Belt drive vs chain drive garage door openerElectric garage door openers can be a real benefit and convenience, some perhaps more so than others.

A common debate today is over the benefits of belt drive vs. chain drive garage door openers.

This article will provide certain comparisons between belt drive and chain drive door openers, thus helping to answer the question as to which option of garage door opener is right for you.

Comparison of noise

One of the most recognizable differences between belt drive and chain drive garage door openers is the noise level.

Whilst no garage door opener can be considered silent, none are as loud and jarring as a chain driven door opener.

There are modifications that can be made to reduce the deafening clatter of a chain drive, but none of these will result in the quiet of a belt drive door opener.

Belt drive garage door openers eliminate the noise of metal on metal, thus reducing the overall noise level considerably.

Again, you will still have the sound of the door in motion, as well as the sound of the motor, but the mechanical rattle resembling World War II tank tracks will be a thing of the past.

Comparison of speed

Another variable to consider is that of speed. Just as no electric garage door opener will ever be silent, so too, none will ever be fast.

This is less a failure of technology that it is a feature built in for safety.

After all, who really wants a garage door that can shut quickly enough to provide an excellent alternative for opening coconuts? Fun, yes. Safe, no. However, there is slow and there is slower.

Chain drive garage door openers create a certain ‘jerky’ motion, which reduce their efficiency, and thus, their speed.

Belt drives on the other hand, create a smoother motion, which is both more efficient and somewhat quicker than that of chain drives.

Again, speed will never be fully achieved, but at least the motion of a belt drive is more efficient.

Comparison of strength

Whilst belt drive openers can boast better speed and sound, chain drive garage door openers can boast greater strength.

For the most part, any type of garage door opener will have more than enough strength to open your garage door. However, if you have a solid wood door, especially if it is a double width door, then a chain drive opener might be needed.

Extra insulated doors are also heavier than normal, and may push non-chain drives to their limit.

Thus, the weight of your garage door may well determine the type of garage door opener that is right for you.

Comparison of price

Last but not least, there is the question of cost.

The advanced technology of a belt drive garage door opener will necessarily bring a higher price, leaving you to decide if the perks it offers are really worth it.

Chain drives are cheaper, but also louder, somewhat slower, and nowhere near as smooth as the belt drive.

Both types will do the job, but one will do it a bit better for a bit more cost.


In the end, there really isn’t a right or a wrong answer.

Chain drives, although louder and more primitive, will open your garage door each and every time, guaranteed. Belt drives offer certain perks, but they are still neither fast nor silent.

It’s not so much a matter of comparing apples to oranges as it is comparing apples to other apples.

Hopefully this article will help make choosing at least a little easier.