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Best Screw-drive Garage Door Openers

By: Carl Laron on March 09, 2018

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Screw-drive garage door opener


Genie screw-drive openers are quick workers

Over the years, screw-drive garage door openers developed a bit of a rap for being both slow and noisy. But that was then and this is now, and our research reveals that neither is true, at least for today's better-regarded models. Modern screw-drive openers are still not the quietest type, but are notably less noisy than chain-drive models. In addition, while not every manufacturer publishes lifting speeds for every one of their openers, where they do, we found that some screw-drive openers earn bragging rights in that regard.

And that brings us to the Genie Excelerator (Est. $230). No expert has reviewed that model, but there is just enough user feedback at Home Depot (the primary retailer for this opener) to see that those who have installed one are a pretty happy bunch. It earns a 4.8 star rating there, with 99 percent of the 280 owners that leave reviews offering it a recommendation.

The Excelerator has a 1 HPc (horse power comparable) motor and claims an opening speed of up to 12 inches per second -- the fastest we've seen for any retail model. Of course, that needs to be taken with a little bit of salt as the speed is not independently verified, but user feedback indicates that regardless of the actual speed, the opener is a quick worker.

In addition to be strong, this Genie screw-drive opener is the silent type. While not everyone shares the same viewpoint, the majority of those who comment on noise say they are thrilled on that score. We saw a number of owners that say that it is notably quieter than a garage door opener it replaced, including older screw-drive models.

On the features front, most of the expected accessories are included. You'll find two remotes, a wireless keypad, a multi-function wall control and safety sensors to stop door motion if it detects an object (or person) in its path. The system also includes monitoring technology that will stop door operation (to prevent damage) should a fault condition occur. It's HomeLink and Car2U compatible. It's also Genie Aladdin compatible, but adding smart features requires the addition of the optional Genie Aladdin Connect module (Est. $95) (explained more fully in our discussion of the best belt-drive garage door openers).

For those on a budget, the Genie PowerLift (Est. $175) screw-drive garage door opener might be worth a look-see. It's the only opener in this report that uses an AC motor, which is largely held to be less desirable than a DC motor because of their higher noise and higher energy usage.

Owners don't agree, however. Like the Excelerator, it gets strong user reviews, with just enough feedback to be meaningful -- for example, a 4.6-star rating at Home Depot, with 97 percent of the more than 200 that weigh in recommending it.

There are some tradeoffs compared to the Excelerator. Its .5 HP (actual) motor isn't as powerful, with a rated opening speed of up to 7 inches per second. In addition, while the Excelerator can handle any well-balanced residential garage door, Genie places a weight limit of 500 pounds on this model -- which still should be sufficient for most uses. In terms of features, other than the lack of the self-diagnostic capability, all of what you will find in the Excelerator is offered here, including Aladdin Connect compatibility with the purchase of the optional module.

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