Well, it’s finally here and this is our Ryobi Garage Door Opener review. Last month we told you about this cool new product from Ryobi and this was just one of those products we knew we had to try out. For me, this has to be one of the most exciting products in the tool world for 2016. This isn’t any garage door opener, it’s a modular garage door opener, which means it’s expandable. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t Ryobi a tool company? Well funny you ask because yes they are. Ryobi didn’t just want to create a garage door opener because really, what fun is that? They wanted to take the garage door openers to the next level. So now that we have had some time with it, what do we think?
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Overview
Before we jump into the Ryobi Garage Door Opener review, you should have a little background on the system. As I stated this is a modular system which means it’s much more than a garage door opener. This is a garage door opener that you can accessorize. You can add a fan, a Bluetooth speaker, a cord real, a parking assist and very soon, a carbon monoxide detector. Ryobi decided to design this opener with a 2HP motor, which is much bigger than your traditional residential opener. They also decided to incorporate a Belt drive system which tends to be one of the quieter systems available. Check out our Garage Door Opener Guide to learn more about garage door openers. When you buy the garage door opener, which is sold through The Home Depot, you get the opener, 2 remotes, the inside wired keypad and the outside wireless wall keypad. You also get your typical two safety sensors. Another cool feature is you can download an app for your iPhone or Android to control your garage door through your phone. Okay, so you think that is cool? Well how about using your Ryobi 18V battery as a battery back up. Not only can you use the battery, but it will also charge your battery. Heads up thinking on Ryobi’s part. Okay, but how many openings do you get with the battery back up? How about over 100 uses just with the battery. Now, if you need more than that, I think you have bigger problems with your electric company. The system is Wi-Fi and HomeLink compatible. Still not enough? Well how about a Ryobi lifetime warranty on the motor and belt and 3 years on everything else.
Quality of the Ryobi Garage Door Opener
I know a ton of people are going to wonder about the overall quality of the system. Well this is just something we can’t answer right off the bat. Because this system is new to the market, there hasn’t been a ton of feedback as of yet. Now Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., which makes Milwaukee Tool and Ryobi are the makers of this garage door opener. They aren’t going to a third party and just sticking their name on it. With that being said, Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. does make quality products. They have really invested into their Ryobi line and have been making huge strides with this brand. The quality has grown by leaps and bounds just over the last 5 or 10 years. So with all that we know about the company, as of today I am very confident these will be a winner.
As far as the product itself. The opener and especially the rails seem top quality. Again, we can’t see the inside, but they appear quality. Both key pads seem to be great, but again, this is only something we will see once we have been using it long term. The door remotes don’t seem really bad, while they are small, they seem pretty good when you press the buttons. You know how sometimes you can press a button on a product and you get that cheap feeling? Well not with these. I am really not going to go into the quality because anything I say from here is just speculation. This is something that really needs to be tested long term. However I am very confident in Ryobi and them producing a high quality garage door opener.
Installing the Ryobi Garage Door Opener
This was one of the easiest products I have ever put together, but that is primarily because Dan did all the reading and just told me what to do. First, we took off the old garage system. Since I already had a garage door opener in place, this pretty much just fit right into place. We had to add a couple brackets, assemble the three piece rail assembly and make a few minor adjustments and it was up. This is only my second garage door opener I ever installed, so I can’t really compare it compared to other installs. However since I haven’t installed too many, it was easy enough for a novice like myself and Dan to get this system up and running in no time. Ryobi decided to include a nice quick reference guide with a simple step by step sheet for easy installs. They have a nice big book that comes with it, but that seemed to be pretty much written by lawyers as every page had big warnings. If the quick reference guide doesn’t work for you, Ryobi created a video with a step by step process on how to install the system. I think one thing that could have helped, but not a huge deal would be to separate the nuts, bolts and screws into different packages. All these items come in one plastic bag. I have seen other products where they will put the right parts in one plastic bag and label it for what it goes with, then another plastic bag would have different parts with a different label.
