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Garage Door Openers – Screw Drive vs Belt Drive vs Chain Drive

What is the Best Garage Door Opener For You?

To find the best garage door opener, you have to consider your personal needs and situation. There are many different types of garage door openers on the market today, each with pros and cons. Generally speaking, there are three main types of garage door openers to choose from – Screw Drive, Chain Drive and Belt Drive. For each type of opener, there have been many advances in technology that has evened the score between the three. Below, we will share the unique benefits and disadvantages of the different garage door openers.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Screw drive garage door openers work a little bit differently than belt drive or chain drive garage door openers. A trolley is used along with a threaded-steel rod to rotate the motor to move the door. The pushing and pulling forces are much different compared to chain drive and belt drive openers.

Advantages: Screw drive garage door openers tend to be easier to maintain because there are less moving pieces. There is no need for adjustment as there is with chain drive garage door openers. Additionally, they tend to be quieter than chain drive garage door openers, especially after prolonged usage. Because there is few moving parts and little play, the door also rises and falls very smoothly. It’s recommended that screw drive openers not be used in regions that experience major fluctuations in temperature as the units are sensitive to temperature. Apples to apples, screw drive garage door openers tend to cost slightly more than belt or chain drive openers.

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Belt drive openers are pretty much identical to chain drive garage door openers with one main difference. You guessed it, they utilize a belt instead of a chain. The actual mechanisms of the openers are the same with the exception of a belt drive garage door opener using a steel-reinforced rubber, fiberglass, or polyurethane belt. If you’re going to be moving a heavier garage door, chain drive garage door openers are the better choice.

Advantages: Belt drive garage door openers are by far the quietest openers out of chain drive and screw drive openers. Belt drive garage door openers tend to be only slightly more expensive than chain drive openers. Most garage door openers tend to lift a garage door at a rate of 7 to 8 inches per second. The belt drive because of its smooth operation does it slightly faster, if that matters to you.

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

By far the most common type of garage door opener, chain drive openers are at the lower end of the price spectrum and will last a very long time under normal circumstances. Chain drive openers utilize a chain similar to the one that you would find on your bicycle and push the trolley that is connected to the garage door which pulls or pushes the door in the track. They do have the disadvantage of requiring adjustment, but this only needs to be done once or twice during the lifetime of a chain drive opener. For most chain drive garage door openers, adjustment is relatively easy and only takes 10 minutes.


Cheap and reliable, these are the most economical option. However, if your garage door is connected to your house, these units can be very loud (which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it).

All in all, you really can’t go wrong with any type of garage door opener. It comes down to preference and what you are willing to spend. If strength, extreme durability, or minimal noise are a concern, you can read into your options a little bit more.

Questions about garage door openers or anything else garage door related? Contact us and we will be happy to help you out!

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