Garage Door Opener Drive Types4 min read

The garage door openers are some motorized devices that can help you open and close automatically the garage doors. Choosing the right device can be really tricky, considering that there are so many different models on the market. The most important element is the drive type. This refers to the actual chain, belt or other mechanisms that move and lifts the door. In some cases, the horsepower output of the motor should be taken into account as well. However, whether you are choosing a door opener for your home garage or something heftier, you can easily determine what type of opener can satisfy your needs. Generally speaking, there are 3 types of openers to choose from, such as the chain drive, belt drive, and screw drive. Each one of these types comes with an advanced technology that has evened the score between the three.

Garage Door Opener Drive Types

Chain drive models

This is by far one of the most common door openers. Most people are choosing these products because they are affordable and can last a very long time under normal circumstances. However, the strength of a chain drive comes at the expense of noise. They use a metal chain on a sprocket to lift and lower doors. The chain is similar to the one that your bicycle has and it pushes the trolley that is connected to the garage door that pulls or pushes the door in the track. This type of opener is perfect for heaviest garage door types, such as one-piece wood doors, oversized doors, and wind-rated or heavily insulated doors.

Additionally, you should know that a lot of models come with chain separators that will stop the chain from hitting against the track. On the other hand, like many other products, they do have some disadvantages of requiring adjustment, but this will happen only once or twice during the lifetime of a chain drive opener. For most products, installation is relatively easy and only takes 10 minutes.

Garage Door Opener Drive Types

Belt drive models

Belt-drive openers are similar to chain drive openers with one main difference. They use a belt instead of a chain. In fact, it is a rubber-like belt on a cog to open and close doors. These mechanisms of these products are the same with the exception of a belt drive opener using fiberglass, steel-reinforced rubber or polyurethane belt. If you are looking for a product that can move a heavier garage door, then the chain drive models are better than these ones. On the other hand, if the opener doesn’t have the loud, banging metal parts, it’s one of the quietest options available. Moreover, if you are looking to purchase such a model, you need to pay attention to the current of these openers, because alternating current belt openers start and stop at full power, which can cause the door to jerk into movement and lead to noise despite the relative quiet of the drive.

However, these types of openers come with a lot of advantages. As we already mentioned, they are by far some of the quietest models out of the chain drive and screw drive openers. Plus, most of these drive openers tend to lift a garage door at a rate of 7 to 8 inches per second. However, thanks to its smooth operation, the belt drive opener does it much faster than other models.

Garage Door Opener Drive Types

Screw-drive models

This type of opener works a bit differently than chain drive or belt drive openers. They use a long metal rod threaded such as a screw to lift and close the doors. The pulling and pushing forces are much different compared to belt drive and chain drive openers. Additionally, this unit seems to be much easier to maintain than other models, because there are less moving pieces. As such there is no need for any adjustment ad there is with the other two models. Plus, they are also quieter, especially after prolonged usage. However, despite having fewer moving parts, the motor meshes against a drive selection with plastic teeth to catch the threading.

They will also provide with some of the fastest speeds available. For example, the newer models can open at 10” to 12” per second, while the standard ones will do it at 6” to 8” per second. However, it’s important to know that the screw drive door openers are more expensive than a belt or chain drive openers.