A Des Moines Garage Door Blog

Chain vs Belt Drive: Which Is Better?

Posted by Steve Bouchard on Mar 25, 2021 3:15:00 PM


There are a lot of things to consider when replacing your home’s garage door: your budget, what material you should choose, insulation, window design, and more. That alone can be overwhelming, but the list becomes longer when you are replacing your old garage door opener with a brand new model, as well. There are two common options for your garage door operator: chain drive or belt drive. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but how do you know for sure which one is best for you?


Chain Drive 

Chain drive openers are quite popular simply due to their affordability, but they can be trusted to do the heavy lifting. If you have a heavy or wooden garage door, a chain drive opener would be able to easily handle the weight, as the chains used typically have more strength and lifting capacity than their belt counterparts. This type of opener is durable and can last a long time, especially when you keep up with the proper routine maintenance of your garage door and its system.

However, there are a few major downsides to a chain drive opener. The biggest drawback is the fact that the chain can create a lot of noise and vibration, which can be a major issue for homeowners with attached garages, especially those with living spaces above. After all, no one likes being woken up in the middle of the night when someone is late getting home. Chain drives also don’t operate very smoothly, resulting in slow, clunky movement.


Belt Drive 

A belt drive garage door opener works like a chain opener, but with a toothed belt rather than a chain. The belt can be made of fiberglass, rubber, or another material, and it is just as sturdy as a chain. A belt opener operates more quietly and quickly than a chain opener, and it doesn’t need as much maintenance as a chain drive. It is also easy to install and, when natural wear and tear begin to damage parts of the opening system, the belt is easy to replace. However, keep in mind that a belt drive opener costs more than a chain opener, and it typically won’t last quite as long.


Which do I choose? 

If your garage door opener is acting up, it may be time to replace it with a new model. While the cost of a chain drive opener can be attractive, purchasing a belt drive opener allows you to save on maintenance and enjoy quiet, efficient operation. Contact a local trusted garage door technician to inspect your garage door system and provide a professional recommendation. Subscribe to our blog for more advice on keeping your garage looking and operating at its best.

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About WD Door

WD Door is a privately owned overhead door and operator company with over 25 years experience in both residential and commercial fields. We work closely with both our customers and manufacturers to ensure high quality overhead door products and customer service.

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