Liftmaster 3900 vs. 8500 (What You Need To Know – 2021?)

How we reviewed: hands-on tests, hours studying Liftmaster site, and reading 100+ customer reviews.

Liftmaster 3900

Liftmaster/Chamberlain/Sentex 3900 Light Duty Commercial Jackshaft Operator
primary 4 3

Our Rating

Starts at $599.19

  • Light-duty Commercial Standard
  • 10 Cycles per Hour
  • Heavy-duty 24VDC Motor
  • Compact Design

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Liftmaster 8500

8500 LiftMaster 2-Pack Garage Door Opener Side Mount Security+2.0 & MyQ...
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Our Rating

Starts at $859.63

  • Sleek, Space-saving Design 
  • P3 Motors
  • Runs Ultra-quiet 
  • MyQ Technology Compatible

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Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

By: John Fox

The Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 are both smart, compact, and wireless garage door openers that easily replace chunky traditional garage door openers making your garage smarter and more spacious at the same time. 

These two products are not different in terms of power or torque they apply; the only differences are extra features. In a head-to-head look at the Liftmaster 3900 vs. 8500 competition, the Liftmaster 8500 garage door opener is the clear winner.

However, both of these products have their characteristics, and the Liftmaster 3900 garage door opener can be the better option for your garage. Let’s discuss how we came to this conclusion.

Liftmaster3900

Liftmaster 3900

The Liftmaster 3900 is a wall-mounted garage door opener that fits right into the main shaft and controls the door by directly applying torque to the shaft. This is unlike traditional garage door openers mounted in front of the shaft that uses a tension string to apply torque to the shaft. 

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The Liftmaster 3900 is a wireless system that only needs a wire for power. It is operated using a wireless single-button ApBS control station. The garage door opener also comes with a protector system, a tension sensor, and obstacle sensors.

Lifmaster8500

Liftmaster 8500

The Liftmaster 8500 is a pretty similar model. This garage door opener also connects to the main shaft and applies torque directly to the shaft. The primary difference is the features.

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The Liftmaster 8500 offers way more features than the Liftmaster 3900. While the Liftmaster 3900 has a push-button control panel, the Liftmaster 8500 has a programmable MyQ control panel that allows you to customize the garage door opener fully.  The Liftmaster 8500 also has many other features discussed below.

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Features

Liftmaster 3900

Liftmaster 8500

Item Package Quantity

1

2

Material

Alloy Steel

Alloy Steel

Batteries Required?

  • No
  • No

Info current as of 10/08/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Liftmaster 3900 vs. 8500: Features Face-off

Power

Liftmaster Power

The primary concern most people have about these garage door openers is if they will supply enough power. That is understandable, considering how small these garage door openers are compared to traditional ones. Another concern is that these garage door openers only supply torque from one side, which may increase energy losses.

Both the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 produce a rotational torque of 255 in-lb. This, for a standard shaft, amounts to a lifting force of 650 pounds. In theory, both of these garage door openers can open a door that weighs 650 pounds. However, if your garage door has much friction, this limit would go down to about 650 pounds. (1)

However, you probably will not have to worry about this as this limit is way too much for even double doors. Double doors weigh somewhere between 150-225 lbs. This means that the torque produced by both of these machines can make enough force to lift virtually any garage door.

The number 650 pounds is meant for a standard shaft, and the force goes down as you increase the shaft diameter. However, these garage door openers can provide enough force to lift the door even if you have a 2″ main shaft. However, you will need to buy a separate coupler since the included coupler is only meant for standard shafts.

The limit is the maximum door width. While the Liftmaster 3900 can support a door up to 18 feet wide, the maximum width supported by the Liftmaster 8500 is 12 feet. This is because the Liftmaster 3900 uses a jackshaft mechanism that is better at supplying torque to longer shafts than the internal chain and sprocket mechanism used in the Liftmaster 8500. 

This limit in width is only because these garage door openers supply torque from one side, so the second concern is well justified.

However, both of these supply enough power to lift any garage door thanks to innovations in gear systems.

Winner: Liftmaster 3900

Although the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 can lift doors of weights to 650 lbs, the Liftmaster 3900 can lift doors as wide as 18 feet, whereas the Liftmaster 8500 can only lift doors less than or up to 12 feet wide.

Noise

Liftmaster Noise

Both the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 are extremely quiet garage door openers, especially compared to traditional garage door openers that use a tension string. These machines use extremely powerful motors, but when the gear system increases the effort to match the load, the rotation is too slow to make any noise. You can barely hear the motor even when standing close to it.

When I installed the Liftmaster 8500, I could not hear the noise from the garage door opener even when I tried to. It was dwarfed by the noise that my door was making. I had recently oiled my door, so it was not that my garage door was too loud, but that the garage door opener was too quiet.

