RRD is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Read more.

Belt Drive vs Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

Garage doors openers can present a tough choice. There is more than one kind to choose from and for those who have no prior knowledge on these gadgets may have a hard time. And then you have more concerns like picking the kind of garage door springs available. There are a few main types of garage door openers and we’ll tackle them today. Instead of taking a gamble and purchasing one you cross your fingers and hope will be the best choice, read on to find out what we have to say.

Types of Garage Door Openers

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

You might see this as the most common option in houses and you may even have one in your home. It resembles a bicycle chain and are built to pull a trolley that opens and closes your garage door. The good thing about them is their durability and strength. They are also the most affordable option. However, they can be quite noisy and would do better in a garage separate from the main house.

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Also as the name suggests, this option utilizes a belt design to open and close your garage door. They are much quieter than the previous option and are suited to you if you have an attached garage. On the downside, they are pricier and less durable than the chain drive garage door openers.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

This is the option that operates on a threaded steel rod. They are extra noisy but also extra durable in return. Due to possessing less components, this option is also the one that requires the least amount of maintenance over time.

The two main times are the first two options we presented. Most people go for either one, so how do you know which is the best choice for you?

Chain Drive vs Belt Drive

Speed

If you own an automatic garage door opener or if you have seen one, you will know they operate at a snail’s pace. This is obviously for safety reasons, but in fact, there are other factors involved as well. In general, garage door openers lower 7-8 inches per second (which actually isn’t that slow if you think about it). A chain drive is much slower due to the pieces fitting together, and it also creates a bounce. A belt drive system goes up much more smoothly.

Strength

Most standard garage doors can be lifted by any of the three residential garage door openers. However, if you can a customized door of a heavier weight, then we would suggest opting for the chain belt drive as it is much tougher than the belt drive.

Noise

We touched upon this above, the noise levels between the three also differ. To be honest, you won’t ever find a noiseless option. However, there are tons of things you can invest in to dampen the noise.

The noise and vibrations are caused by the drive system and the motor. The belt drive is much quieter has it doesn’t possess different metal parts that continuously come into contact with each other. On the flipside, this is why the chain drive and the screw drive are so much louder.

Price

Out of the three options, the belt drive will cost you more. But for the advantages such as smooth movement, quieter operation and durability could be worth the price.

Now that you know how they compare, we’re going to sum up the pros and cons of each just to bring everything into light.

BELT DRIVE PROS:

  • Noise – They are a relatively noiseless option.
  • Speed – Because it operates much more smoothly, it also lifts at a much quicker pace compared to its counterpart.
  • Easy to Install – Since the belt drive is less durable, it will need to be replaced in the future. To save yourself from the headache, belt drives are easy easier to install.
  • Availability – Like the chain drive, the belt drive garage door opener can be found in most home improvement stores.
  • Maintenance – They don’t need to be greased and lubricated, they are pretty much self-sufficient.

BELT DRIVE CONS:

  • Performance – It’s more fragile than its counterpart and it could slip out of the track.
  • Longevity – It typically won’t last as long as the chain options.
  • Price – It’s also more expensive than the other two options.

 

 

CHAIN DRIVE PROS:

  • Strength – Where the belt drive lacks in strength, the chain drive makes up for it.
  • Durability – They work well in any weather condition and will generally outlast the belt drives.
  • Availability – As the most common garage door opener option, chain drives can be found anywhere you can find a belt drive and more.
  • Price – Affordable and the least expensive type of garage door opener, the chain drive is also extremely popular for this reason.

CHAIN DRIVE CONS:

  • Noise – Not as noisy as the screw drive, but the chain drive is a close second.
  • Operation – It’s not as smooth and might catch, prove to be shaky and slower than the belt drive.
  • Maintenance – The cost of maintaining the chain drive options also outweighs that of the belt drive. It needs to be properly lubricated and to avoid rust

Conclusion

As you can see from our condensed list, the pros and cons of each pretty much balance out. It really comes down to what you value and your needs.

If you just want a garage opener installed and never have to worry about it again, maybe a chain drive would work better. However, you cannot forget to lubricate it on the regular. You can see our top suggestions for garage door lubricants.

As for those who have an attached garage and would like noiseless operation, then a belt drive is by far the better of the two.

With proper care, either one can last for years. In the short term, upfront costs could be a big consideration for a lot of consumers. If that is a primary concern and you don’t mind the noise, then a chain drive garage door opener is the answer for you.

From knowing the best garage door for your needs, discover the best tires for your Honda Accord to ensure durability and best car performance. Explore more car needs and accessories in our selection of buying guides and how-to articles!

William
Latest posts by William (see all)