Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Which One Is Better and Why?

When it comes to choosing your garage door opener, one of the biggest decision you will have to make is whether to go with a belt or chain model. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand their differences before settling on a choice.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both belt and chain garage door openers.

Belt vs chain garage door openers

When you’re ready to purchase a garage door opener, it’s important to consider the advantages of each type of opener — belt drive, chain drive, or screw drive. The primary difference between them is the way they open the door; each style has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Belt Drive: Because of their construction and operation, belt drive openers offer better performance than chain or screw drives. These types of openers use a belt made of reinforced rubber or polyurethane that runs along a rail. Belt drive openers are ideal for people who have living quarters directly above or next to their garage because they operate more quietly than chain and screw drives.

Chain Drive: Chain drives use an electric motor to turn a chain looped around two gears. Though this style is still popular for its affordability, it tends to be louder than other types due to the metal chain rubbing against its gears and sprockets when activating your door.

Chain Garage Door Opener

Screw Drive: Installed along a straight steel rod with large rubber threads, slightly lubricated with oil, this opener moves up and down by turning vertically on its threaded rod lifting mechanism which engages your garage door in an angle lift motion as it moves from closed to open position. It’s very reliable but more expensive than chain drives as well as somewhat noisy, however not as loud as chain-driven models.

Pros and Cons of Belt Openers

Belt drive garage door openers are becoming increasingly popular due to their quiet operation and smooth motion as they open and close. They utilize a rubber belt instead of a chain for the opening and closing of the door, which results in reduced noise and increased safety.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of belt drive garage door openers so you can decide if one is right for you.

Benefits of belt openers

Belt openers are increasingly popular when it comes to choosing a type of garage door opener. While chain and screw drive openers both do the same job, belt openers offer some great advantages that set them apart. Below are some of the key benefits of belt drive openers:

-Quieter than the other options: One of the main advantages of a belt drive opener is that it is much quieter than either a chain or screw drive model. This makes them ideal for homes where noise might be an issue, such as those in densely populated neighborhoods or near hospitals or hospitals.

-Smoother Operation: Belt drive openers use rubber belts instead of chains which creates a much smoother operation when opening and closing your garage door compared to a traditional chain drive system.

-More Reliable: Although more expensive than its counterparts, belt drives are more reliable and tend to last longer with regular maintenance.

-Safety Features: Belt drives also come equipped with additional safety features such as automatic door reversal should your car come into contact with the door as it opens, providing added peace of mind that other models don’t offer.

Drawbacks of belt openers

Belt drive garage door openers also offer some drawbacks to consider. They are typically pricier than chain-drive openers, and require more ongoing maintenance due to potential belt wear and slippage issues over time. They could become misaligned or out of balance if hit with strong winds or a malfunctioning torsion spring, requiring professional repairs.

The belt mechanism can slow down over time and you could experience problems with a stuck opener even after regular maintenance. In addition, belt openers have limited lift power, making them less suitable for extra-large double-wide doors in high-wind areas.

Pros and Cons of Chain Openers

Chain openers are the most common type of garage door opener. They are inexpensive and reliable, and have fewer moving parts than belt-drive openers. They are also relatively quiet, and can be mounted in areas with limited headroom.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of choosing a chain opener for your garage door.

Benefits of chain openers

A chain opener is a popular choice for many homeowners because of its affordability, durability, and ability to handle large garage doors. Chain openers feature a powerful motor that operates on a chain-and-sprocket mounted to the door’s rail. The chain drives the sprocket, which in turn moves the trolley to open and close the door.

Chain openers offer several advantages over belt openers. Chain models are often preferred by those who expect heavy or frequent usage and don’t mind some extra noise. For instance, steel belts tend to wear down more quickly than steel chains and can squeak when in motion as they slide over the plastic wheels in their housing tracks. The spinning pieces inside a chain unit are kept lubricated with oil to reduce friction and prevent excessive wear or breakage over time. Additionally, since there are fewer moving parts involved with chain openers, they generally require less maintenance than belt style units. They’re also typically less expensive up front than belt models.

Also, because chains are composed of metal links as opposed to metal belts, steel chains typically have greater strength when lifting even large garage doors with ease compared to their counterparts using belts. Chain systems also tend to freeze up less in cold weather climates because lubrication remains better contained rather than evaporating like it does in rubber or plastic materials used for belt track systems; making them ideal for use in places that experience colder winter seasons like the upper Midwest region of North America due to their increased level of strength and durability for reliable performance even during colder temperatures outdoors.

