Nothing excites me more than getting new toys for my garage, but getting excited about a new garage door opener is tough.
Don’t get me wrong, a jackshaft garage door opener won’t change your world. But once you have one, you’ll wonder how you got along without it.
Jackshaft, or wall-mounted garage door openers, mount on the wall next to the door. Because it’s right next to your garage door, you don’t need a center rail like most garage door openers.
That opens up that entire area for storage, lighting, or a fan.
As a bonus, it’s quieter than a belt or chain drive garage door opener.
That’s why I’m so excited to unveil my list of the best jackshaft garage door openers.
Keep reading if you’re in the market to buy a new garage door opener but don’t know where to start or just want to learn more.
I’ll share my top picks and then tell you what you should look for when purchasing one of these garage openers.
Best Wall Mount Garage Door Opener: LiftMaster 8500W
The 8500W is the latest version of LiftMaster’s wall mount, jackshaft garage door opener. With it’s feature set and history, it’s easy to see why it’s the best wall mount garage door opener on this list.
The LiftMasters 8500W has a built-in, automatic deadbolt feature that securely locks your garage door after closing. It also includes a wireless, 1500-lumen LED light so that your garage lights up upon entering.
Furthermore, the LiftMaster 8500W connects to Wi-Fi, so you can control the opener with your smartphone.
It even works with Amazon Key, automatically opening your garage door for the Amazon delivery driver.
They’ll drop your package inside your garage, and the door will automatically close. Plus, you get real-time updates to monitor your deliveries from your smartphone.
But that’s not what makes the LiftMaster 8500W the best.
First off, the garage door battery backup makes this a standout side mount opener. This ensures you can still open and close your garage door, even when the power goes out.
For those who don’t own an emergency generator, this can be a huge convenience in the event of a blackout or hurricane. With a battery backup, you’re never locked in or out of your garage.
Secondly, the 8500W, unlike LiftMaster’s other wall-mounted garage door openers, the 8500 and 98022, is a smart garage door opener. It has native support for the LiftMaster\Chamberlain myQ smartphone app.
- Wall mount design frees up ceiling space in your garage, reduces noise and vibration.
- Built-in Wi-Fi® allows for smartphone control with the myQ® app.
- Battery Backup allows you to open/close your door even when the power is out.
- Automatic Garage Door Lock deadbolts your door after closing.
Runner-up Wall-Mount Garage Door Opener: Chamberlain RJO20
Coming in second place is the Chamberlain RJO20 opener. This is Chamberlain’s premier side mount opener with top-tier features and accessories.
The RJO20 takes a lot of technology from LiftMaster, which makes sense.
The Chamberlain RJO20 is on this list because it’s similar to the LiftMaster 8500. However, it adds Wi-Fi connectivity for the same price.
Since it connects to Wi-Fi, you can control your garage door from Chamberlain’s smartphone app. That means you can open or close it with a button. You can also schedule when you want your door and lights to turn on and off.
If you’re trying to create a smart, connected home, the Chamberlain RJO2 also syncs with other smart devices.
Like many garage door openers, it includes security features that prevent the door from closing on top of obstructions like toys or lounging pets. It also guards against forced openings with the included deadbolt.
So, why does the Chamberlain RJO20 come in second place when it seems so similar to the Liftmaster 8500W?
It doesn’t include a battery backup.
I’ve had my power go out for a few days, so a battery backup is a must-have feature in my next garage door opener.
However, this is an excellent side-mount garage door opener if you don’t need a battery backup. It’s still one of the top garage door openers and should be a serious contender if you want to upgrade your garage door opener.
- Wall mount virtually eliminates noise and vibrations.
- Includes Internet Gateway for smartphone control with myQ.
- Automatic Garage Door Lock deadbolts your garage door every time it closes.
- Works with Amazon Key: Enables convenient and secure In-Garage Delivery.
Cheapest Jackshaft Garage Door Opener: Genie 6072H
If you only need the basics and don’t want to break the bank, the Genie 6072H may be perfect.
