Automatic Gate Openers16 min read

As a homeowner, you already lose a lot of time closing the doors and securing the garage. The last thing you need is to waste even more time opening and closing the gates. Fortunately, automatic openers for gates are here to save the day, eliminating the tedious opening and closing of the gates by allowing you to do this action without getting out of the car. If you’re interested in installing the system and you want to make sure you have bought the best model on the market, check out the rest of the article.

Mighty Mule MMDIA30D Image

8. Mighty Mule MMDIA30D

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This model has been designed for dual swing gates that measure a maximum of 16 ft and they weigh a maximum of 500 lbs per gate panel. It’s compatible with the majority of systems including chain link, tube, panel, vinyl, and wood. This item is capable to get solar charged so you do not have to worry about your electricity bill. The greatest thing about this model is the security features. You will fully benefit from the fact that it comes with dual sensor technology. Therefore, you will get to know who is at your gate each time.

You can set it up with different operational speeds that are 20% faster than any other DIY gate operators. This product is perfect for those that want to set it up themselves. This is because it comes equipped with easy-to-follow instruction and 24-hour technical support. The built-in battery opens and closes the gates even if you experience a power cut.

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7. Mighty Mule FM500

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The last top quality gate opening system we are going to talk about is the Mighty Mule FM500 model which comes at the price of approximately $600. This heavy duty gate operatorcan handle single swing gates that measure up to 18 feet in length or have a maximum weight of 850 pounds. This is less than what other better-ranked models offer, this being the reason why it has received this ranking.

The types of gates it can handle include ornamental, tube, panel, wood, vinyl, or chain link. With the separate purchase of a 10W solar panel produced by Mighty Mule, you can opt for a more energy efficient operation.

In case you go with this option, you might even qualify for a 30 percent residential energy efficient property tax credit. Therefore, you might even have a lot to gain if you go with this model. The easy DIY installation of this product ensures you won’t need to call in a professional for this procedure.

It comes with a 12V battery, a single remote transmitter, and a control box that is spacious enough for a second 12V battery. Also, it’s backed up by an 18-month warranty.

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6. Ghost Controls TSS1XP

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Security and convenience are extremely important for homeowners, both of these needs being covered with the installation of the Ghost Controls TSS1XP. To purchase this product, you have to spend approximately $500, but you can get a better deal depending on the place where you buy it from.

It’s solar power compatible, this option being viable due to the fact that the product comes with a 10W solar panel. This option increases the energy efficiency and the Eco-friendliness of the product. It’s designed to work best for tube gates, but it can handle working with any type of swing gate measuring up to 20 feet as well.

The push-to-open installation ensures you won’t require the help of a professional for this task. Best of all, it has a fast open or close time. When you purchase this product, you receive a gate opener arm with a 6-foot cable, a 10W solar panel, a system control box, a 3-button remote transmitter, an AC transformer, a battery harness, mounting brackets, fasteners, and an installation manual. When it comes to warranty, this product is covered by a lifetime warranty for the gear and motor, and an 18-month warranty for the rest of the parts.

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5. E8 400MM

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Another renowned brand in this market is E8, being responsible for the release of the amazing 400MM model. Coming at the reasonable price of approximately $440, this top of the line gate opener doesn’t sacrifice quality at all, despite the fact that it’s cheaper than other high-end models.

It is compatible with dual gates measuring up to 26 feet in length, or which have a maximum weight of 1200 pounds. This stat solely should be more than enough to understand the amazing capacity and performance of the product.

It features a useful battery backup that ensures the opener will function even when there’s a power outage. Therefore, there are no circumstances under which you will need to get out of the car to open and close the gate. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that this model is solar compatible. This means you can go for a more energy efficient option as well.

Also, if you opt for the solar power operation, you will even qualify for a 30 percent residential energy efficient property tax credit. In the package that comes when you purchase this product, you will find a dual stainless steel arm operator, two release keys, a receiver with three remote transmitter units, a control box, a backup 7AH lead acid battery, a transformer, two primary wall brackets, two secondary brackets, bolts and nuts for the brackets, a safety decal, two-door holding brackets, and an installation manual. To conclude our review, we mention that this product is backed up by a 1-year warranty.

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4. Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR

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A solar power automatic system which is designed for single leaf swing gates that weigh a maximum of 550 pounds, and measure up to 16 feet in length, the EZGO-SOLAR is one of our favorite products in this market. When it comes to gate type, know that it is compatible with all of the – panel, tube, ornamental, chain link, or wood. It comes at a reasonable price considering its performance, and the easy installation makes it perfect for the DIYer.

