Belt Vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Which One is For You?

Garage door opening is not something most of us pay attention to.

We open and close our garage door almost every day, but we hardly knew how the garage door is being opened or closed or which parts take part in making a garage door opening a successful event.

It is not until we see one day our garage door is not getting opened. This is where you come to know that your garage door was opened with a belt or a chain.

We hardly knew it before the core parts of the garage door. That’s because when it is about the garage door the only thing we demand from it is, that it should open and close on time on our commands.

When we go out for shopping a garage door, we look for aesthetics more than the functionality, sturdiness, and its extra nuts and bolts.

So, now your garage door is broken or seems near breaking, and you are into shopping for a new garage door and interested in brushing up on your knowledge regarding garage door opening, types, sizes, and how belt or chain-driven garage door makes a difference.

Modern Garage Door Openers

If you are into buying a garage door opener after a decade you would be awestruck to see that today’s garage doors are one drive system operated, screwdriver openers, and many others have gone obsolete now.

Most of the garage door openers you will see today are either chain or belt drivers.

Well, they almost have the same functionality, use one drive system to get closed or opened.

There are minor differences between them though, which we will discuss in detail.

So, if your construction company, whether you are installing a garage door opener new, or getting the older one replaced, don’t access other than chain or belt-driven garage openers.

For that too, I advise you to have an in-depth overview of both these top garage door openers types and after brushing up on your knowledge on it, buy the one that suits you the most.

How do Chain and Belt Driven garage door Openers Work?

Whether it is a chain or belt-driven garage door, the purpose of them is the same, to open the garage door smoothly and easily.

Both of the garage doors pull the big metal piece aka trolley up and down on your commands.

The heavy door, without you being pulled down, can be closed and without you opening it, it gets opened with just one press of the button. The difference lies in their tracks, and how they operate.

This guide will help you learn how belt vs chain garage door opens and gets closed, and what are the advantages or disadvantages both have, so that you could decide better which one is the right suit for you.

Chain Driven Openers

Chain garage door openers were the most famous and followed openers in the USA.

Even today, when the belt-driven are getting fame, they are still relevant and popular. These tracks are used to pull up the garage down or down using a long metal chain.

After the chain-driven openers, the market witnessed many different other openers too. But, no one could match the popularity, sturdiness, and durability of the chain openers.

Most importantly they can easily hold up two garage doors easily without any big issue, which you can’t do with a belt-driven garage door because they can’t hold up heavy loads like the way chain-driven garage openers do.

It is not like there is no negative side to the chain openers, there are a few things that can put you in disarray regarding buying chain-driven garage openers.

First thing is, they require lots of maintenance, and you can’t just install and leave them for years like belt-driven garage openers.

Because chain-driven garage openers rust up very easily and require regular maintenance and lubrication.

More than that, they are very noisy, you can’t hear a thing if the garage door is getting opened or closed.

Its motor noise is very disturbing but you get used to that within a few days.

Plus, the chains are very shaky and make you openers endure shaky movements with slower opening times.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener Benefits

  • Chain drive openers are durable and powerful they can hold on to heavy doors, single, double or triple doors. They last long too, if proper maintenance is managed, they can last for longer.
  • They are easy to access, available and for installation, you can easily find an expert.
  • They are affordable too, their price of installation as well as purchasing cost is lower than belt openers.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener Drawbacks

  • They are very noisy, due to metal parts, they are made up of chain drives, and they are very bouncy and shaky too.
  • They are slower in lifting the door and take time to compare to the belt drive opener.
  • They require lots of maintenance due to metal gears, their parts catch corrosion. Chain parts require lubrication, if you don’t lubricate them they can easily catch rust.

Belt-Driven Openers

Belt-driven openers were invented later than chain openers, but within the shortest span of time, they got fame and replaced the chain openers as the most followed and installed openers in the USA.

If you compare the price, quality, and durability, they are almost the same. They are tiny expensive but way much quieter and smoother and open the door faster than chain openers.

There are a few downsides or negative sides of the belt-driven openers, such as they can’t hold up the load of two garage doors.

You can’t just connect one opener to the two doors, they hold only one door load. One more thing, they can’t handle a high humidity environment.

In states such as Arizona or New Orleans, you might have to explore the other options.

