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Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Which is Better?

Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Which is Better?

Most people have personal preferences when it comes to choosing a belt or chain garage door opener. These two products dominate the markets and are popular among home owners.

But is one better than the other, or are the two drives merely a matter of individual preference? This article is about to bring a clear comparison between the belt vs chain garage door openers. If you don’t know which one to buy and install, read on to get a better understanding.

Belt and Chain Drives?  How They Work

The physical appearance of both drives gives you a clue to how they work and what they can do. Chain drives operate with a metal chain to open and close garage doors. They have an interconnection of gears units, metal parts, and tension springs that roll and move the garage door upward and downward.

Belt drives are like chain drives, but they use a rolling rubber belt to control the doors’ movement. For the belt drive garage door openers, the rubber belt slide the trolley once you operate the door to open or close.

Affordability: Chain vs Belt Drives

Affordability Chain vs Belt Drives

The chain drive is more affordable and has a history of useful functionality and availability in the market. It is common to see many garage owners using chain drive to operate their garage doors. However, the chain drive wears faster due to the continuous friction of the movement of metal parts.

The belt drive is accessible but is on the high side when it comes to price. But in the long run, it seems to be a wise choice since it is more durable than a chain drive. The reason for this long shelf life is that, unlike a chain drive that moves the door with its chain, belt drive operates with the help of a trolley.

Strength of the Chain vs Belt Drives

It is evident that the two drives function the same way, but a chain drive is more durable than a belt drive. Unlike belt drives, chain drives can lift and move more massive doors, which is why many prefer it. Chain drives are best for steel carriages and not suitable for less heavy door models.

Chain drives can handle two-car and three-car garages without difficulty. But belt drive cannot handle heavy objects beyond the recommended weight such as heavy wooden doors or two or three-car garages.

For one carriage door, a belt drive can get the work done without troubles. However, due to technology improvement, there are belt drives that can carry any size of door with ease.

How Noisy are Chain and Belt Drives?

How Noisy are Chain and Belt Drives

Using a noisy garage door can be frustrating, especially during bedtime. Surely, many will be comfortable using a noisy garage door every time they come home. The advantage of belt drive garage opener is that it operates quietly compared to the chain garage door opener.

But the advantage of a noisy door is that it helps you know when someone drives in or out of your property. If the garage is somewhere far from the main building, the noise from a chain drive will be minimal.

While belt drive does not make loud sounds, there is nothing wrong with using a chain drive if your garage is far from your main property. After all, the noise isn’t a defect of the device but from the metal parts and gears that roll over one another. If the noise will disturb you or the kids, it is advisable you go for a belt drive.

How Convenient are Chain vs Belt Drive?

When it comes to the convenience of these two-garage door openers, belt drives edges out. The reason is that it operates smoothly compared with the chain drive.

If you own a chain drive, you may need to make some adjustments to keep it functioning properly. However, you only do this twice a year and not regularly.

Speed: Chain vs Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Both chain and belt garage door openers work at a low speed. The reason is that if they move fast, they may slam into anyone or anything that crossed their paths. Manufacturers take their time to build garage door opener to run with little or no risk to life and property.

Most drives available today move at a speed of 7 or 8inches per second, giving them no room for dangerous speed. Belt door openers operate smoothly than chain drives, making then seem to move faster than chain drives. A chain drive garage door opener bounces up and down the rails when opening or closing.

Pros and Cons of Belt and Chain Drive Garage Opener

Let’s tell you about the advantages and disadvantages between the belt vs. chain garage door opener. The purpose is to give a balanced perspective of the two garage openers to enhance buyers’ decisions.

Pros and Cons of Belt Garage Door Opener

Pros and Cons of Belt Garage Door Opener


  • Easy to install: It is easy to carry out a belt garage door opener repair or replacement when it is worn out or broken.
  • Readily Available: You can easily get a belt drives at many home improvement stores. It is also available for purchase at garage door companies.


  • Performance Rate: Under perfect conditions, belt drives work great, but it cannot withstand extreme heat or high humidity.
  • Duration: belt drives are made from rubber, so they do not last long like chain drives. The rubber belt needs regular replacement to keep them operating smoothly.
  • Purchase Price: Belt drives are more expensive than chain drives, and not many people can afford the cost. The upside to this is that they come with a better warranty than a chain door opener.

Pros and Cons of Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

Pros and Cons of Chain Drive Garage Door Opener


  • Strong and Durable: Chain drives are more reliable, and proper maintenance will make it last longer. They are reliable throughout the year.
  • Available: You can find chain drive in home improvement stores and at various hardware centers. It is also available at any local garage door installation company and its affiliates.
  • Affordable: Compared to belt drive, chain drives more affordable.


  • Smooth Operation: due to the metal parts that make up chain drives, they usually shake and bounce when used. They are slower in lifting the door and a few seconds behind when compared to belt drive opener.
  • Maintenance: Since they are made of metal gears and other iron components, chain drive requires regular lubrication. If you don’t maintain it, this will cause the iron to rust and stiffen, and eventually, the machine will stop working.

The Choice is Yours

Choosing between the belt drive vs chain drive garage door opener depends on your personal preference. The amount of money you wish to invest is another critical factor when making a choice.

You should consider the noise, weight, durability, and strength when buying a garage door opener. While these features are essential when looking for the best garage door opener, you should also put the size of your garage into consideration.

If you have a more massive garage with a heavy door, you need a strong drive like chain model. For smaller or lightweight doors, the belt drive is enough to get the job done. If you find it hard to decide, then you should seek expert advice on this aspect.

Wrap Up

When it comes to belt vs chain garage door opener, your personal choice comes to play. But first, you should look at all the features, the advantages, and disadvantages of belt drive garage door opener with that of a chain drive and make a final decision.

The two garage openers may have a different way they operate, but they both operate efficiently for opening and closing the door. There is no wrong choice in this, the most important thing is to pick the one that works great for you.

Egbert Jager

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

There should be negligible differences between the apparent weight of a single vs a double garage door - either belt or chain can open either one.

- Why? The big spring(s) above the door are designed to balance the load. A person should be able to lift the door themselves (when disconnected from the carriage) - in case of power failure or opener problems you still want to be able to get your vehicle out. The door should remain in any position - balanced between the forces of gravity and the spring(s). If your door is "Heavy", the springs are due for a 'tune-up'.

Buying a house is buying a job. Some jobs - like tightening an overhead garage door spring require a professional. The monthly lubrication, observation and tests to make sure the operation and all the safety features are working correctly - that's your job.