Unlike other types of modern garage door openers, which use a stationary motor that powers a chain or belt, this garage door opener’s spring-tensioned chain is stationary, and the motor travels along the chain. The result is what users near-unanimously say is extremely quite operation. It’s not uncommon to find reviewers who used to have a chain- or belt-driven opener say that this direct-drive system produces the least noise of any model they have owned. Made in Germany, this garage door opener is sold under a couple of different brand names and model numbers, but all are identical.
Regardless of the brand/model number, because there is only one moving part, reliability should be excellent. The manufacturer notes that its technology has been tested by an independent European agency, TÜV NORD, and found to be able to operate over 80,000 or more cycles without needing maintenance. Sommer/Direct Drive backs that up by covering the entire garage door opener with a lifetime warranty; accessories such as remotes are covered for two years. Customer service gets more compliments than complaints, and we’ve seen company reps weigh in on user reviews at Amazon.com to help owners get answers or solutions to problems they have encountered. The feature line up is competitive with other top-of-the-line garage door openers. You’ll find two car remotes, a wired interior control pad, and safety beam sensors that will stop the door if they detect anything in its path. Like most modern garage door openers, rolling remote-control codes help prevent break-ins The 3/4-horsepower motor is more than sufficient for most residential garage doors, and it’s rated to handle up to 550 pounds. This garage door opener is HomeLink compatible with newer vehicles, but older vehicles, might require a repeater module to comply with current HomeLink protocols.
The Direct Drive garage door opener is not without some shortcomings, however. The most notable one is that the opener is slow compared to chain-drive and belt-drive models. That’s a big deal to some, but not to most judging from the feedback. For do-it-yourselfers, installation challenges seem lower than with other openers but are not unheard of. Some say that the rail that’s included with the opener, and rated for garage doors 8-feet high or less, is not long enough and that an extension kit needs to be purchased. HomeLink and other programming headaches appear, even among owners who are happy enough with other aspects of the garage door opener to give it strong feedback anyway.
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