DID YOU KNOW? All of our technicians are employees of Overhead Door. We never use subcontractors!

DID YOU KNOW? All of our technicians are employees of Overhead Door. We never use subcontractors!

Mid-Atlantic Door Group Inc. Distributors of Overhead Door Corp.

Belt vs Chain Garage Door Opener: Which is Right for You?

Homeowners looking to update their garage door may also wish to replace their garage door opener. Two of the most common options they will likely encounter are the belt and chain drive varieties, which are the focus of the article below. We’ll explore some of the pros and cons of each garage door opener type so that homeowners can make an informed decision that works for their particular needs.

garage door opener mounted on garage ceiling

How Chain and Belt Garage Door Openers Work

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

Chain drive garage door openers use a metal chain to open the garage door. More specifically, they implement a chain running assembly unit attached to tension springs that lift the garage door up and down. Lastly, thanks to being affordable and readily available, this style is widely used in residential garages.

chain garage door opener being inspected

Belt Drive Garage Opener

As the name suggests, these openers use a rubber belt to open the garage door. The rubber belt slides a trolley when the door is triggered to open or close the door.

belt drive garage door opener

Chain Drive Pros and Cons


  • Dependability/Durability: These drives, if properly maintained, will last for years and aren’t subject to performance issues when temperatures or the humidity fluctuates.
  • Availability: These drive openers can be found in a variety of retailers, ranging from the big box establishments to smaller, local hardware stores.
  • Price: Being constructed from inexpensive steel, chain drive openers are affordable, comparatively. Also, this means that a future replacement of parts will be less expensive.


  • Noise: Unfortunately, consistent performance and durability come with a noisier operation. You’ll want to be mindful of this issue particularly if your garage is attached to your home.
  • Smoothness of Operation: Chain drive doors will sometimes lift in a slightly shaky manner due to the nature of the chain mechanism. They will also lift your door a bit slower than a belt drive opener might, though the difference of a few seconds overall isn’t much of an issue to most homeowners.
  • Maintenance: The presence of steel means that maintenance on a regular basis every six months is a must. Chain drives should be kept free of excess moisture and dirt, which could lead to rust and becoming inoperable.

Belt Drive Pros and Cons


  • Minimal Noise: Belt drive garage doors are much quieter to operate thanks to being made of rubber.
  • Strength: Recent innovations in belt drives’ construction and durability means that these openers can handle substantial lifts.
  • Ease of Installation: Replacing a worn or broken belt can be a significantly easier process than replacing a broken chain drive.
  • Availability: Belt drive garage door openers are available in a variety of home improvement retailers, as well as online.
  • Easy Maintenance: Belt drives don’t require regular lubrication or rust-prevention measures.


  • Price: Belt drive garage door openers usually entail higher up-front costs because of the materials used to construct them.

Need Help Finding the Right Garage Door Opener?

Whether you’re ready to buy a new opener or need some help identifying the right option for your home, the Mid-Atlantic Door Group team is here to help. Contact one of our eight locations across the region to get started.

About The Author | Justin White

Justin White is the VP of Marketing for Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. The company opened in 1973 and now consists of (3) official Overhead Door™ Distributors and (8) warehouse locations throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Justin was born into the door industry, ultimately following in his father's footsteps and joining the family owned business in 2011. After spending time in the field with fellow mechanics, Justin found his niche in marketing, along with a specialty in residential garage door sales, installation, and service.

Garage Door Services

Since 1973, Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. has been providing Washington DC, Suburban MD, Frederick MD, Southern MD, Northern VA, Fredericksburg VA, Richmond VA, Harrisburg PA, Hanover-York PA, and the surrounding areas with the most reliable and trusted garage door services. These services include new door sales, professional installation, and 24/7 garage door repair services on all makes and models.

We are the region's only Authorized Overhead Door™ Distributors. All of our products enjoy the garage door industry's best warranty.

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