Before we dive into how the Genie 6072H cuts costs, let’s examine its features.
First, the Genie 6072H is HomeLink & Car2U compatible, a feature in certain cars that allows you to open and close your garage door without needing a remote.
Its compact design is only 6.8 inches wide x 14.5 inches tall. But just because it’s compact doesn’t mean it compromises power or muscle. In fact, the Genie 6072H can open an 18-foot-wide garage door weighing an impressive 850 lbs.
The Genie also comes with a battery backup, which is necessary for getting inside during a power outage. If you live in California, you are required to have a backup battery for your garage door opener.
The Genie also comes with:
- a wireless wall console
- a Bluetooth LED light
- an Intellicode remote,
- and a remote door lock for premier service.
Additionally, the Safe-T-Pulse internal slack cable detection system ensures safe door travel.
However, the Genie doesn’t have many premier features that the LiftMaster 8500W or the Chamberlain RJO20 comes with.
For example, the Genie does not come with Wi-Fi. That means you lose many great features, like syncing with your Amazon account or checking whether your garage door is open while sitting on your couch.
That means the Genie 6072H is significantly cheaper than its counterparts.
So if you’re in the market for a wall-mount garage door opener, but don’t want to shell out as much money, look at the Genie 6072.
- Automatic battery backup ensures your access to the garage
- Compact space-saving design w/ the power to lift an 850 lbs. door
- HomeLink® & Car2U® compatible (No external repeater box or bridge needed.)
Best Light-Duty Commercial: LiftMaster LJ8950W
If you’re looking for a side garage door opener for your small business, consider the LiftMaster LJ8950W.
This high-powered machine is designed to lift larger garage doors in light-duty commercial spaces or residential roll-up garage doors. Thus it has a higher-duty cycle motor capable of working harder and longer.
Another great benefit to the LiftMaster LJ8950W?
It has extended hardware life, which means it has an impeccably smooth start and stops operation.
Like many other LiftMaster products, the LJ8950W includes a backup battery. As I’ve said, this is a must-have feature if you get power outages or live in a disaster-prone area. It ensures 24/7 access to the facility, even if the product malfunctions or inclement weather shuts down the power.
Finally, the LiftMaster LJ8950W comes with myQ Smart Facility Access. This cloud-based software provides real-time data and analytics about your door’s operation.
With it, you can analyze the load, turn and dwell time at each dock in the facility. This means you can make better, data-driven decisions about your dock and can help you make more informed decisions regarding your company.
Finally, the software also sends real-time notifications that help you improve your teams’ productivity while helping to reduce expenses.
Not too shabby for a garage door opener.
- Wallmount with smaller, lighter rolling doors and grilles.
- Rated duty cycle: Maximum 10 cycles per hour; Fewer than 25 cycles per day.
- Easily connect the operator to the facility's network with built-in Wi-Fi®.
Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Best Garage Door Openers
Since the Jackshaft (wall-mounted) garage door opener is relatively new, many homeowners are confused about what it is, how it functions, and why you should get one.
Below, we’ll take you through some commonly asked questions and their answers—everything you need to know to fully understand what a Jackshaft opener is and what it achieves.
We’ll cover what a side mount garage door opener is, why you should get one, and how much they typically cost.
What is a Jackshaft\side mount garage door opener?
A Jackshaft garage door opener that you mount on the wall next to the garage door instead of overhead on the ceiling, as you do with traditional garage door openers.
Traditional trolley-style openers pull the door up across the ceiling.
With a side mount garage door opener, the jackshaft is connected to the tube, at which point the garage door springs are attached.
What is the advantage of a side mount garage door opener?
There are a few advantages of a side-mount garage door opener. The most significant benefit is the extra space you gain when moving your garage door opener from the middle of your garage ceiling to next to the door.
Typical garage door openers take about ten or eleven inches of space.
While this may not seem like much, those extra inches add up, especially if you’re hauling items on the roof of your car, like a bike, surfboard, cargo boxes, Christmas trees, and more.
