Comparison of Belt vs chain vs screw drive garage door openers

Frequently homeowners ask, which is the best type of working garage door opener. The answer is, well, it depends on your needs. There are three main types of garage door openers to consider are belt, chain and screw driven garage door openers, and each is suited for a type of garage as well as customer requirements. Only you can decide – so what do you need to do. Here is the article about belt vs chain vs screw drive garage door openers to help you in making your decision.

The most common and generally the cheapest, chain drives use a metal ‘bicycle type’chain to operate. But, the downside is a noisy motor.

So the issue is, do you worry about noise? If your garage is not attached to your house or do you want to hear what hour your children are arriving home at night – this could be a good option.

But if you prefer less noise, possibly because there are bedrooms attached to the garage, the chain drive model is most likely not be for you.

Chain drive Advantages

  • Reliable in all weather.
  • Cheaper than other drive types.

Chain drive Disadvantages

  • Noisier and more vibration than other drive types.
  • Chain can require adjustment and lubrication.

Summary: Economical but quite loud. Most appropriate if you have a detached home garage or don’t worry about noise.

Belt drive Garage Door Opener

These are generally the most popular type of opener and for good reason. Belt drives, operate like chain drives, are very dependable but unlike chain drives they run very quietly , thanks to the rubber belt drive.

If you have a connected garage or hate loud noise, give a belt drive consideration. However, keep in mind that belt drives are usually more expensive to buy than chain drives. Most professional garage door opener contractor will recommend belt drive garage door openers.

Advantages of belt drive

  • Quiet operation with less vibration than chain drive models.
  • Disadvantages of belt drive garage door opener

    • Usually more expensive than chain drive models.

    • Tendency to slip the belt.

    Summary: Quietest but more expensive. Most appropriate if you have an attached garage or prefer low noise.

    Screw drive Garage Door Opener

    Different to the chain or belt, the screw drive garage door opener operates via a threaded steel rod. Problem is they don’t operate very well in extreme temperature conditions, making them an undesirable choice for most cold climates.

    Generally in moving and noisy, screw drives are moderately priced compared to the chain and belt drive options

    Summary: Most appropriate if you live in an area with constant climate. Noisy and slow.

    Belt vs Chain vs Screw drive comparison

    This article will allow you to evaluate the facts about each style of door opener, this way you will make the right decision about the type of opener which is most suitable for your needs.

    Belt vs Chain drive garage door openers

    Chain-Drive Opener are the most commonly used garage door opener. They are the cheapest on the market and new models are much more quiet than the old, but they’re still noisier than belt or direct-drive motors. The chain is moved by the electric motor in order to lift or shut the garage door.

    Where as Belt-Drive Opener moves a strong, uses rubber belts and an electric motor to move the door, resulting in quieter operation instead of a metal chain. Belt-drive openers operator much more quietly, with less vibration, and less maintenance than a chain-drive garage door opener.

    belt vs chain drive garage door opener


    You can read about garage openers all you like, you really need to hear them for yourself. You can visit a neighbour to listen to how loud their garage door opener is. Check video below to know comparison of belt and chain drive.


    Belt vs Screw drive garage door openers

    I have been installing and selling openers for over 10 years, and I have never seen one break. Screw Drives work OK in warm climates, but not up here in Michigan. Long story short, the grease gets clogged with dirt, gets cold and hard, and makes the opener wear out faster. There usually a lifetime warranty on the belt (LiftMaster) and its made of Kevlar.

    Though screw drive garage door opener costs more, but more durable, quieter, and safer.
    Where as Belt drive are cheaper, but Belt can break, jerky motion is noisy, not as safe.

    Chain vs Screw drive garage door openers

    I have installed both a screw drive and a chain drive. As previously mentioned, a screw drive delivers more power. It may be required to open a double wide because of the extra weight or a single panel door that swings out and up because of the spring tension.

    If your motion sensors, stop switches and assist springs are installed and adjusted correctly, the additional torque should not be a concern. A belt drive is quieter but they have a tendency to slip and you should make sure your rollers are properly lubricated.

     The screw drive is quiet at first, but after a while it gets very noisy. Also a screw drive, as it gets older can sling the lubricant in it all over the face of your door. When you see a door with a streak down the middle, you can bet they have a screw drive.

    Also, they deliver more torque than the other two. So when your spring breaks, or something in the doorway (but not blocking the eyes), it is harder to stop which can cause more damage to your car, door, or whatever else is in the way.

    Where as chain drives are very good openers.

    They are durable and last a long time. I have yet to see a broken chain except when it was installed in a constant wet environment, or it was a 30 plus year old commercial opener. 

    Every type of garage door opener have its own advantages and disadvantages. You can choose belt or chain or screw drive openers. I hope comparison of belt vs chain vs screw type drive  clarified your doubts.

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