Thinking About Buying A New Garage Door Opener? Check Out These Options

Lifting and closing your own garage door every time you leave for work can get bothersome after a while. So it's no wonder that so many homes use automatic garage door openers. But even the most reliable garage door opener has a finite lifespan, so you'll eventually need to shop for a brand-new one.

As you take a look at the latest garage door openers, it's a good idea to know what you're looking for. The following takes a look at the 4 most common types of garage door openers.

Chain Drive: Simple and Durable

Chain-driven garage door openers are the most popular choice for many homeowners. In fact, there's a good chance that there's one installed in your garage right now. As the name implies, chain-driven openers rely on a bicycle-like chain to move the garage door opener trolley back and forth, which in turn opens and closes the door.


  • Chain-driven garage door openers are usually the most affordable option available.
  • They're also long-lasting thanks to their simple yet robust construction.


  • Chain-driven openers can cause plenty of noise during operation, especially as they get older and as the chain wears down
  • The chains themselves can stretch and move out of adjustment on a regular basis
  • Chain-driven openers may also require more frequent lubrication than other openers

Belt Drive: Quieter and Smoother

Instead of using a chain to open and close the garage door, belt-driven openers rely on a durable rubber belt. The end result is a garage door opener that offers a couple of impressive advantages over their chain-driven counterparts.


  • Belt-driven operation is often quieter than a similar chain-driven setup
  • Belts eliminate slack in the drive system, resulting in smoother, vibration-free operation


  • Belt-driven openers are more expensive to purchase than comparable chain-driven systems
  • Rubber belts often require more frequent maintenance due to cracking, glazing, fraying and other wear-related issues

Screw Drive: Compact and More Reliable

Instead of using chains or belts, a screw-driven garage door opener relies on a rotating threaded steel rod. As the rod rotates, it also moves a carriage rack that's connected to the garage door. Depending on the direction the rod turns, the carriage rack closes or opens the garage door.


  • The compact design of a typical screw-driven garage door opener means more space for cramped garages
  • Screw-driven openers also rely on fewer moving parts than other garage door openers, making for a more simplistic and robust design that needs less maintenance than other openers
  • Screw drives retain more of their torque than other garage door opener designs, making them ideal for lifting larger, heavier doors


  • Screw-driven openers may be quieter than chain-driven openers, but they're noisier than belt-driven openers
  • Screw-driven openers may also be slower to open and close garage doors than other types

Jackshaft Drive: Ideal for High-Ceiling Garages

Jackshaft-driven garage door openers stand out thanks to their unique configuration. Whereas a typical garage door opener features a trolley bar that connects the opener and the garage door, a jackshaft-driven garage door opener connects directly to each end of the torsion spring shaft.


  • Jackshaft-driven garage door openers are ideal for garages with sloped and cathedral ceilings, as well as ceilings that are too tall to properly mount a central carriage
  • Most jackshaft-driven openers are quieter than typical trolley-type openers


  • Due to its unique design, a jackshaft-driven opener can only be used on a garage door with torsion springs
  • Jackshaft-driven openers also can't be used on low-headroom garage doors or on garage doors lacking the proper clearance for the device.

When choosing your new garage door opener, you should keep in mind not just the size of your garage door and how much you're willing to spend, but also how much horsepower your opener needs to get the job done. Read more information from local companies in order to make the right decision for your garage.