Whenever a customer of ours is looking to buy a new garage door opener the question always comes up: should I buy a chain drive or a belt drive opener? Just like anything else there are pros and cons to each opener and everybody has different wants and needs when it comes to garage door openers. So we will cover the differences and hopefully help you decide whether you should buy a belt or chain drive opener.
Chain Drive Openers:
There is one major pro and one small con when it comes to chain drive openers.
Two common misconceptions:
1: Chain drive openers are better for heavy doors. This is simply not true many people think that because chains look so much stronger than belts. However there are two flaws with this way of thinking one, even a big heavy door should not feel that way when properly balanced by the garage doors spring system. Two, the stiffness of a chain is not good when it comes to moving heavy objects over a long period of time, it in fact just wears out the bushing on the sprocket and strips out the gear.
2: Chain drive openers are louder. Wrong. Any garage door opener with an AC motor is loud and any opener with a DC motor is quiet. They do make chain drive openers with DC motors and they are very quiet. Liftmaster has 2 models that are DC motor chain drives and all of Genie motors are now DC making even the chain drives quiet.
So the pros to a chain drive opener? They are more inexpensive. With the cost of everything continuously rising right now, this makes a chain drive opener a little more attractive for anybody on a budget that wants or needs to get a new garage door opener.
So cons, the gears wear out more on a chain drive opener and they are not great for heavier doors and the biggest advantage is that they are cheaper. Let’s move on to belt drive openers.
Belt Drive Openers:
We sell more belt drive openers than chains for a few reasons.
1: More customers want Belt drives
2: Most DC motors we sell have belt drives
- Belts have longer manufacturer warranties
- The spring loaded tensioner on the belt is better for heavy moving objects
A DC motors is the biggest factor when it comes to selling a new opener, because over 90% of customers want quiet operation. So, do not think you need a belt drive for your garage door opener to be quiet.
If there is a negative to be had concerning belt drive opener it would be the price. They tend to be a little bit more expensive when compared to the chain drive openers, Other than that there really is no drawback.
So who wins in the battle of belt drive VS chain drive? In our opinion due to the longer warranty on belts (some manufacturers provide lifetime warranties) and the spring tensioners allowing them to handle the sudden stop and start movements better, we recommend belt drive motors. If you are on a budget you can buy a chain drive opener and still get a good life out of them, especially if you take good care of your garage door.