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener Benefits

  • They are smooth operated, you would not hear much of the noise, or metal cracking noise. Glide easily, and helps you open the garage door without any hassle.
  • They are easy to maintain, you don’t require regular maintenance or lubrication
  • Belt driven garage door openers are readily available, you can buy them from local stores or online
  • They are not noisy, quite operated, and open and close faster

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener Drawbacks

  • They work under perfect conditions, under severe environmental conditions they don’t perform at their peak.
  • You can use them to hold up massive doors, they can’t operate door garage doors with one belt.
  • They are made of rubber, they don’t last long like a chain which is made of metals.
  • Belt-driven garage door openers are more expensive than metal chain constructed, that’s why not too many people can afford them.

Detailed Comparison of Belt VS Chain Openers

In belt or chain, opener buying is not like a black and white comparison, both are great and come with advantages and disadvantages, just like other things in our lives.

We are into just making you realize what suits you the most, accordingly to your budget and requirements.

In this comparison, we will compare the most important and essential aspects of ay garage openers, and what experts pay attention to when buying one. It is the size, noise, durability, power, and price range.

The extra aspect you should take into account is the location, if you are living in a high humid region, you should refrain from buying an opener with a belt, it would not last long there.

Price range

The chain driver openers are more affordable and are considered great due to their functionality and availability in the market.

They are the most commonly found openers in the USA garage owners, and compare to belt drive openers they are cheaper.

But at the same time, chain drive openers wear faster due to the continuous friction of the metal parts.

They require more maintenance, and you will have to lubricate the chain on regular basis.

On the other hand, the belt drive is higher in price. But at the same time, they run longer and require almost no maintenance.

The top reason for them lasting longer than the chain openers are they run with the help of trolley.


Well if you compare both the chain and belt drives you will see that both in many terms are almost falls at one point.

But, when the strength is compared, you can easily find a clear winner which is chain drives. Yes, chain drives are more durable they can lift and move massive doors.

In belt drives, if the door is massive, or there are double doors, they might not hold the doors or will start breaking down in the shortest span of time.

On the other hand, chain drives are suitable for steel carriages as well as other massive garage door models.

They can easily find two cars or three cars door without any ease. While the blet drive can’t handle heavy objects, that’s why they are considered good for light garage doors such as wooden doors or other types of doors.

For belt doors, you will have to see the weight range they can hold on to before you use them with your garage doors.


Garage doors can be noisy, and if you have one and live in an unfriendly neighborhood, you can imagine the chaos.

For your personal use too, noise can be disturbing at bedtimes. You would not like to have noisy doors, where you can’t even hear what is your partner saying.

Well if you compare the noise level, here too, there is a clear winner; belt doors. Yes, belt doors got the fame just because of this only feature.

They are quiet, faster, and would not take much of your time in opening and close the garage door.

But, there is an advantage even of a noisy door, a blessing in disguise, you would know when your garage door is getting opened.

So that you could check if intruders are breaking into your garage. On the other hand, belt drives do not make loud sounds.

But, I prefer noisy doors, because my garage is far from my bedroom, and that’s a great way of knowing if someone is parking the car, or intruders are trying to enter the garage.

Video Guide


You can make a fast or slow your garage doors. But manufacturers make it slow for a reason.

If they are very fast, just like the way your kid wants them, they can slam anything crossing.

Or maybe it can slam your car if you press the closing button but then stuck in the middle of the garage.

Most of the garage doors available today work at 7 or 8 inches per second speed.

So that they do not possess a risk of slamming anything or operating smoothly without any big issue.

But, today’s belt drives are a little faster than chain drives, but if you are very specific about the speed, you can ask for a faster speed chain or belt drive opener.

Convenient of Use

When it is about convenience and ease of use, I like belt drives for a reason. The belt drives are smooth, take less time, and operate without any noise.

They look smart took, and require almost no maintenance. When the price range is almost the same, I find no reason of buying a chain drive garage door opener.

Yes, if you have a big massive thing to pull up and takedown, the belt drives are not useable here, they don’t hold up heavyweight.

In this case, you will have to look for chain drives garage door openers.


Now when you have known both chain and belt-driven garage door openers.

With this knowledge, you can make an informed, educated, and wise decision concerning your settings, environment, budget range, and requirements.

Everything comes with advantages and disadvantages, it is up to your requirements and needs which decide the particular product is the right suit for you.

So, if your weather is humid or severe, you should refrain from buying a belt-driven garage opener.

If you have a massive garage door, in that case too, you should not use belt-driven. For a lightweight door, and for smooth and faster operations, you should go with belt-driven.

Jonathan Perry

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