4 Types Of Gate Opener (Which One Is Right For You!)

Almost any gate can be turned from manual to automatic but the way in which this is done will vary from one gate to the next. Having a gate opener is great for people who want to eliminate the hassle of opening and closing their gates every time they leave home or return to it. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a gate opener is that different gates will require different gate openers in order for the system to work correctly. In the main there are four types to choose from, let us help you better understand them. 

Underground Gate Opener

The obvious benefit of the underground gate opener is that it is much more aesthetically pleasing owing to its discretion. The motors are hidden beneath the ground and are located under the hinge end of a swing gate. However, they do require a much more detailed installation than other types of gate; holes must be drilled into the ground and there should be a good drainage system in place. As a result of this installation, you can expect to pay a higher cost. 

Often working on a chain drive system, the underground gate opener will open the gate to 180º and requires very little space to do so. This system will generally work well with swing gates that are up to five metres. 

Linear Ram Gate Opener

Linear ram gate openers are one of the most commonly used types when it comes to swing gates. They feature a pull and push piston which is mounted onto the gate and an electric motor. One of the reasons that they are so popular is that these types of gate openers are very compact and so do not need a lot of operational space, making them perfect for smaller gates and spaces. That said, there are a variety of heavy duty linear ram gate openers available that are designed for gates measuring wider than seven metres. 

Installation is considered to be relatively easy as it is a simple case of attaching the device to the gate. However, the downside is that, when mounting the pistons to the gate, the alignment has to be spot on so it may be worth having these professionally installed.

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TOPENS KD702 Dual Swing Gate Opener Light Duty Automatic Gate Motor for Double Swing Gates Up to...
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Sliding Gate Opener

In the case of a sliding gate opener, a single gate is used. This gate needs to be wider than the area it is designed to cover. For example, if your driveway entrance is 20 feet across, the gate would need to be larger than this. The gate is mounted onto a track which allows it to slide to one side when open. 

To set up a sliding gate opener, a single motor is needed and this is installed on one side of the driveway entrance. The system works using a cog and tooth mechanism with the motor output shaft joining to the toothed rack which is positioned along the inside of the gate. As the motor moves this cog, the action draws the gate to one side. 

Of course, when you opt for a sliding gate, you will need to keep in mind that the power of the motor needs to match the size of the gate. It is essential that you choose a motor that will handle a larger gate, if you have one. Attempting to operate a sliding gate opener with a too small motor will only put additional pressure on the device, causing it to wear more quickly .

A sliding gate is an excellent choice for properties where a swinging gate would cause an obstruction or where space is tight. They’re also perfect for driveways with a bend or those that are on a slope. That said, they should never be used on a sideways slope as the force of gravity may cause the gate to slide abnormally.

Articulated Arm Gate Opener

One of the best things about an articulated arm gate opener is that it is one of the easiest types to install by its very design. That said, you will typically pay a little more for this type of gate opener. But if you are looking for something that will work well with a smaller gate, this is generally the best option. 

The articulated arm gate opener features a hinged arm. This allows it to be placed around wider items such as large pillars at either side of the gate. The arm is in two parts and has an ‘elbow’ which joins the gate to the motor. While they are suited to smaller gates, there must be sufficient room for the arm to move. 

The articulated arm gate opener is usually installed on the inside of the gate so as not to affect the curb appeal of the property but in any case, they are still pretty obvious which can be off-putting for some people. That said, many opt for this type as it can be used with almost any type of swing gate and will work very well with gates that were originally installed to be manually operated. Moreover, there is the option to manually release them should there be a power failure meaning they are much more reliable. 

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SCS Sentinel - MBA0055 - Motorised Gate with Articulated Arms 24V - Automatic with 2 Remote Controls...
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Choosing the right type of gate opener for your driveway is a must since different kinds work well with certain types of gate. Check out our article about 7 best iron gates. There are four to choose from and while none of them are especially better than others, you’ll find that certain ones meet your needs more closely. For swing gates, you have many more options but if you are using a sliding gate then you must opt for a sliding automatic opener to match. 

Driveway Expert