Best Gate Openers || Best Sliding Gate Opener 2018 [Updated]

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    Best Gate Opener

    Do you have a gate surrounding your property? If so, then how do you manage to open and close it? If you are doing it manually, then you’re doing it wrong. With the best gate openers at your disposal, you can make sure that your entrance is managed efficiently and you can make your life so much easier.

    Whether you have a large or small gate, a sliding or swinging gate, or some other kind of opening to get onto your property, nothing is going to add convenience and security into your life like one of these gate openers.

    Today we’re going to look at some of the top models on the market, as well as discuss the most vital features that you have to consider when making a final decision.

    Top Gate Openers 2018 - Comparison Chart

    Product Name

    Brand

    Weight

    Warranty

    Price

    Mighty Mule 

    28.2 lbs

    1-Year

    CO-Z

    34.1 lbs

    1-Year

    MM560 Automatic Gate Opener  (Editor's Choice)

    Mighty Mule

    11.85 lbs

    1.5-Year

    Ghost Controls

    26 lbs 

    Lifetime

    ALEKO

    20 lbs

    2-Year

    Mighty Mule

    22 lbs

    2-Year

    Recommended Best Gate Opener Reviews

    1. Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR Gate Opener Solar Kit

    When it comes to finding the best gate openers, one issue that you’re going to experience a lot is power. In many cases, you will have to run a power cable from either your house or some other electrical grid to ensure that the device can work at all hours of the day. Fortunately, this particular model from Mighty Mule doesn’t require such extensive installation. Instead, this opener runs on the power of the sun.

    The EZGO-Solar Opener is unique and reliable in that you get a dedicated solar panel to run the machine during the day. Then, at night (or when it’s overcast), the device draws its power from a deep-cycle battery (not included). Overall, having this proprietary power source at your disposal makes this machine so much more efficient and easy to install.

    What we like about this opener as well is that it works for a wide variety of swinging gates (not sliding). The max length is 16 feet, and the max weight is 550 pounds, meaning that you can use it for a lot of different materials. Thus, whether your gate is sturdy and meant for security or it’s more of a decorative model, this opener will work wonders no matter what.

    The other feature that we appreciate is that installation is a breeze. As we mentioned, hooking up to the grid usually requires expert advice, but this one can be installed without the help of an electrician or a professional. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, then you will love this opener.

    Finally, this unit comes with a one-year limited warranty. This ensures that you will get plenty of use out of it without any worry. This is great particularly if you plan on using your gate every day, as you will be able to see how well it works with the confidence of having the warranty in place, just in case.

    Pros

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      Solar powered model
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      Two remote controls provided
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      Handles up to 550 pounds
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      Works for gates up to 16-feet long
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      Installs on almost all gate materials
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      Easy to install - no electrician required
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      Installation DVD provided
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      Works with reserve battery as well
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      One-year limited warranty

    Cons

    • Reserve battery not included
    • In rare cases, the opener may stop working suddenly

    2. CO-Z Automatic Sliding Gate Opener

    Another crucial element that you have to pay attention to when picking out the best sliding gate opener is the kind of gate you have. We’ve already seen what you can expect for swinging entrances, but what about models that slide open on a track? For those gates, you should use something like this motor from CO-Z.

    The first thing that we like about this model is that it uses RFID technology to prevent others from accessing your gate controls. Since part of the reason to have a gate in the first place is to keep unwanted people out, having this extra bit of security makes it an ideal choice for many consumers.

    Secondly, we appreciate that you get two remote controls, each of them with four button options. These controls allow you to open, close, slow, and stop the gate at any time. Remarkably, you can code up to 23 remotes for this one motor, so if you have a lot of people who need access, you don’t have to share controls.

    One interesting feature of this motor is that it also comes with a “pedestrian” setting. This enables you to open the gate by just a few feet, making it so much more convenient. Rather than waiting for the whole cycle to complete, you can get it closed a lot faster. Not only that, but you can set the auto-close function, ensuring that you never forget to shut the gate once you’re inside.

    When picking out the right model for your needs, this motor can work for sliding gates that weigh up to 1400 pounds and are up to 40 feet long. This covers the vast majority of materials and dimensions out there, so you shouldn’t have any issues making this opener work for you.

    Pros

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      RFID coding technology
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      Compact yet powerful
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      Works on all sliding gates
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      Max length of 40 feet
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      Max weight of 1400 pounds
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      Two remote control keychains
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      Auto-close programming option
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      You can connect up to 23 remotes to this system
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      Moves at 8.5 feet per second
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      100-foot remote control range
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      Pedestrian mode for convenience
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      Manual release key included

    Cons

    • In rare cases, instructions may not be included
    • Motor may move slowly, depending on gate material

    3. Mighty Mule MM560 Automatic Gate Opener for Heavy Duty

    We’ve already seen what Mighty Mule can do for smaller swing gates, but if you have a larger model, then you need something with a lot more heft like the MM560. This is the “heavy-duty” opener offered by the company, which ensures that your gate will open and close no matter what size or material it is

    For comparison purposes, this motor can work on single-leaf gates that are up to 18 feet long and 850 pounds. With those dimensions, you can attach it to almost any material, including heavy brass or iron gates, without any problems. If you have a double-leaf design, then you can simply double the order and get both of them working in no time.