Programming The Ryobi System
Once the system is up, you will need to program everything. You have to program the wireless keypad, the two remotes, modules and garage door traveling rate. Again, I thought this was easy and the directions where a piece of cake to follow. I am not sure what I was expecting, but the wireless keypad has the directions right on it. In a couple of steps, it was ready to be mounted to the wall. Programming the two remotes was also a snap. The easiest thing was the modules, which are pretty much plug and play. Take the fan for example. I plugged it into bay 3 and I was done. I could walk over to the wall mount, hit the number 3 button on the keypad and the fan would turn on. If I hit it again, the fan would go to low. How easy is that? If you want even more control, the app will actually let you adjust it to a variety of speeds. You will have to program how high and low you want your garage door to open and close. Again, this was very straight forward. In the end, I really can’t complain about anything with the programming of the system. If you can read, hit a couple of buttons, you won’t have a problem with this at all.
The Ryobi Garage Door Opener
As I said this comes with a 2HP motor which by residential standards is pretty beefy. As for the opener, I have to say it’s extremely quiet. The belt system is nice and is not very noisy. I had a direct drive or screw system before. While that was quiet, I feel like this system is much quieter. Now I forgot to test the speeds of my old opener, but this one does seem a little quicker. Again, it’s hard to tell how fast a garage door should really open and close. The only reason I say this one seems faster is by measuring my walking. Yes, my walking. I have a detached garage and have to walk about 15′ to my back door. Once I close my door, I always do a visual double check to make sure it is closed. With my old system, I could walk through my back door, take my shoes off (I just slip them off) and I would have to sit there for a couple of seconds to make sure it closed. With the Ryobi, by the time I am at my back door, I can just turn around and see the garage door was closed. Yes, we are very scientific here at Tools in Action. I have to say one thing I really loved about my old garage door opener that the Ryobi doesn’t have is a remote audible alert. The remote was a two way remote, so when I was in the house and hit the remote, I could hear a beep, letting me know the garage door received the signal and was opening. With the Ryobi garage door remote, I don’t get that audible alert and just have to assume the transmission went through and the door is opening.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – App
As I noted you can download an app for your iPhone or Android which allows you to control the whole system from your phone. Overall, Ryobi did a great job with the design, very easy to use and functional. With the app you can open and close your garage door, plus see the status of the door. So say you are sitting at a game and it dawns on you, you know the feeling. You ask yourself, “did I close the garage door?”. Well now you can just open the app and it will tell you if your garage door is open or closed. Guess someone needs to come up with an app for your iron. Not only can you control your garage door, but you can control your modules. You can see what accessory is plugged into which module bay and also control certain functions. For the speaker, you can turn it on or off. For the fan, you can increase or decrease the speed. There are other functions like notifications, account settings, back up battery status, open height and more. The whole point is this app is really useful. Not only does it look nice, it actually is functional.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Lighting
Since we are doing a Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review, I think it’s pretty important to cover the lighting. While some may look at this as an after thought, I feel this is pretty important. Now I looked around and can’t find how many lumens ratings. For some reason 1,000 lumens sticks in my head. A 1,000 lumens is roughly about a 75 watt light bulb. Looking at the lighting at night, to me it looks about right. Now for some, this is plenty of light. For me, I wish it was brighter. My old system had two 100W light bulbs in place and it would really light up my garage. I have other lights in my garage, so it’s not a huge deal. However, sometimes I just wanted to grab something out of a drawer. When I went into the garage, the garage light would come on and it would be plenty of light for me to see. With the Ryobi, while it does a great job, it’s just not something I am use to. I would have really liked to see them add some more lights. I think a great place would be on the lip of the unit where it says Ryobi. You can add an extra strip to each side, however they would then have to move the program feature. I think that would do a great job in shining a ton more light and in a wider direction. Even if they would have added a third row of lights on the bottom, I think it would have been a big step in getting more light. This isn’t a huge deal because some people don’t want a ton of light. I still love the LED lights and would take this any day over the halogen lights.
