Belt Drive Vs Chain Drive Garage Door Opener {Side By Side}

If you’re shopping for a new garage door opener, you may be wondering whether to get a chain drive or belt drive model. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to know the difference before making a decision. 

Here’s a quick overview of each type of garage door opener to help you choose the best one for your needs.

What is a Belt Drive Garage Door Opener?

What is a Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

A belt drive garage door opener uses a rubber belt instead of a metal chain to open and close your garage door. Belt drive garage door openers are available in both single- and double-belt models. 

The main benefit of using a belt drive garage door opener is that they are much quieter than chain drive models. In fact, you may not even notice that your belt drive garage door opener is running if it’s located in the garage attic or another room in your home that’s away from living spaces. 

Another advantage of belt drive garage door openers is that they require less maintenance than chain drive models. This is because belts don’t stretch or loosen over time like chains can.

As a result, you won’t have to adjust the tension on your belt drive garage door opener as often as you would with a chain model. 

What is a Chain Drive Garage Door Opener?

A chain drive garage door opener is a type of opener that uses a metal chain to open and close the door. 

The chain is attached to a trolley, which runs along a metal rail. When the opener is activated, the trolley moves along the rail, pulling the door up or pushing it down. 

Chain drive openers are one of the most popular types of openers on the market because they are durable and relatively quiet. They are also reasonably priced, making them a great option for budget-minded homeowners. 

However, they do require more maintenance than other types of openers, as the chain needs to be lubricated on a regular basis to prevent it from rusting. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Belt Drive Garage Door Opener?

Belt drive garage door openers are known for being quiet—probably the quietest out of all the different types of garage door openers. If you have a room above your garage or if your bedroom is adjacent to your garage, you’ll definitely appreciate how much quieter a belt drive opener is compared to other types. 

Belt drive openers are also smoother and more gentle, which is ideal if you have a particularly heavy door or if you have small children or pets who like to hang out in the garage. 

However, belt drive openers are also more expensive than chain drive openers (the most common type). They also require more maintenance because the belts need to be replaced every few years. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Chain Drive Garage Door Opener?

Chain drive garage door openers are one of the most popular types on the market for a reason. 

They’re reliable, durable, and relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a chain drive garage door opener is definitely worth considering. 

One of the main advantages of a chain drive opener is that it is one of the most affordable options on the market. 

Chain drive openers are also relatively easy to install. If you have some basic do-it-yourself skills, you should be able to install a chain drive opener in no time.

However, if you don’t feel confident about your ability to install the opener yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. 

The main downside of chain drive openers is that they tend to be noisy. If you have an attached garage, this may not be a big deal for you. But if your garage is detached from your house or if you have bedrooms above your garage, the noise from the opener can be quite bothersome. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that chain drive openers require regular maintenance. The metal chain needs to be lubricated on a regular basis to prevent it from rusting or breaking.

If you don’t maintain your opener properly, it could break down when you need it the most – like when you’re trying to leave for work in the morning! 

How to Choose the Best Garage Door Opener for Your Home

Whether you decide to go with a belt drive or chain drive (or the third option, a screw drive) for your garage door, here are some of the pros and cons of each. 

To review, here’s a video with more details on each type of door opener:


The amount of power you need in a garage door opener depends on a few different factors. The first is the size and weight of your door. If you have a single-car garage with a lightweight door, you won’t need as much power as someone with a double-car garage and a heavier door. 

Also, keep in mind how often you plan to use your garage door opener. If you only need it for occasional use, you can get away with a less powerful model. However, if you plan to use it multiple times per day, opt for something with more horsepower so it can handle the wear and tear.

When shopping for a belt drive garage door opener, look for one that has at least ½ horsepower (hp). Anything less than that may not be powerful enough to lift heavy doors without stalling.

If you have a double-wide door or one that’s made of sturdy materials like wood, you’ll need an even more powerful model with ¾ hp or more. 

Energy Efficiency

It’s also important to make sure that the belt drive garage door opener you choose has ENERGY STAR certification. This means that it meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Energy-efficient models will help keep your utility bills low and do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Drive System

There are three main types of drive systems for garage door openers: chain drives, belt drives, and screw drives.

Chain drives are by far the most popular type; they’re affordable and durable, and they tend to be relatively quiet compared to other types of drive systems.

Belt drives are also popular because they don’t require much maintenance and they’re very quiet.

Screw drives are less common (which is why they aren’t covered in this post) but they offer durability and reliability. Ultimately, the type of drive system you choose is a matter of personal preference. 

Which is Better – Chain or Belt Driven Garage Door Openers?

So, which type of garage door opener is right for you? There’s no clear winner when it comes to deciding between belt drive and chain drive garage door openers. 

If you’re looking for a quiet and low-maintenance option, then a belt drive opener is the way to go. However, if you’re working with a tight budget, then a chain drive opener may be a better choice.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and your specific needs and considerations.

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