Chain Drive vs. Belt Drive Garage Doors: Which is Best for Me?

A garage door is an integral part of a home.  Most people don’t stop to think about how many times they go in and out of their garage and the effort that it would take if they had to get out of their vehicle each time to manually open that big door.  Thank goodness for automated garage door openers!  When making the decision to install or upgrade a garage door opener, consumers have several choices.  Here are the features and differences between a chain drive garage door opener and a belt drive garage door opener so that you can make the right decision for your needs.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

These are the most common type of garage door openers in the U.S.  They have been around for many years and have a wide availability.  Chain drive door openers use a metal chain, like a bicycle chain, to open the garage door.  While these are the more affordable option, they do come with a few downsides.  This type of garage door opener is also the loudest.   The system involves moving gears and metal parts that result in clicking and a bit of noise as the garage is opened and lowered.  If your garage is detached or away from the home living areas, this may not be an issue.  If there is a bedroom above the garage, however, expect to be woken up when someone activates the door while you sleep.  Also, chain drives may not last quite as long as belt drive systems due to the metal on metal parts.

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Most experts consider belt drive systems to be superior, and there are many quality products in this line.  A belt drive garage door opener uses a rubber belt instead of a metal chain to open the garage door.  Because of this, the system is much quieter than a chain drive system.  These systems do tend to cost a bit more than the alternative, however.  Finally, belt drive systems tend to last longer than any other garage door opener on the market, which could make up for the extra cost upfront.

Making the Choice

Making the choice between the two garage door openers depends on both personal preference and your particular needs.  It will be up to you how much you wish to invest in a garage door opener and the level of noise that you can tolerate from the system.  While the speed with which your door operates will be fairly consistent between the two systems, you will want to consider the weight of your garage door when making your choice.  Some very large, customized, garage doors are better served with a stronger chain drive system than a belt drive system.  If you are unsure about what sort of garage door opener is right for you, be sure to consult an expert to help you make the right choice.


Scroll to Top