle crosses the detector the gate will reverse to avoid collision.
Shadow loops are installed when the gate is longer than the car. These prevent the gate from closing on your car while it’s entering.
These loops work in the opposite way of an exit loop. This detector is placed outside your home is you live in a relatively safe area. The gate will automatically open when a car reaches the sensors.

Conclusion

The USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener is an excellent system to purchase. This product is the best solar powered gate opener as it’s completely operational for weeks even during cloudy times.

Installation is made easy because of the instruction manual and complementary DVD which provide descriptive details. What sets this gate opener apart from other contenders is that your car’s built-in remote can easily be synced to the gate opener. There will be no need to carry a remote if you don’t want to. Remote systems really do simplify our lives. When are you getting your new system?