Drawbacks of chain openers

While reliable and less expensive than belt openers, chain openers are not without drawbacks. Chain openers tend to be louder than belt-driven openers due to the metal parts coming into contact with metal wheels or sprockets. This loud noise may bother some homeowners who want their garage to be as quiet as possible.

Additionally, whenever you use a chain opener, you risk it coming off the track due to wear and tear of the chains and chainsaw teeth slipping out of place. In order for the opener to have proper tension in the chain, you will have to adjust them regularly.

For these reasons, some homeowners may opt for a quieter, more reliable option by selecting a belt drive opener instead.

Cost Comparison

When comparing cost, belt vs chain garage door openers offer various features at different price points. It is important to consider what features are important to you and your budget.

Here, we will deep dive into the cost differences between belt and chain garage door openers, so you can make an informed decision about which type of opener is best for your needs.

Cost of belt openers

Belt drive garage door openers are considered the quieter and smoother option of the two, making it the preferred choice for homeowners who have living space directly above or next to their garage. Belt drive openers cost more than chain-driven openers; however, their quieter and smoother operation can be worth the extra cost for some.

On average, belt drive openers cost twice as much as their comparable chain-driven counterparts. This price difference can be more substantial depending on what features you are looking for in your opener. An even more expensive option is a jackshaft opener that, while more expensive than both other types of options, provides an even greater level of silent operation as well as taking up no overhead space.

When shopping for your new garage door opener, be sure to compare pricing factors apart from only the opening type in order to get the most bang for your buck. Make sure you look at all applicable warranties, quality assurances and customer service reviews before making a final decision on which opener to purchase and install in your home.

Cost of chain openers

Chain garage door openers are typically more cost-effective than belt or screw drive openers. Chain openers fall into two different categories — chain drive and direct drive. Chain drives use mechanical components that require lubrication and regular maintenance, while direct drive models feature smooth, quiet operation as they don’t have moving parts.

Chain garage door openers range in price from around $50 to around $250, depending on features. Standard chain drives are the least expensive type of opener and tend to be the noisest due to their steel-on-steel sound. Their speed is also slightly lower compared to other types of openers. Direct drives operate quieter but may be more expensive.

Chain drives come with safety features such as remote access security systems that prevent unauthorised entry into your home through your garage door system, and most come with a certain level of warranty that generally covers labour, repair parts, and/or replacement should you experience any problems with the opener after installation.


When it comes down to deciding between a belt or chain garage door opener, you must consider several factors. You must evaluate the pros and cons of each type of garage door opener, and decide which is the best option for your home’s garage door.

After considering all of the necessary factors, you can now make the right decision between installation of a belt or chain garage door opener.

Summary of belt vs chain garage door openers

Belt vs chain garage door openers are two popular types of openers in the home improvement industry. Both types have benefits and drawbacks, so users should weigh their options before making their purchase.

Belt drive garage door openers offer a quieter operation and usually require less maintenance, whereas chain driven models are known for their power and durability.

When it comes to pricing, belt drive openers tend to be more expensive than chain drive. However, the cost difference for these products is not always that significant, which means users can take advantage of either type’s features without breaking the bank. In terms of installation, belt drive models may require more time and effort due to their complex design compared to the simpler construction of the chain type systems.

Ultimately, homeowners should consider their needs carefully before selecting a belt or chain opener for their garage door installation job. Additionally, it is always important to get professional advice and assistance from an experienced technician before investing in either type of system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the differences between a belt and chain garage door opener?

A1: A belt drive garage door opener is quieter and more durable than a chain drive garage door opener. A belt drive system operates on a rubber belt, which is quieter and more efficient than a metal chain, which makes it better for homes with bedrooms or other living spaces close to the garage. A chain drive is more affordable and is better for heavier garage doors.

Q2: Which type of garage door opener is better?

A2: It depends on your needs and preferences. Belt drive garage door openers are quieter and more durable, but they are usually more expensive than chain drive garage door openers. Chain drive openers are less expensive and better for heavier garage doors.

Q3: What maintenance do I need to do for my garage door opener?

A3: You should periodically check your garage door opener for any loose or worn parts, and replace them if necessary. You should also lubricate your opener’s moving parts and test the safety sensors every few months.