Last summer, my garage door keypad broke, and it was such a pain in the…
At first, I didn’t think it would be a big deal.
We still had both remotes, and we could always walk the 50′ to the front of the house and go in the front door.
But I didn’t think about how that would work in the pouring rain. Or if we forgot the keys. Or if we had to let someone in and weren’t home.
The bottom line is that there are A LOT OF REASONS why you should have a garage door keypad installed, even if you only use it once or twice a year. It could be that once or twice that matters most.
Most garage door opener manufacturers will make one keypad that works with their entire model line. You can find universal keypads that will work with a variety of garage door openers. However, they’re usually harder to install and have fewer features than the manufacturer’s own dedicated wireless keypad.
Since I just went through buying a new keypad, I’ll let you in on everything I learned so that you can quickly pick the best garage door keypad for your door.
First, we’ll talk about the major garage door opener manufacturers and why that matters. Then we’ll talk about universal keypads and get a general idea of how much a keypad costs.
Finally, I’ll talk about the two garage door keypads that work with literally 95% of the garage door openers installed in the United States.
Sound good? Let’s dive in.
Garage Door Openers: Who Owns Who (And Why You Should Care)
Take a look at this chart from Statista (source) showing the market share percentage of garage door openers installed by construction firms in the United States in 2018.
At a glance, this shows LiftMaster dominating the competition with 50% of the market share.
What if I told you that Chamberlain (the #2 market share) owns LiftMaster as well?
In fact, they also own Craftsman, Raynor, and Access Master brands in the US, and Merlin and Grifco in Australia. (source) That’s around 75% of the total US market for garage door openers in one company!
The #3 company, Overhead Door, owns Genie and Wayne-Dalton, giving them 21% of the total market.
In fact, the only independent companies on this list are Linear, which makes Mighty Mule garage door openers, and Marantec, a German company with a subsidiary in the US.
Why You Should Care
In reality, with so few companies controlling so much of the market, consumers don’t have many choices.
As I showed above, a combined 95% of the market is controlled by two companies: Chamberlain and Overhead Door.
There’s little pressure on companies to innovate with new features or smart connectivity with so little competition.
On the bright side (depending on how you look at it), it really boils your choices down to the two keypads I’ll discuss a bit later on.
But first, let’s talk about the myth of a universal keypad – and why you shouldn’t ever buy one unless you have no other option.
Are Garage Door Keypads Universal?
This is a simple question with a complicated answer.
There’s no such thing as a “universal garage door opener” remote or keypad that will open everything ever made. No matter what, companies will try to give themselves some leeway just in case you have the one model that won’t actually work right.
Manufacturers put disclaimers on their keypads that look something like this:
- “universal frequency recognition of over 90% of all garage door openers installed in North America” – Chamberlain
- “Works on most major brands of garage door openers.” – LiftMaster
- “Works with Genie single or dual frequency openers manufactured since 1995” – Genie
That said…if you don’t have a garage door opener that will work with the keypads below, I recommend the LiftMaster 387LM.
It’s as close to a universal remote as you can get and works with most garage door openers made since 1993.
Quickly Choose the Best Garage Door Keypad
Since there’s so much overlap in garage door companies, I wondered if there was overlap in the keypads themselves.
I’ve found that companies build one keypad model and then rebrand it for each opener.
For example, the Genie GK-R and Overhead Door OKP-BX are the same keypads. The only difference is the logo at the bottom.
For that reason, I will break down my recommendations based on what garage door opener you have. Then I’ll tell you exactly what model is branded for your garage door opener.
Wireless Keypads for Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman, or Raynor Garage Door Openers
This information applies to the LiftMaster 877MAX, Chamberlain 940EV, Raynor 877MGX, and Craftsman CMXZDCG440 keypads.
One thing to note: The LiftMaster 877LM is slightly different and not backward compatible, so I’m not going to cover it here. Unless you specifically need the 877LM or there’s a fantastic sale, I highly recommend getting the 877MAX instead.
The Chamberlain\LiftMaster keypads are specifically designed to work with every Chamberlain, LiftMaster, Craftsman & Raynor garage door opener manufactured since 1993 with either a yellow, purple, orange, or green learn buttons.
- 4-digit PIN only
- Allows for a temporary PIN to be set up
- Rolling Code technology increases security
- One 9-volt battery
- Wireless only
For simplicity’s sake, I will refer to all of these models as the LiftMaster 877MAX\Chamberlain 940EV. This information applies to all models, but I want to keep it as easy to read as possible.
