Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Difference?

Whether you are buying, selling, renovating, or relocating; knowing the difference between chain drive and belt drive garage door openers could mean everything to your future living situation and those around you.

chain vs belt garage door opener
Garage door opener

Table of Contents

Is it better to choose a chain drive or a belt drive garage door opener?

When looking for garage door openers, finding the answer to belt vs chain will require you to first look at your circumstances and requirements before making an informed decision. You chose the car that’s right for you, and you now need to carefully choose the perfect accessory for the place in which you park it. With just a little information, you can confidently decide between chain drive and belt drive door openers and earn a high-five from the whole family.

Which is more efficient, belt or chain?

When looking at which is better between belt or chain garage door openers, I must first acknowledge that both are excellent options. However, as with almost everything on the market, there are some differences that we have to be aware of.

Efficiency is as important to some as function, and we must delve into which of the two options out there is the more efficient, belt or chain. Chain driven door openers are the most cost-effective to set up initially thanks to their lower purchase price. However, with daily use, the metal-on-metal action that takes place inside the unit will require you to keep on top of regularly oiling and lubricating the chains, which over the years could lead to an increase in cost and waste, along with more of your time.

Belt driven door openers on the other hand will make a larger dent in your bank balance to begin with. However, they have the potential to last much longer; which in the long run could prove to be the better investment, provided you change the belt on occasion to keep the unit running smoothly. They are not always as strong as chain driven garage door openers, though, so your decision could be further affected by how many doors your garage utilises and the individual weight of each of them.

Belt drive garage door openers

belt drive garage door opener
Belt driven

When do you want to buy a belt drive garage door opener?

There are many signs to look out for that will help you to know when it is time to add a belt drive garage door opener to your entrance ensemble. Maybe your current garage door opener doesn’t fully close and constantly leaves a gap to let all of the elements in. Perhaps, on the other hand, you are just getting tired of the neighbour’s dog barking at the sound of your current clunky carriage lugging your garage door up and down when the children are trying to sleep? In reality, there are so many reasons to get yourself equipped with a belt door opener you will likely be wondering why you haven’t done it sooner.

What are the pros and cons of a belt drive garage door opener?

As a consumer, we all know that you need to weigh up all of the options before making an important purchase. So, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of owning a belt drive garage door opener to help you decide whether it is the right option for your home, and to see whether there are any disadvantages of a belt drive garage door opener.


Maintenance: If you are looking for an easy-to-maintain garage opener, the belt drive should be at the top of your shopping list. Thanks to the lack of multiple mechanical moving parts, the belt drive garage door opener is both easy to install and easier to maintain; you won’t even need to lubricate it to keep it operating smoothly.

Noise: If noise reduction is one of your requirements, you might be leaning more towards the belt in the ‘garage door belt vs chain’ showdown. Benefitting from a rubber belt, these door openers are much smoother than their chain-operated counterparts, and the lack of mechanical components is evidenced in the almost silent way in which they allow access to your garage. 

Longevity: While there is no clear answer to the question of which is better – chain or belt garage door openers – if your focus is on the future, you are surely looking for the option that will last the longest. Belt driven garage door openers are often the choice of those who don’t mind paying that bit extra to ensure they do not need to replace their entire garage door opener anytime soon.


Price: While the longevity of the belt drive garage door opener is definitely a pro, these pieces of kit often command a higher up-front price tag to reflect this, and will not always be the most cost-effective option for your home.

Component Duration: Granted, belt driven garage door openers do tend to last longer; however, the belts inside them will need replacing on occasion. While maybe not as time-consuming as the regular oiling and lubricating of a chain drive, the belts do not last forever; especially in high heat and humid conditions, and will likely need replacing at some point.

Noise: Yes, yes – I know noise was a pro, but there are two sides to this particular coin. If security is a concern of yours, you may dislike the inaudible operation of the belt drive, as the increased sound of the chain drive could alert you to unwanted visitors, something you will not get with a belt drive door opener.

Why would you use a belt drive instead of a chain drive?

I’ve discussed some of the pros and cons, so now let’s dive into why you would use a belt drive instead of a chain drive and see if we can finally settle the debate as to which is better.

The big plus we see time and time again with people firmly in camp belt is the noise reduction element. All houses are different, and maybe you have steered clear of installing a garage door opener due to working the night shift and having your master bedroom on top of the garage, and being fearful of waking the whole house (or even the entire street). Belt drive openers are also ideal for those with a busy schedule, as they tend to operate faster than a chain drive which is perfect when every precious second counts.

Are belt drive garage door openers reliable?

You have seen the up-front cost and you know there is little maintenance involved; however, you want to know just how far your investment will stretch and find out how long belt drive garage door openers last. The average garage door opener will last around 10-15 years as standard, although with proper maintenance and the right conditions, a belt drive could last even longer! And with most belts being reinforced in some way, they are now almost as strong as their chain-constructed cousin.

Chain drive garage door openers

chain drive garage door opener
Chain drive

When do you want to buy a chain drive garage door opener?

Maybe you have never had a garage door opener before and still open your garage by hand? Or perhaps you have purchased a house and the current garage door opener isn’t quite up to the task of ascending your shiny new garage doors? With so many options to choose from, it is always a good time to join the chain train and see the benefits of a chain drive garage door opener.

Is a chain drive better than a belt drive?

Some may say yes, some may say no, but we need to find out where you stand in the garage opener chain vs belt debate as this will largely come down to the factors that are most essential to you.

Typically, chain drives can lift a heavier weight than belt drives and could be the optimum option if you have a weighty wooden door or two protecting your precious vehicles. Coupled with the decreased initial purchase cost and unintended intruder alert function – thanks to the noisier operating action – the chain drive may tick a lot more boxes for you.

How long do chain drive garage door openers last?

If you have been asking the question as to which is cheaper, chain or belt drive garage door openers, you must also be wondering how long they can last.

Chain drive garage door openers operate by using a chain, not dissimilar to the one you might find on your bike, to pull the door along a track. Tried, tested, and trusted, this style of garage door opener has been a long-standing and popular option on the market for many, many years. You already know how to care for your car, and with a regular service and oiling, you can expect your chain drive garage door opener to run without a hitch for 10 years and upwards.

Can you change from a chain drive to a belt drive garage door opener?

By this point, we all know you have made the decision to buy a new garage door opener. However, it may not be your first.

Whether you have inherited a rusty old chain drive opener or have had enough of missing the calendar reminder to oil it, you may be asking yourself if it is even possible to switch to a belt driven door opener. The answer you will be happy to hear is a resounding YES! Both types of door openers use a similar mechanism and with just a little know-how, you will be able to open the door to a brand new world of garage glee as you admire your handy work and watch your garage door silently open, and close.


The question is no longer whether to get a garage door opener, but more which garage door opener to get, chain or belt. With the information above safely stored in your locker, you will be able to weigh up the options and confidently make your choice; chain versus belt. Whichever system you choose to use, you will be able to rest easy knowing you have made the right choice for you.