    As with the other Mighty Mule, you can connect a solar panel to this opener to provide more reliable power to it. However, since it’s meant for heavier gates, if you’re on the upper level of size and weight, we don’t recommend getting the panel. In that case, it will likely be a lot slower since it’s designed for smaller gate sizes.

    Nonetheless, this opener still comes with everything you need to get installed. The battery and transformer are included, so you should be able to get it all connected and hooked up in a couple of hours.

    To help extend the life of this opener, it comes with dual-sense technology, which means that you can get it open and closed without any problems. Also, it has a soft open/close setting that ensures that the gate doesn’t slam into place, which can damage the internal components.

    Finally, as with all Mighty Mule products, you get an extended warranty. In this case, it’s up to 18 months of worry-free operation.

    Pros

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      Heavy-duty model
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      Works on gates up to 18 feet long
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      Max weight is 850 pounds
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      Battery and transformer box included
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      Solar power capable
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      Dual sense technology for security and safety
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      Soft open/close feature to extend the life of the gate
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      Works on all gate materials
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      Perfect for DIY enthusiasts
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      DVD instruction provided

    Cons

    • In rare cases, the motor may stop working suddenly
    • Solar power option takes longer to open and close

    4. Ghost Controls TSS1XP Heavy-Duty Solar Single Automatic Gate Opener

    Although Mighty Mule is the more dominant brand out there for swinging gates, this opener from Ghost Controls is another high-quality option. What we like most about it is that it works on a wider variety of gate sizes, ranging up to 20 feet, rather than 18 like the heavy duty model above. In fact, this motor is roughly the same size as the Mighty Mule, meaning that you can swap them out if necessary.

    The other thing that we appreciate about this opener is that it comes with a 10-watt solar panel. This provides clean, reliable energy at all hours, ensuring that you can use your gate without any problems. Although it doesn’t come with a battery, you can install one so that it will also work at night (or when it’s overly cloudy during the day).

    As with the other swing gate openers, this unit comes with everything you need for installation. Also, it has a detailed instruction manual so that you won’t get confused along the way. Finally, this particular opener comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the internal components. This feature sets it apart (and above) the competition in our book.

    Pros

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      Durable construction
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      10-watt solar panel provided
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      Works on all swing gates up to 20 feet
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      Ideal for DIY enthusiasts
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      All installation materials provided (except battery)
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      Works on all gate options
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      Detailed instruction booklet for convenience
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      Remote control included
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      Remote works for one or two openers
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      Faster than other models
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      High-quality sensor inside

    Cons

    • Battery not included
    • Cannot be paired with other remotes

    5. ALEKO AC1400 Electric Best Sliding Gate Opener

    For the most part, sliding gates are much easier to manage with an opener because all you need is a high-quality chain and track on which to move. However, if your gate is more massive than most, you need something with a bit more heft and power behind it. In that case, you need a motor like this model from Aleko.

    When compared to other units, it’s easy to see why this one is perfect for large-scale operations. It can work on gates that weight up to 1400 pounds and those that are up to 50 feet long. Not only that, but you can code up to 100 remotes for it, meaning that this motor is perfect for commercial applications, not just residential gates.

    We like that this opener comes with everything you need to get started and that it’s made of aluminum alloy, which is both lightweight and corrosion resistant. In fact, this whole system is so easy to set up that a single person can do it in a few hours. You will still need a professional to tap into the electrical grid, but everything else can be handled solo.

    Pros

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      Powerful ¾ horsepower motor
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      Easy to install
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      Works on gates up to 50 feet
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      Max weight of 1400 pounds
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      Two remote controls included
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      Code up to 100 remotes if necessary
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      Stops and reverses if obstructed
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      Quick and easy installation
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      Durable aluminum alloy chassis
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      Corrosion-resistant materials

    Cons

    • In rare cases, the motor may be missing the remotes
    • Not as secure as other models

    6. Mighty Mule MMDIA30D Diamond Series Automatic Opener

    Our final stop is with yet another Mighty Mule Opener. As you can guess, this brand is one of the better-known and respected out there, so if you’re looking for a high-quality opener, this is the way to go.

    Unlike the other units we’ve seen so far, the Diamond series is designed for double-leaf swing gates. As such, the motor and battery can be connected to both sides simultaneously, making installation and setup much more straightforward. Rather than using two individual units, you can buy this one and hook them up together.

