Perhaps you’ve seen belt drive garage door openers and wondered how they differ from chain drive door openers. Learning the difference between the two can help you to better understand which one you want to buy for your garage door.

Typically, garage door companies like Cherry Hill Garage Door consider the belt drive opener an upgrade over the chain drive door opener. It makes less noise and uses the belt to drive itself.

Belt Drive Opener vs Chain Drive

Customers like chain drive openers because they cost less than belt drives. You will pay anywhere from $150 to $200 for a chain drive opener. On the other hand, belt drive opener cost anywhere from $250 to $300.

For both of these, it doesn’t include installation, which you should always have a professional do. Working with the springs and openers on a garage door can endanger your life.

Thinking of it as a long-term investment, belt drives may cost more, but they last 10 to 15 years. Contrasted with the chain drive, they last slightly less than that.

Belt drives last longer because they can move the rubber belt drive up and down. Chain drives don’t last as long because of how the moving metals start to wear on each other. You don’t experience this with a belt drive.

Noise: Which Does Better?

Without a question, the belt drive doesn’t make as much noise opening and closing the door. If you work the night shift and have a roommate or kids, you may find that the belt drive lets you leave without disturbing everyone in the home.

Some people may prefer the chain drive opener because it alerts them to the fact that the garage door opened. If you have teenagers in the home, you may prefer a louder garage door so that they can’t sneak out with the car.

Belt drive openers with a bedroom above the garage can make a lot of noise, which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Strength: Belt Drive vs Chain Drive

Chain drives can lift more than a belt drive opener. For someone who has a heavier garage door, the chain drive will always do a better job lifting the door. Garage doors can weigh anywhere from 130 to 350 pounds.

The heavier doors will usually require a chain drive opener. When you have a two-door garage, the chain drive performs better without a question. Belt drives can lift a heavy wooden garage door as easily as a chain drive.

While belt drives have made incredible strides on the chain drive openers, they still have a few flaws that put them on the same level as chain drives in areas like strength and cost.


Belt drive opener operate with greater speed than the chain drive door openers. While it might slightly add to your convenience, most people won’t even recognize the difference here.

However, belt drives often require less maintenance than a chain drive opener because you don’t have as many moving metal parts.

Chain drives occasionally require you to adjust the chain. Most likely, you only have to do it once or twice during the lifetime of the garage door.

Which One Should You Choose?

We don’t tell you which one to choose. Instead, we highlight the differences between the two garage doors so that you can make the decision yourself. Each person has different circumstances, and it depends on those factors to determine which one you choose.

Belt drives work best if you don’t mind paying extra, and you only have a single door on the garage. For multiple garage doors, you will almost always choose a chain drive for strength.

Pros and Cons of Belt Drive Garage Doors

The pros of a belt drive garage door come from its strength. This was the earlier version of a garage door opener. You can install it easily, maintain it easily and it comes readily available.

Most home improvement stores across the country have belt drive garage door openers. You can also purchase them straight from the company. If you buy it from a home improvement store, always have a professional install it.

While belt drives do work well under most circumstances, they don’t perform as well in climates with high heat. The same goes for higher humidity. The other thing that holds belt drives back comes from its higher price.

Pros and Cons of Chain Drive Garage Doors

Most garage door experts think of chain drive garage doors as the more durable choice. With proper maintenance, it will last as long as a belt drive, and they remain dependable throughout the changing seasons.

Chain drives have the advantage of a lower cost than belt drives. The difference may only be $50, but for some people, they may not want to invest extra cash in the belt drive.

Chain drives do have their disadvantages. For example, they make more noise than a belt drive opener. Because of more metal parts, you have to keep steady maintenance on the chain drive opener.

Oiling the chain from time to time keeps it in good condition. Without proper maintenance, the chain drive will begin to rust and the iron will stiffen.

Some of the factors to consider before you buy a belt drive or a chain drive include budget, strength, noise, weight and durability. Some of this comes down to personal choice because each person has a different budget.

You don’t have a right or wrong choice here. Some people think of the belt drive as the superior option, but it may not work for every situation. For example, when you have a two or three-door car garage, you need a garage door opener that can handle the extra weight.