One useful reduction feature I am a fan of is that the Liftmaster 8500 slows down before stopping. This ensures that the door comes to rest gradually and does not slap. The garage door also accelerates gradually, reducing the noise made by the door.

I have the Liftmaster 3900 installed on my other garage door, and it does not have this feature, likely due to the limitations of the Jackshaft mechanism.

Winner: The Liftmaster 8500

Both the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 are extremely quiet and do not make any significant noise. However, the Liftmaster 8500 decelerates the door before stopping, so the door does not slam, making the Liftmaster 8500 less noisy.

Safety

Automatic garage doors can be extremely dangerous if you do not take proper security considerations into account. Both the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 have infrared obstacle sensors that detect any object in the path of the door. These sensors use the same technology used in lift doors and stop the garage door immediately when a person a pet walks into the way of the garage door.

The Liftmaster 8500 has an extra security feature that gives an audible and visual warning when closing.

Winner: Liftmaster 8500

Both the Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 have obstacle sensors that stop the door when someone walks into the door, but Liftmaster 8500 also gives an audible and visual warning when closing, making it safer.

Stand out Features

The Liftmaster 8500 and the Liftmaster 3900 are the most reliable and popular Liftmaster Jackshaft garage door openers. Both of them look alike but have some features that make them different from each other.

The Liftmaster 8500 is a direct current battery backup wall-mounted Wi-Fi garage door opener. The feature that distinguishes it from a typical type of garage door opener is that it is a wall-mounted garage opener like Liftmaster 3900, making it possible to free up the garage’s ceiling space and appear more spacious. Both garage door openers are alike in many ways, and the only obvious difference between both is that the Liftmaster 8500 offers more features than the Liftmaster 3900.   

The Liftmaster 8500 is a wall-mounted garage opener that reduces vibration and noise. It has a built-in Wi-Fi feature that allows it to be controlled through a smartphone with myQ program app allowing you to operate and make customizations for your garage door easily. Whereas the Liftmaster 3900 includes a control panel with a push-button.

The Liftmaster 8500 garage door opener also allows you to operate the garage door even when there is no power accessible as it has battery backup available. The Liftmaster 8500 can be easily connected to your home network as it has the ability to connect with a Wi-Fi connection. It gets easily synced with smart devices and platforms through myQ app. The myQ app also includes small LED light which works with the sensor and turns on and off as you come and go. It protects people and automobiles by stoping the garage door by closing because of its safety sensor feature. Your garage doors are protected via security code. The motor of the Liftmaster 8500 comes with a lifetime warranty, warranty for its parts is 5 years and for accessories of 1 year. (2)

The Liftmaster 3900 Light-Duty Commercial Jackshaft Garage Door Opener features include remote-controlled operation. It is made up of high-lift doors and can hold up to a 14 feet high and 18 feet wide door. It is best for the garage with the limited ceiling height as it can be fixed on the wall designed for wall mount installation. The Liftmaster 3900 Light-Duty Commercial Jackshaft Garage Door Opener motor comes with a lifetime warranty. It has a quiet motor and a very strong and tough motor. It is wireless and is attached to a single power cord about 6 feet long. Many safety features and push-button technology are also included in it. It can be operated using a wireless single-button ApBS control station which provides the facility to monitor the tension eliminating the need to balance.

The area of use of the Liftmaster garage door openers is entirely different. The Liftmaster 8500 is for residential use and can be installed in homes. Whereas the Liftmaster 3900 is merely for commercial purposes and use. It can be used with light-duty commercial buildings. The Liftmaster 3900 is designed more compactly (in a smaller size) than the Liftmaster 8500. Even though the Liftmaster 3900 is more compact, it is heavier than the 8500. 



Final Thoughts

From the above comparison, we can see that Liftmaster 3900 and the Liftmaster 8500 only look alike but are different in terms of extra features and function. As there are many pros of both Liftmaster garage door openers, both have some cons: The Liftmaster 3900 has no internet connection, making it impossible to control from a smartphone, and there is no power lock available with it. With the liftmaster8500, you must place the remote very close to it; otherwise, it will lose the connection between the remote and the opener. 

In the battle of which Liftmaster product is better in terms of performance, it is crystal clear that the Liftmaster 8500 garage door opener is the best. However, both Liftmaster garage door openers perform amazingly well if used in the initially designed setting. Both Liftmaster garage door openers have their qualities and features, so the Liftmaster 3900 may work better than the Liftmaster 8500 for you and vice versa. 

Here are other learning guides that you might want to read regarding garage doors.

References

(1) friction – https://www.livescience.com/37161-what-is-friction.html
(2) automobiles – https://www.britannica.com/technology/automobile