    As with other Mighty Mule openers, these are rated for most gate materials. The max length (for both) is 16 feet, and the max weight is 550 pounds. Thus, if your gate is much larger than that, you will have to go with two individual models instead.

    Other features that we like about this opener set is the fact that they are compatible with solar panels, they have dual-sense technology for automatic opening, and they are faster than most other units out there. Also, you get a full two years of warranty service, which makes them even more reliable.

    Pros

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      Dual-sided gate opener
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      20% faster than other models
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      Dual-sense technology
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      Simple setup and installation
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      Works on gates up to 16 feet long
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      Max weight of 550 pounds
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      Battery and control box included
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      Ideal for DIY enthusiasts
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      Solar power capable
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      Works on all gate materials

    Cons

    • Total length and weight requirements for both sides (not individual)
    • In rare cases, some installation pieces may be missing

    How to Choose the Right Gate Openers

    Swing vs. Sliding Gates

    One of the most crucial elements that you have to consider when picking out the best gate opener is whether or not it will work for the kind of gate that you have. The two primary methods are swing or sliding, so it’s imperative that you get a motor that will work for the system you use.

    With swing gates, you can either have one piece (leaf) or two. If you have two leaves, then you can usually just double your order and install a single opener on each side.

    Dimensions

    Another critical element to keep in mind is that each opener is rated for a particular size and weight. Usually, sliding gate motors will work for models that are up to 30-40 feet long, while swing gate openers can vary much more.

    As such, it’s vital that you measure the dimensions of your gate beforehand so that you can be sure that your new motor will work. If you have a double-leaf swing gate, then measure each side individually since you can buy two of the same model if necessary.

    If your gate is too big for the motor that you want, it’s imperative that you upgrade to a unit that’s rated for your dimensions. If you don’t, then you will overwork the motor, which could cause it to break down and stop working.

    Security Options

    In some instances, your gate may be purely decorative, which means that you don’t have to worry about whether or not people can access your property. However, if it’s intended as a blockade for intruders, then you want to pay attention to the security settings of any opener you consider.

    One option that works well is RFID technology. This allows you to code your remotes so that no one else can access your gate. Because the ID scans can be customized with so much detail, this is probably the best choice you have.

    Another option is to get a model that has a locking mechanism. Many openers don’t come with this add-on, however, so you will have to buy it separately and install it yourself.

    Power Options

    Because every opener is run on a motor, it has to draw electricity from somewhere. There are three primary options you can choose from when picking out the right model.

    • Power Grid: this requires the use of an electrician as you will be connecting the opener to your home’s wiring. The downside of this is that if there is ever a power outage, you will have to open the gate manually.
    • Solar Panels: if you want a more reliable and independent energy source, then consider having a dedicated solar panel by the motor itself. These can range from a few watts up to 30 or more, depending on how big your gate is and what kind of power requirements you need.
    • Battery Operated: typically speaking, most gate openers will connect to a battery as a backup power source, even when using something as reliable as the grid. This ensures that you never run into problems, regardless of what’s going on with your wiring or your solar panel. Unfortunately, you usually have to provide your own battery.

    Installation Requirements

    If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, then you want to get an opener that comes with all of the parts and components you need to get it up and running. As we mentioned, motors that have to plug into the grid require a professional to come out and wire it properly, but those that run on batteries do not.

    The other thing to consider is the size and complexity of your gate. In many cases, the opener will come with brackets that can be installed on a variety of materials, but that may not always work. In some instances, you may have to weld or fasten the opener in another way, which can be a pain

    Overall, consider what kind of work you want to put into your gate opener, or think about hiring a pro to do it for you. Either way, that will help dictate the right model for your needs.

    Remote Controls

    For the most part, if you want to make sure that your gate is secure from intruders, you want to rely on a remote control, rather than a sensor. However, even if your gate is decorative and doesn’t provide security, then having a remote will make your life easier overall.

    When picking out a remote option, see if there are additional buttons beyond the standard “open/close.” In some instances, there may be a setting that allows for you to walk through the gate without having to open it all the way (pedestrian mode).

    If you have a swing gate, then it’s imperative that you get a remote that will control both leaves at once. If you don’t, then that means that you have to get an individual remote for each side, which will make the whole process much more complicated and inconvenient.

    Final Verdict

    Since there are two kinds of gate openers on the market, we have to provide you with our top picks in each category.

    For sliding gates, we really like what the CO-Z had to offer. We appreciated the added security of the RFID technology, as well as the additional features that came with it (i.e., pedestrian mode). Not only that, but it works with almost all sized gates, making it an ideal choice for any household.

    When it comes to swinging gates, we have to say that the Mighty Mule Heavy Duty is our top pick. Even if your gate is relatively small, we like the reliability and responsiveness of this particular opener. It’s super easy to install, and if you get a solar panel to go with it, you won’t have to worry about a thing for the life of the motor.

    About the Author Todd Davis

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