That’s not the only benefit. Side mounts are often much quieter than traditional ceiling garage door openers. Side mount garage door openers have motors, but the hum of the engines is much softer than conventional ceiling openers.
The chances that a side mount garage door opener will malfunction are much less likely than ceiling openers.
This is because there are fewer parts with a side mount. In fact, side mounts don’t have chains or belts.
There’s less likelihood that the opener will malfunction with fewer parts, and the system is much easier to maintain and take care of overall.
How does a Jackshaft garage door opener close the door?
You may be amazed to watch a side-mount garage door opener seamlessly open and close your door with seemingly little effort.
How does it work?
The key is in the torsion bar.
The garage door opener connects to your door’s torsion bar and moves it up and down. It does this by clicking on a shaft where your door’s springs are installed. Once it connects, it can do a full-vertical lift and even lift high doors.
Any jackshaft garage door opener can easily lift doors to 14 or 15 feet high. And when you compare these openers to trolley openers, the side-mount openers have a similar installation process.
The only equipment you’ll need is an electrical outlet next to the opener for it to plug in and take power.
You gain extra security features, accessories, and more, with a side-mount opener than a typical overhead trolly opener.
What are the best garage door opener brands?
As you might expect, the best garage door opener brands are Genie, Chamberlain, and LiftMaster, which is why these companies have earned spots on our list.
These companies have been in business for decades and have finessed their designs to craft excellent garage door openers with superior functionality over those years.
If you’d like to check out some more excellent garage door opener brands, check out this article that details a few other companies worth checking out.
Do you really need a garage door opener?
Unless you want to pull up your garage door old school, you need a garage door opener.
In some cases, when the power goes out, people still manually pull up the garage door. Still, this method is very labor-intensive and inconvenient.
On top of that, this method isn’t very secure, as any thief could easily do the same and gain entry into your home.
Due to its easy installation process, incredible performance, and added security features, a Jackshaft garage door opener is an excellent upgrade for any home.
How long will a garage door opener last?
Your garage door opener should last between ten and fifteen years.
Still, you do need to take care of your opener to ensure it lasts its entire lifetime. You must keep up with routine maintenance of your garage door opener.
Once a year, make sure to survey the garage door opener to see if there are any problems you can see visually.
If you hear any strange noises, make sure to call a professional over to inspect your opener.
Why is shopping for garage door openers so hard?
Shopping for a new garage door opener can be an overwhelming and, at times, stressful experience. There are many different types of garage door openers, and most companies don’t do an excellent job of explaining the differences.
For one, garage door openers can cost hundreds of dollars, and you want to ensure that your investment will last many years.
Additionally, you want to ensure that the garage door opener works properly and won’t damage your garage door, vehicles, or people walking under the garage door.
Shockingly, over 2000 people get crushed by garage doors per year, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
It’s essential that you purchase a garage door opener with a proven track record of being functional, safe and can last a long time.
How much does a Jackshaft garage door opener cost?
Like any home equipment device, the prices vary greatly depending on its quality and what company manufactures the tool.
On average, the best Jackshaft garage door opener will run you from $350 to $600. Most of these garage door openers fall in the $400 range.
You also need to factor in if you plan to hire a professional to install your garage door opener. If you do, you should plan to spend another $100 to $250 for the time it will take to install.
While this may seem like a lot, spending money on a quality brand is essential.
Wrapping It Up
Choosing the best wall-mount garage door opener can revolutionize your garage’s usability and efficiency, whether for residential or light commercial use. With our detailed comparison, we hope to have streamlined your decision-making process.
The LiftMaster 8500W stands out as the best wall mount garage door opener because of its superior features, like the automatic deadbolt, Wi-Fi connectivity, battery backup, and compatibility with the myQ smartphone app. It’s a perfect choice for most homeowners, so it tops our list.
Its little brother, the Chamberlain RJO20, is a strong runner-up with its smart home compatibility and solid performance. Plus, you save a little money by not including a battery backup.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to upgrade to a jackshaft garage door opener, look at the Genie 6072H. It’s a basic, no-frills opener that still delivers impressive power.