The LiftMaster 877MAX\Chamberlain 940EV keypads are just over six inches long with the flip-cover opened or closed. Unfortunately, it only comes in a beige color, but that’s definitely not a deal-breaker.
The rounded buttons are smaller and harder to read than the Genie’s keypad, which I think is a missed opportunity.
The LiftMaster 877MAX\Chamberlain 940EV keypads are relatively large overall.
I think there’s a lot of unused space that could be better utilized. Perhaps one with oversized buttons for older users?
Even though it’s only available in beige, I like the unit’s design better than the Genie keypad. It’s got a clean, simple design that should be easy for anyone to quickly understand.
Every garage door opener and keypad has moved to a “rolling code” security system, and the LiftMaster 877MAX\Chamberlain 940EV keypads are no different.
Marketed as Security+, a rolling code will transmit different codes from the keypad to your garage door opener every time you press the button.
This all happens behind the scenes to increase garage security without needing to remember multiple codes.
For convenience, the LiftMaster 877MAX\Chamberlain 940EV keypads can set up a temporary access code to allow visitors or contractors to open your garage door while you’re not home.
What I really like about their implementation is that you can set the code for either a certain number of hours or a certain number of uses.
For example, if you only want someone to access your garage door once, you can create a single-use code.
I like the simplicity that the Chamberlain group has created by having one keypad for all of their brands. Remember, they control around 75% of the total US market share, so that’s no easy task.
As a consumer, that keeps it simple, which I really appreciate!
- Completely wireless keypad design
- Holds four unique PIN codes
- Controls up to two Garage Door Openers
- Weatherproof slide-up protective cover
- Backlit numbers
- Works with all LiftMaster Garage Door Openers manufactured since January 1993.
Wireless Keypads for Genie or Overhead Door Garage Door Openers
Since I have a Genie garage door opener, this is the keypad I went with.
This information applies to the Genie GK-R, GK-BX, 37332R models, and the Overhead Door OKP-BX, 37227 and 37225 (except where noted below).
The Genie\Overhead Door keypads are specifically designed to work with every Genie and Overhead Door garage door openers manufactured since 1995.
- Your PIN can be between 3-8 digits in length
- Allows for a temporary PIN to be set up
- Intellicode\CodeDodger rolling code technology increases security
- The cover is available in several color options
- Two AAA batteries
- Wireless only
For simplicity’s sake, I will refer to all of these models as the Genie GK-R\Overhead Door OKP-BX. This information applies to all models, but I want to keep it as easy to read as possible.
The Genie GK-R\Overhead Door OKP-BX keypads are small, about 4″ in overall length with the cover flipped up. With the cover down, they sit at 6″ in length.
Even though the overall keypad size is smaller than the Chamberlain, the buttons are noticeably larger and easier to press.
Here’s one feature that you’ll really like if you’re concerned about your home’s security. The Genie\Overhead Door keypads can be programmed with anywhere between a 3-digit and 8-digit PIN.
They’re the only manufacturer I know that does this, and it’s a HUGE selling point.
As is the norm, the Genie GK-R\Overhead Door OKP-BX keypads have rolling code technology. Genie markets this as Intellicode technology, and Overhead Door calls this Code Dodger.
Both operate by transmitting different codes from the keypad to your garage door opener every time you press the button.
This does NOT mean that you need to memorize a different code each time. All of this happens behind the scenes to make your home more secure.
One cool feature of the Genie GK-R\Overhead Door OKP-BX openers is that you can set up a temporary code. This allows you to let visitors or maintenance workers in while you’re away.
The code will automatically disappear when you open the door with your primary PIN.
With one exception, all Genie GK-R\Overhead Door OKP-BX keypads can replace the stock white cover with different color options. Covers are available in Almost, Grey, or Tan for around $20 each.
The one exception is that the Overhead Door 37225 comes in white only, and the flip-top cover is not replaceable.
I’m pleased with my Genie GK-R keypad. The installation was quick and easy, and it does the job well.
Both the Genie GK-R and the Overhead Door OKP-BX keypads are identical except for the label. You can’t go wrong either way.
You can see how I installed the Genie garage door opener keypad here.
Genie’s Wireless Keypad has a flip up cover to protect it from the rain & snow, and backlit keys so you can easily read it in the dark. It allows you to control up to three Genie Intellicode garage door openers manufactured since 1995. Automatically switches between frequencies for increased security and reliability. You can also set up a temporary PIN so people can have access while you’re away.