Belt Drive vs Chain Drive: Which is Best?

Time to upgrade the old garage door opener?

If money isn’t an issue for you and you have a standard garage door, I recommend going for a belt-driven garage door opener.

If you want to save some cash or your garage door is bigger than normal, you’ll want to utilize the strength of chain drives.

If still can’t decide, you’ll find the pros and cons of each listed below.

Belt Driven Garage Door Openers

Belt drive systems utilize a belt to open and close your garage door. They create less noise as the chain is covered in rubber, creating less friction. They also last longer but they also cost quite a bit more. If you have money to invest, belt-driven is the best choice.


1. Housing has foam insulation to reduce motor noise.

2. Considered the “Cadillac” of garage door openers

3. Drive chain is coated in rubber (like a tire) to virtually eliminate noise. The drive chain should last around 30 years of use.

4. Long-lasting due to less friction.

5. Slightly faster than chain-driven garage door openers.


1. Costs more than a chain-driven garage door opener.

2. Not powerful enough to handle heavier garage doors.

Chain Driven Garage Door Openers

A chain drive garage door opener utilizes a metal chain to lift and close your garage door. They’ve been used for decades and if you don’t mind noise and want to save some cash, you can’t go wrong with one.


1. Cheaper than a belt-drive garage door opener.

2. Stronger and better suited for handling heavier garage doors like wood.

3. Reliable as they’ve been used for decades without any issues.


1. Much louder than a belt drive garage door opener.

2. Friction wears down chain drives motor and gear over time. This causes the device to stop working completely.

Chain Drive vs Belt Drive: What’s the Verdict?

The chain vs belt debate is simple. If you want peace and quiet, go for the belt drive garage door opener. If money is an issue or you have a heavy garage door, then you’re going to want to use a chain drive opener.

If your garage door is opening by itself or your spring needs to be adjusted, you can try to fix it yourself before upgrading.

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About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.