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Today is: March 26th, 2017

Belt Drive vs Screw Drive vs Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

It is generally accepted that chain drive garage door openers are the least expensive, belt drive openers the quietest, and screw drive openers the easiest to maintain. However, all 3 types of garage door openers will open and close your garage door. Therefore, we believe the best opener is the one that meets all of your particular wants and needs.

Garage Door Opener Brands

Current popular brands of garage door openers are, Chamberlain, Genie, Sears and Lift Master. In our opinion all four brands offer quality openers worthy of your consideration.

Choosing a well-known brand name can be beneficial if you ever need support, parts, or need to make a warranty claim on your opener.

Opener Features

A basic garage door opener package will likely include the opener assembly, one or two remotes, and a wall button.

For a little more the following options are available:

  • Wireless outdoor keypad for security code based entry
  • DC opener motor for quieter operation
  • 3/4 horsepower to lift heavier solid core garage doors
  • Battery back-up to ensure door operation in a blackout
  • Advanced remote features
  • Advanced wall control features
  • Premium warranty


It has been our experience that whether you are installing a basic chain drive model opener or a more advanced belt drive model the installation procedure and difficulty is about the same.

If you are replacing an existing opener you should be able to use the existing mounting brackets. If this is a new installation you may need to purchase angle iron to mount the opener in your garage.

Our Recommendations

If your garage is attached to your home we strongly recommend a belt drive opener for quiet operation. The last time we checked the price difference between a basic 1/2 hp (horsepower) brand name chain drive opener and a brand name 3/4 hp belt drive opener with a DC motor and other premium features was only about $58 more. It's worth spending a little extra money for quiet operation!

Chain drive and screw drive openers are fine if your garage is detached from your home.

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