It comes with two remote controls which allow a convenient opening and closing of the gate from the comfort of your car or house. With the kit comes a 5-watt solar panel that you can use to charge the battery which powers the system in an Eco-friendly manner.

As it is a one-piece system, the installation is made even easier. It is encased in a durable ABS housing that ensures durability, and the mounting brackets it comes with are made with cast aluminum. Additionally, the manufacturing company backs it with a 1-year warranty against defects in parts and workmanship, so you don’t need not worry about reparation or replacement costs during this period of time.

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3. Ghost Controls TDS2XP

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As you can install this gate opener on any swing-type gate which measures a maximum of 20 feet, or that weighs up to 300 pounds, after installing it enjoying the luxury of entering your driveway without having to get out of the car and open the gates, we had to include it in our top.

What makes it rank so high, at least one of the main reasons, is because this automatic opener is actually solar powered – it comes with a 10-watt monocrystalline solar panel, so it makes for an Eco-friendly acquisition as well. Although not the cheapest purchase out there, it’s still worth every cent as it comes with everything you need, and the installation of this kit is as simple as it can get.

Furthermore, there is an installation manual that comes along with it and makes the whole procedure even more simplistic. It comes with two standard 3-button remote transmitters which you can use to open and close the gates as needed from the comfort of your car or house. It comes with the useful SafeForce feature which limits the amount of force that the system uses so that the moving gate won’t exert too much force on objects, people, or animals that cross its path.

In addition, the manufacturing company provides a lifetime warranty on the motor of this gate opener, as well as the gearbox. For all the other components, an 18-month warranty is provided, a warranty which can be extended to 24 months if you register the product online.

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2. Mighty Mule MM562

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Mighty Mule is a company that has made a name for itself in this market, offering customers a wide variety of top of the line gate openers in order to make their lives easier. The best model they have produced up to this point is definitely the MM562.

This amazing model can handle heavy duty dual swing gates that measure up to 18 feet in length or have a maximum of 850 pounds per leaf. The types of dual gates it can handle include tube, panel, ornamental, vinyl, wood, or chain link. It’s powered by a 12V 7 amp-hour battery.

Also, due to the fact that it’s solar compatible, you can purchase the Mighty Mule 5W solar panel or the Mighty Mule 10W solar panel separately in order to enjoy a more energy efficient operation. It comes with a single-button remote, an AC transformer, a control box, a 12V 7 amp-hour battery, the required hardware for the installation process, and a user manual with an interactive DVD. When it comes to warranty, this model is backed up by the manufacturer for 18 months.

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1. US Automatic 020320 Sentry 300

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US Automatic has hit the jackpot with the release of the 020320 Sentry 300, defying all expectations and delivering a high-quality product to customers. It’s a model that has received only great reviews from those who have already bought it due to its magnificent operation, this being the reason why we had to rank it as being the best product of this kind on the market. It might come at a spicy price, costing approximately $950, but it’s definitely worth investing in it because it’s highly dependable.

This model can operate farm gates measuring up to 20 feet in length, chain link gates that measure up to 14 feet in length, and ornamental iron gates that measure up to 14 feet in length. Also, it has a compression rating of 1000 pounds. The open and close time it offers is typically 16 seconds, which means you won’t waste time at all waiting for the opener to do its job.

It’s powered by a 12V DC battery which has two charging options, more precisely with the help of the included AC transformer or the US Automatic solar kit. If you opt for the solar panel, you will qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit. You can do the installation procedure on your own due to the fact that it’s incredibly easy and it only takes approximately 1 hour. Best of all, this product is covered by a generous 3-year warranty.

Top 5 Comparison

1. US Automatic 020320 Sentry 300 2. Mighty Mule MM562 3. Ghost Controls TDS2XP 4. Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR 5. E8 400MM
US Automatic 020320 Sentry 300 Image Mighty Mule MM562 Image Ghost Controls TDS2XP Image Mighty Mule EZGO-SOLAR Image E8 400MM Image
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Maximum Door Size Suitability
20 feet(L) 18 feet(L) 20 feet(L) 16 feet(L) 26 feet(L)
Battery Type
12V DC 12V 12V Lead Acid Solar Powered Solar Powered
Comes with 2 remote transmitters Solar capable if you buy a Mighty Mule solar panel separately Comes with two standard remote transmitters Perfect for single swing gates Designed to work with dual gates
Maximum Door Weight
1000 pounds 850 pounds 300 pounds 550 pounds 1200 pounds
3-Years 18-Months Lifetime warranty on motor and gear assembly, and 18 months for the remaining parts 1-Year 1-Year

Buying Guide

No doubt about it, an automatic opener for your gate is useful and can save you a lot of time and effort but for it to be a great purchase, it must be exactly what you are looking for. Knowing what to look for in a product will guarantee the best performance so here is a quick buying guide to narrow down your options.

