Belt Drive vs. Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

As a homeowner, you want your garage door to make your life more convenient. A garage door that opens slowly, is noisy, or requires frequent repairs can affect your daily lifestyle. Your garage door should support you and ensure that it does all the heavy lifting so you don’t. Lifting your garage door manually can become more challenging as you age. You want peace of mind that your opener will serve and support you for many years, saving you time, money and energy.

Finding a dependable garage door opener that suits your garage and personal preferences is one of the best ways to save time and money in the future. Garage door openers have many differences and benefit your home in multiple ways. When choosing your opener, consider factors like durability, maintenance, installation, noise, cost, availability and strength.

Weighing each factor and the pros and cons of different types of openers can help you choose the right one when replacing or installing a new opener. Understanding the unique designs and characteristics of popular options like belt and chain drive openers can help you decide which is best for your home.

What Garage Door Opener Type Do I Need?

You’ll likely want a garage door opener that will work for many years. A garage door opener is a long-term investment, and you want to get the most value for your money. Belt drive and chain drive garage door openers are two of the most common types. Both are excellent garage door opener types and serve many homeowners well. Understanding how chain and belt drive garage door openers operate helps you decide which style will suit your garage door and home best.

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Belt drive garage door openers use a rubber belt to open a garage door. The rubber belt slides an assembly trolley to open and close your garage door. Belt drive garage door openers offer durability, silence and speed and are becoming a popular choice for homeowners when replacing their opener. Innovations in belt drive opener designs also add to their appeal and popularity.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

Chain drive garage door openers use a metal chain assembly to open and close a garage door. The chain running assembly unit attaches to tension springs. When the motor runs, the chain moves, opening or closing the door. Chain drive garage door openers are affordable and readily available. Many homeowners have chain drive openers as they are one of the oldest opener types.

What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door Opener

When selecting a new garage door opener, finding one that best suits your garage door and lifestyle is essential. You want a garage door that is convenient for you and your family. Chain and belt garage door openers have many excellent selling points and can be the perfect choice for your home. Evaluate various factors and assess every angle when choosing a garage door opener to ensure you make the best choice for your home.

Here are several factors to consider when choosing your garage door opener:


Your garage door opener needs to withstand friction or wear from opening and closing over the years. Chain drive openers can be less durable than rubber belt drives. The metal-on-metal friction can cause chain drives to stick or wear over time. You may have to lubricate your chain opener often to keep it functioning smoothly. The rubber in belt drive openers offers a smooth opening and does not require lubrication. Belt drives also require less maintenance and generally last longer.


You want an opener with excellent lifting power, whatever your garage door type. Chain drives are strong and can be an excellent option for lifting heavy wood and insulated steel doors. Chain drive openers can easily raise two- to three-car garage doors and are perfect for smaller, lighter doors.

Lifting heavy or multiple-car garage doors with a belt drive opener can be more challenging. Some belt drive openers have a weight limit, making them better suited for lighter or one-car garage doors. However, with innovative designs, some belt drives have substantial lifting power and can lift heavier or multiple-car garage doors.


Consider how a noisy garage door can affect your family, especially if you have an attached garage. A belt drive opener may be an excellent choice if you are concerned about a noisy garage door affecting your sleep or disturbing your work. Belt drives are quieter opener options and can be perfect if your garage is attached or close to any bedrooms or home offices.

The metal friction from chain drives makes them noisier. Chain drive openers can disturb your family if you have an attached garage and may be better suited for homes without an attached garage where noise is less of a concern. While you can lubricate the chain drive to make it quieter, belt drives are one of the best quiet garage door openers.


The price of a new opener is important, especially if you’re installing a new garage door at the same time. However, you’ll also want to consider value for money and how long before you’ll need to repair or replace your opener. Chain drives are generally less expensive upfront if you’re trying to stay within a budget but can require more maintenance and be more costly in the long run. While belt drive openers can be more expensive upfront, they typically require less maintenance and last longer.


You may want to choose a readily available opener so you can install it with your new garage door or get your door up and running right away if you are replacing an existing opener. You can purchase chain and belt drive openers from home improvement stores or online, but it’s generally better to work with a garage door company that can install an opener for you. Many repair companies have trusted openers on hand and can repair or replace your opener on the same day.


Your opener should be easy to maintain and cost-effective for repairs and tune-ups. Belt drives are generally easier to maintain and require no rust-prevention maintenance.

The constant metal friction on chain belt drive openers can cause them to wear faster than belt drives. Moisture and elements like rain and wind also affect the function of chain drive openers. A chain drive opener may require maintenance, like lubrication, every six months to prevent it from rusting and sticking. A belt drive may be more suitable if you are concerned about maintenance time and cost.


