Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener

Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: What’s Best for You

The uninitiated would have you believe that purchasing a garage door opener is about the simplest thing in the world. That is not the case, however, with hundreds of different models competing for the space in your wallet. The industry is constantly evolving but the conversation often comes down to belt vs chain garage door openers. Here you will learn how to make the decision that’s right for you. The answer is hardly ever as simple as choosing door number one or two. Making such a rash decision can end up being quite detrimental in the long run. Before you approach any important choice it always helps to know what you’re dealing with.

Chain and belt garage door openers while originally all you could buy have had huge competition spring up over the years. With that in mind before we dive into the topic at hand. We should look briefly at the other options that won’t be thoroughly discussed. 

Other Options

Screw Drive Openers – These are heavily in price competition with belt and chain openers. They operate by turning quickly in a screw-like motion and offer quick opening at the cost of keeping up with maintenance.

Jackshaft Drive Opener – These often sit in a higher price bracket along with sitting on the wall instead of overhead. They are prized for their increased features, extra security, and versatility in small or large modern garages. Read our review of Liftmaster Jackshaft Drive Opener

Direct Drive Garage Opener – Traditionally another name for screw drive openers or anyone that didn’t use belt or chain. Now they are a separate style that is known for the motor moving instead of the chain. These are ultra-quiet usually come with more features, and also sit at a higher price bracket. Check out review of direct drive opener.

These are your main other options for garage door openers each offering a different approach to operation and features. They are definitely valid ways to look if you are interested in more features, alternate approaches to safety, and/or speed.

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

No disrespect to belt openers but you have to start with the original design that C.G. Johnson cooked up in 1926. Plenty of science goes into garage door openers as they use counterbalances and physics to bend the rules. The chain belt opener attacks this procedure in the simplest method. With their history in the market chain drive door openers often offer some of the cheapest prices on the market. Across the entire world, you will likely find chain openers in the largest availability as well. The basic chain garage door opener operates much like a bicycle. The motor pulls the chain to lift your door by attaching to the doors J-bar. Chain drive garage openers are well known for their tremendous durability. 

With a strong chain and motor, there aren’t really any limits to a chain garage door opener’s ability to get the job done. This alone can make chain openers the way to go if you have and older, or antique heavy garage door. It isn’t all nuts and glory for chain drive openers though with all that metal serving another purpose. The intense metal on metal grind of chain openers makes them the loudest of all garage door openers. This can hurt their value considerably though it isn’t always an issue.  If you have your living area or bedroom over your garage you might want to look in another direction. You can, however, find chain drive openers with innovations made to drastically reduce the noise they create. Taking the time to make sure you have a chain separator can go a long way. They also can be found with energy-efficient DC motors that serve a double purpose. Find out one of the best chain drive garage door opener review.

Belt-Driven Garage Door Openers

The invention of the belt-driven garage door open was most likely an obvious conclusion for its versatility alone. While a chain is often bulky and forever clunky, a belt is one of the most varied objects in the world. With a wide variety of styles and purposes, it makes perfect sense that they made their way to garage door openers. The belt-driven garage door opener operates much like its chain-driven cousin. The true difference comes in the freedom of creation that follows using a belt instead of a chain. You can find belts in many interesting materials that can affect your garage doors’ ease of use and durability. Some of the most common materials you can find are fiberglass, polyurethane, and steel-reinforced fiber.

Unless you are going with a gold chain that wouldn’t be great for safety purposes. The style of belt-driven garage door openers is certainly a selling point. Most homeowners find belt-driven openers to be much sleeker overall. The looks also have another purpose here as belt garage openers are especially known for their quiet sound. Often the garage door opener of choice for light sleepers. They also have less vibration which helps. They won’t help especially heavy older doors that vibrate heavily on their own though. Keep in mind you will pay for these advancements with a higher price point for most belt-driven models. You don’t necessarily have to miss out on strength and durability for noise and look if you are willing to pay for it. Read our top pick belt-driven garage door opener review.

Deciding Which is Best For You

Your answer on which way to go will depend entirely on your own situation. Is your garage door away from your house? That might make a chain drive the easy way to go. Are you trying to impress the neighbors?

The belt-drives distinct look can certainly lift your houses feng shui. With different prices across models and brands, there’s a lot to think about. You can generally think chain-driven equals cheaper louder and stronger. Along with belt-driven meaning better looking, quieter, and higher priced. However, you will find that it can vary greatly as they each have outliers fitting into the other’s niche. Take your time and explore the options in your price range carefully. This should be enough to get you going towards the best option for you.