Another issue I see with the light is for the cover to be able to be cleaned. Now maybe there is a way and I just don’t see it. But it looks like the light cover is permanently on the unit. That would be fine if the lighting was sealed, but it’s not. On the top of the garage door unit, it has some holes where dirt and bugs can get down into the light cover. Once on the cover, I don’t see a way to clean it. Again, maybe you can and I just haven’t discovered a way. I am more worried about what the cover will look like 5 to 10 years from now. If I find a way, I will update this part of the Ryobi garage door opener review
You can turn on or off the lights using either the Ryobi app or the button on the inside wall pad. On the bottom of the unit, there lays a sensor. The sensor works off motion, so when you open the door, the light will come on. Even if you have the door open for a long time, as long as the unit senses motion, it will stay on. You can set how long the light will stay on using the app. You can set it from 1 minute to 10 minutes.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Battery Back Up
As you know, Ryobi is a huge power tool company and they have one of the largest 18V lines of power tool batteries. So it’s only natural they are using one of their 18V batteries as a battery back up for the opener. To me this is so cool and I love the idea. Ryobi makes some great batteries, so you know these will last. Okay, so here is what’s cool. Not only will it act as a battery back up for your garage door, it will also charge your battery. The system will sense the battery is losing a charge over time and then it will start a charging cycle. So you always know where to find a fully charged battery. For some, this might not be too cool because their opener is so high off the ground. For me, I am 6′ tall and my opener is about 8′ off the ground, so I can easily get to the battery without getting a ladder. Really compared to other openers on the market, how cool is this? It’s a battery you can trust. Now I haven’t tested it, but according to Ryobi, you get about 100 opens from a single charged battery. So if your power goes out, you always know that the battery back up is fully charged to do the job it was intended to do.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Bluetooth Speaker GDM120
I am so happy they included this as a module on the system. How cool is it to listen to your music while hanging out in the garage? Is this the best speaker I have ever heard, no definitely not. But for the size, it does a decent job. The speaker is not rich in bass and you can not control the bass or treble from your app on your phone, which I am fine with. For me it’s great to have that background music going when I am hanging out in the garage. When I really want to do my headbanging, I am going for another radio, but I know my neighbors don’t like me that day either. The speaker projects a quality sound where I can hear the voices and instruments in a great manner. Again, don’t go into this thinking you’re getting a Bose or some great bass speaker. I love listening to background music and this is perfect. But wait that’s not all. Since it’s Bluetooth, you can even do hands free talking. We all know those people who talk way too much. You try to do everything to get off the phone with them and they keep coming up with new things to say. Well now they won’t waste your time. You can listen to them over the speaker and keep doing what you were doing before they called. Have to say, I love this feature.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Cord Reel GDM330
This is a must have. How much does it suck getting out that extension cord and then having to get the tangles out, use it for a little bit and roll it up again? Wow, I sound lazy. But seriously, this is a great module. The cord reel is 30′, so it has some length to take it around your garage. What I like about it is the cord reel has three outlets instead of just one. Ryobi even designed it with a green light which is a live wire indicator. While the speaker takes up one bay, the cord reel takes up two bays. On the actual opener, there is an outlet on each side of the unit. The cord reel has a plug that fits into your standard outlet along with going into both modules. So you will lose two bays if you decide to use this accessory. Don’t worry, you still have two on the back, two on the other side and one in the front. Not really much to talk about this accessory, but I like the length and love the fact that it’s out of the way.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Fan GDM421
If you are familiar with the Ryobi fan P3310 or the P3320, you will notice they are pretty much the same fan. However I did notice one thing that was different with this fan and that was the blades. On the two free standing fan blades, the blades have a flat surface, while this garage fan has little dimples on the end of the blades. These dimple are supposed to make the fan quieter, which is a plus. In regards to air movement, I am pretty sure they are about the same CFM, but I couldn’t find stats on these garage fans. For me and using this fan in this manner, I am not looking for a hurricane. Personally I just like the air movement instead of the dead air just sitting there when I am in the garage. However this does have a nice feature, it has two pivot points, which means you can just about point it in any direction you want. You can adjust the fan one of two ways. First, you can use the inside wall mode and hit the corresponding bay number. So say you have it in bay 3. On the inside wall mount, just hit the number 3 button and you will turn the fan on high. Every time you press the number 3 button, you will lower the speed and/or turn it off. With the app, you have a sliding bar where you can really dial in the fan speed, if you like more control over your air movement. Again this is a fan, it does what it’s supposed to do and I really don’t have any complaints about it. I love the dual pivot points and being able to control the speeds. Overall it does a decent job moving air around your garage or hitting you with a nice breeze.
Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review – Parking Assist GDM222
This is another cool feature that Ryobi created as an accessory. This is something I am not going to get any use of since I don’t park in the garage. For those who do, this is a great way to get rid of your tennis ball parking assist. With this system, it has two lasers which means you can use it for a double car garage. The lasers will not activate until the door opens, so that way they are not always on. This is a great way to insure you will always park in the same spot and not bump into your walls or hit your kids toys and have to listen to them cry about it. We all know homes are getting smaller and smaller garages, so this is a perfect add on.
Ryobi garage Door – Carbon Monoxide Detector
I really can’t speak for this as this module isn’t out. Expect it to be available through The Home Depot in July 2016.
Things I would like to see changed with the opener
Overall I love this system. I love the design, I love the power and love that you can accessorize it. However there are always things that can be improved on with any product.
As I said before, I would love for the lights to be brighter and also have a way to clean out the light cover. While I love the app, I would like to see two things changed. First, when you open the garage door with your app, it has a visual of the garage door and tells me it’s opening. It also tells me when it’s open and at what time. However I would love to be able to hear an audible alert when the door opens or closes. I don’t need a song or music, just a little beep when the garage is fully open or closed, just so I don’t have to stare at my phone while the operation of opening or closing is going on. I know this is something they can probably add to updates, so that is one request. There are times where I am in the front yard and my kids want something out of the garage. When I open the garage for them, I would love to be able to just set my phone back down and hear a beep knowing they won’t be running back telling me it’s not open. In the app, there is a setting for notifications. As an example, you can set a notification if your garage door opens up after 7:30 in the evening. I would love for the app to throw up a notification on your phone. Currently it just sends me an email every time the door opens, which does no good since I really don’t check my email. I would love to have some notification on the phone pop up letting me know that the garage opened either from a remote, the wall pad or another phone. Again, maybe this is something that you can already do and I just haven’t discovered the way.
Okay here is my biggest thing that really bugs me. When I close the door, the lights flash and I hear a constant beeping letting me know the garage door is closing. I am not sure if this is a law or some lawyers who got together, but I wish it would go away. Yes, I understand safety is important and I understand that people get hurt by garage doors, but it’s annoying. Really to me it defeats the purpose of having a quiet garage door. If I am going to listen to this noise, why do I care if the garage door system is quiet or not? Couldn’t I just go with a chain drive that makes all the racket. For me the belt system is beautiful. It’s quiet and graceful, please don’t take that away with lights flashing and beeping. I am not into dancing and don’t need help turning my garage into a disco studio. I have the safety sensors to protect crushing hazards. Yes, I understand that people get their fingers caught in the tracks and the safety sensors don’t help. Now for the helicopter parent, this is a great feature, but just isn’t for me. Is it enough to effect me and stop me from buying the unit? Heck no, because there are too many pluses to this system. Is it enough for me to complain about it? Yes.
Again, maybe some of these things you can do and I just haven’t discovered how to do them. Remember I am the guy who calls the TV repair man when my TV doesn’t work and pays $150 for him to tell me the TV is unplugged. Speaking of that, are there even TV repair men around anymore? Maybe not, maybe they were replaced by your ten year old technology gurus.
Final Thoughts of the Ryobi Garage Door Opener Review
Overall I think this is a game changer. Here is a product that is up and out of the way and has power, so why not do something else with it instead of only opening your garage door? I love the fact that there are so many modules and open bays, so you can customize it the way you want. While I wish the LED was a little brighter and there was a way to clean the plastic cover, I think Ryobi hit a grand slam with this one. The app has an easy to use design and the inside keypad makes running this system a snap. Leave it to Ryobi to not only create an exceptional product, but a completely different and useful product. I love this garage door system. I will be interested to see if they add more accessories to the unit over time. Next time you’re at The Home Depot, you have to take a look at this system. With a Lifetime Warranty on Motor and Belt, plus a 3 Year Warranty on everything else, it’s hard to beat.