Your garage door opener’s purpose is to make your life more convenient. You want an opener that operates smoothly and makes leaving and entering your home easy and efficient. Chain drive openers can make your garage slightly shaky when opening. Chain drives are also slightly slower at lifting doors than belt drives. It’s generally only a few seconds’ difference in lifting speed, but a belt drive opener may be the right choice for your home if you want a smoother, faster opener.


The time it takes to install a garage door opener can make all the difference. If you’re replacing an old or faulty opener, you want the installation to be as quick as possible so you can resume using your garage door. While both types can be easy to install, chain drive openers generally take longer and can be more complicated. If your priority is a quick installation time, you might save a few minutes by choosing a belt drive opener.

What Kind of Garage Door Opener Type Is Better?

Which is better — chain or belt-driven garage door openers? You want to make an informed decision when choosing a garage door opener. While a belt drive or a chain drive opener can work well for your garage door, choosing one that meets your specific needs is essential. Weighing the pros and cons of a belt drive garage door opener and a chain drive garage door opener can help you decide which option best suits your garage door and personal preferences.

Pros and Cons of Belt Drive vs. Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

Look at the advantages and disadvantages of chain and belt drive openers side by side to make an informed decision. Here are some pros and cons of belt and chain garage door openers:

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener Pros and Cons

The pros of belt drive garage door openers include the following:

  • Minimal noise: Belt drive openers slide through a trolley, making them quieter than chain drive openers. They can be less distracting if you have an attached garage close to any bedrooms or office areas.
  • Easy to install: Installing a belt drive opener can be quicker and less complicated than installing a chain drive opener.
  • Robust designs: Improved designs mean belt drive openers offer substantial lifting power. Many belt drive openers can lift heavy garage door types like wood and two- to three-car garage doors.
  • Less maintenance: Belt drive openers use a rubber assembly system and require less maintenance and no rust prevention measures.
  • Dependable: With fewer maintenance requirements, belt drives can be a better long-term investment. Your belt drive opener will likely last longer before needing repairs or replacement.

Here are some of the cons of belt drive garage door openers:

  • Less affordable: New belt drive openers are often more expensive upfront than chain drive openers. It may be challenging to stay within your budget if you install a new belt drive opener and garage door.
  • Availability: Some belt drive openers can be less readily available than chain drive openers.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener Pros and Cons

Here are some pros of chain drive garage door openers:

  • Readily available: Chain drive openers are popular and easy to find at home improvement stores or online. Garage repair companies also stock various high-quality and brand-name chain drive openers.
  • Durable: With regular and proper maintenance, chain drive openers can withstand the elements and last for years.
  • Inexpensive: Manufacturers use steel for many parts in a chain drive opener, making them an economical and more affordable option. Replacement parts can also be inexpensive.
  • Strong designs: Chain drives are one of the most powerful openers with impeccable lifting power. They can lift the heaviest wooden garage doors and multiple-car garage doors. They are also suitable for lighter and one-car garage doors.

The cons of chain drive garage door openers include the following:

  • More maintenance: Constant metal-on-metal friction can cause chain drive openers to wear faster over time. Exposure to moisture can also reduce the functioning of the chain drive. Regular maintenance, like lubrication every six months, is essential for effective functioning.
  • Less convenient: Your garage door can open more slowly with a chain drive opener. Chain drives can also lift your door less smoothly, causing your door to shake slightly. If your priority is convenience, a slight opening delay can affect your experience.
  • Longer installation: Installing chain drive openers’ steel assembly mechanisms can be intricate and take longer. Repairing chain drives can also take more time.
  • More noise: The metal friction can make chain drives noisy and disruptive, especially if you have an attached garage.

Quality Chain and Belt Drive Garage Door Openers From Viking Overhead

Your garage door opener makes your life more convenient. You use your garage door daily and want to know that your opener can withstand wear and last many years. Finding an opener suitable for your garage door and personal preferences is essential. Viking Overhead is a long-standing, reputable residential and commercial garage door repair company. We offer garage door services like opener repairs, replacements and installations. Our team of certified and professional technicians is skilled in repairing and replacing various garage openers like chain and belt drives.

Our technicians check your garage door’s balance to ensure it is in alignment before installing your new opener. Our technicians take pride in their work and offer safe, courteous and efficient repairs and replacements.

We stock our trucks with high-quality and trusted brand names like Liftmaster and Chamberlain so we can offer you same-day repairs and replacements. We service more than 45 areas, including Arlington, Benbrook, Burleson, Crowley, Colleyville, Grapevine, River Oaks, Southlake and other surrounding areas. We will not charge you a call-out fee and will simultaneously fix your garage door issue.

Contact us for a free estimate.

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