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Which Garage Door Opener is Best for Me?

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Chain Drive vs. Belt Drive vs. Screw Drive

Electric garage door openers were first invented in 1926 by a man named C.G. Johnson. As you can imagine they have come along way since then. In this blog we will talk about the three most common types of electric garage door openers and get a quick rundown of their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Screw Drive:

What is a Screw Drive Opener: A screw drive electric opener is the most mechanically different of the three opener types. It relies on a carriage to ride on a threaded steel rod which rotates to move the door.  

Strengths: There is less moving parts than a belt or chain drive motor. Screw drive openers typically are among the faster moving openers available.

Weaknesses: They do not do as well in climates where the temperature widely varies. They are typically the most expensive of the three motors.  Screw Drives are also the hardest of the three opener types to install.

  • Belt Drive:

What is a Belt Drive Opener: A Belt drive opener relies on a belt and pulley system to lift and lower the door as it rides along the track. The belts are typically made out of fiberglass, polyurethane or steel enforced rubber. These openers are best for attached garages especially if there is living space above the garage.

Strengths: Belt drive openers are the quietest of the three opener types. Belt drive openers are also a more reliable opener.

Weaknesses: Belt drive openers cost a little more than a chain drive opener.

  • Chain Drive:

What is a Chain Drive Opener: A chain drive opener relies on a bicycle like chain and pulley system to lift and lower the door as it rides along the track. These openers are best suited for detached garages.

Strengths: Chain drive openers are the cheapest of the opener types. These openers are also the most reliable of all the openers.  Chain Drive openers are also the easiest openers to install.

Weaknesses: Chain drive motors are typically the noisiest of all the opener types but with new DC style motors they have quieted down a bit.

When it comes down to it the screw drive openers are the fastest but most expensive. Belt drive motors are the quietest but not the cheapest. Chain drive openers are the most reliable but they are the noisiest. As far as which opener is best for your garage it’s all about personal preference and which features are most important to you. Leave us your thoughts and favorite opener types in the comments below. 

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