Measure your gate

What you first need to do is know the size of your gate so you will choose a model that will be powerful enough to handle it. Different models have different powers that are related to the height and length of the gate. If you want the opener to be energy efficient and not require too much energy to be able to pull the gates, you must pick one that can handle the size of the gate. The weight of the gate is equally important as the size because it can also overburden the opener.

Choose a type of opener

The market provides several types which can fit single or dual gates and this is an important aspect to consider. Depending on your gate design, you must look for units that can handle the gate and can be installed on the gate, overhead, or underground. Also, it’s important if the gate swings or slides because this influences the type of the opener as well. If the door swings, take into consideration if it slides in one piece or in two pieces.

Consider the power source

It must be powered in a certain way, usually from an AC power source, meaning you will have to ensure a power supply near the gate. If this is not possible, you have the option of purchasing a solar-powered unit that doesn’t require a power supply. Also, it’s useful to go for a unit with a battery backup to prevent unpleasant situations in case the power runs out. Luckily, the best products available include all three power sources for the highest convenience.

Will the column sustain the opener?

The majority of the gate openers are installed on the columns of the gate so you need to analyze how solid and large they are in order to provide enough room for the unit. Check the hinges of the gates as well to see how easy and smooth they slide or swing to ensure the device will not be overwhelmed while opening and closing the gates.

How often will you open the gates?

This detail counts when choosing the type of opener and the price. If you will install it on a second gate which you open once a day or only occasionally, you can go for a cheaper model of lower power. If the gate is intensely used, you are better off with a more powerful and reliable model.

How Do they Work

If you are too, here is a short description of their operating mode.
There are two main types available, namely hydraulic and electromechanical. The first type uses a fluid to operate the mechanism which opens and closes the door while the second relies on electricity. They are usually controlled by a remote that allows you to operate them from a distance. The most common type used is the electromechanical one so manufacturers have developed solar panels that recharge them in order to ensure efficiency even if the electricity is shut down.
Depending on the way they operate, these devices are split into 3 categories, as follows:

  • Articulated gate openers

    They use an arm to control the gate and can be installed on any gate, regardless of the width. The arm opens the gate the same way you would open a door or a window, by retracting inwards. It’s installed on the pylon which sustains the gate and depending on how wide and heavy the gate is, you can place it at the base or in the middle of the pylon. In case you have double gates, you will have to purchase a model for sectional gates that includes two units on each side of the gate.

  • Underground gate openers

    Also known as “Under-gate Jack openers”, these use a pivot point of the gate to maneuver it directly without the need for a stretching arm. They are more subtle and you can hardly notice they are installed but they are not very solid either, being easy to vandalize.

  • Sliding gate openers

    As the name itself suggests, this type uses a sliding mechanism which pulls the door to the side to open it and slides it back to the middle to close it. It’s perfect for limited spaces where you can’t open the gate by rotating it around its own axis.

Why It Is an Investment Worth Making?

There are numerous purchases all homeowners must make, so the inevitable question arises – is it really worth investing in an automatic gate opener? With the popularity of the device going continuously up, you might be tempted to think you will not reap too many benefits from it. As a matter of fact, there are numerous ways in which the opener will make your life easier and provide enhanced protection in some situations as well. Find out more by reading the following lines.

  • Enhanced security: Security is imperative for any homeowner as we all have valuable belongings on our properties, in our garages, and in our homes. By installing the automatized gate opener, you enhance home security as you prevent robbers from entering and trying to steal your car, for example. Without the device installed, the gate is predisposed to easily being opened by robbers, thus your vehicle being in danger of getting stolen when you are asleep or away on vacation.
  • Consistency in functionality: As the gate opener automatically closes behind you when you leave the premises of your property in your vehicle, you are ensured that there does not exist the possibility of you forgetting it open anymore. Thus, there is a real consistency in its functionality as you will not witness any problems with the mechanical parts or other elements, the opener automatically functioning without requiring any effort on your part except for periodical maintenance work.
  • Increased convenience: By installing the gate opener, you do not have to waste time opening and closing the gate yourself each and every time you leave or arrive home. Thus, we must mention the convenience advantage the device brings to the table. You just sit in the car and let the door open on its own, and as you leave, simply press the button for it to close. No more having to get out of the vehicle to do it yourself, which is great especially when the bad weather comes or when you are in a hurry.