Garage door openers are one of those appliances that you don’t think about until they break. And when they do, it’s often a difficult decision to make about which type of opener to buy. The range of styles available for your next garage door openers includes belt drive, chain drive, screw drive, direct drive, and jackshaft. But which one is best?

The experts at Legacy Garage Doors are prepared to help! In this blog post, we will outline the pros and cons of each type so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs. And when you need garage door openers there’s only one garage door company to call: Legacy Garage Doors!

Chain Drives

A chain drive uses a metal chain for lifting and lowering the door. This type of opener is probably the “standard-model” garage door opener. Most garages use chain drives than other types of openers. This popularity allows for several baked in benefits.

Advantages include:
  • Power: Chain drive garage door openers are typically more powerful than belt or screw drive models.
  • Durability: These models also tend to last longer than other types, making them an ideal choice for heavier garage doors.
  • Low Cost: Because of their widespread use and availability, chain drive models are usually less expensive than other types of openers.
Disadvantages include:
  • Noisy Operation: Those same chains that provide the strength for heavier garage doors can also be noisy when they are in operation.
  • High Maintenance: Chains are prone to wear and tear over time and require regular lubrication and maintenance.

Belt Drives

Belt drive garage openers are exactly as the name implies, using belts to open and close a garage door. Recently belts have become more and more popular due to several advantages over chain drives. This has resulted in more and more customers shifting over to this model.

Advantages include:
  • Quiet Operation: These openers feature rubber belts that absorb sound and vibration, making them much quieter than other types of openers.
  • Low Maintenance: compared to other types of openers, belts require less regular maintenance or lubrication.
  • Reliability: Since there are fewer moving parts than chain drive openers, the risk of wear and tear is reduced.
Disadvantages include:
  • High Cost: Since they are more modern, belt-drive openers tend to cost more than chain-drive models.
  • Fragility: Belt drives work great for lighter garage doors but may require additional reinforcement for heavier models.
  • Extreme Weather: Belt drives also do not perform as well in extreme heat and cold, so they may need additional weatherproofing.

Screw Drives

Screw drive models have also become a popular alternative to chain drives, known for their fast operation and low price point. They use a threaded steel rod to move the door up and down, making them quieter than other types of openers. This unique form among garage door operators provides other advantages too!

Advantages include:
  • Easy Installation: Screw drives feature fewer moving parts for an easier installation process that can be done by a single person.
  • Durability: With reliable performance, screw drives have a phenomenal range, screw drives are able to handle heavier garage doors than belt drives.
  • Repairability: Fewer parts make screw drives one of the cheapest models on the market when it comes to repair costs.
Disadvantages include:
  • High Maintenance: In order to continue working, screw drives require periodic lubrication and maintenance.
  • Bulky Dimensions: Screw drives have a larger and bulkier design than other types of openers.
  • High Cost: Because they are less popular, screw drives do have a higher upfront cost at the point of sale.

Direct Drives

Direct drive openers are a relatively recent innovation, combining the best features of chain and belt drives into one model. Direct drives use a small motor mounted directly on the trolley that lifts and lowers your garage door, creating one of the most efficient options available.

Advantages include:
  • Quiet Operation: By combining the best features of chain and belt drives, direct drive owners benefit from low noise.
  • Reliability: Direct drives use chains, allowing them to perform smoothly regardless of extreme weather, heat or cold.
  • Maintenance: Probably the best feature, direct drives do not require much maintenance as other types of openers.
Disadvantages include:
  • High Cost: As direct drives are a new form of opener, they are more expensive than other types of openers.
  • Fragility: It’s not that direct drives can’t work for heavier doors, but models that do work with heavier doors cost more.

Jackshaft Openers

Jackshaft openers are the funkier model on the market. A jackshaft mounts to the side or top of your garage door’s track instead of its frame to offer an even quieter operation compared to overhead garage doors. Because of this uniqueness, there’s quite a few advantages and disadvantages to choosing a jackshaft.

Advantages include:
  • Light Weight: Due to a lighter weight, jackshaft drives can be mounted to the wall, freeing up space on the roof of the garage.
  • Quiet Operation: Jackshafts don’t require a motor and mount on the track rather than the frame, making them a more quiet model
  • Weather Resistant: Another great benefit of jackshafts are their weather resistant ability, functioning in extreme temperatures.
Disadvantages include:
  • High Cost: Because of their unique design, jackshaft openers tend to be the most expensive type of opener on the market.
  • Fragility: The jackshaft design makes it vulnerable to damage from moisture and dirt if not properly maintained.
  • Compatibility: These funky drives are best installed by professional garage technicians due to their larger size and unique power requirements.
  • Durability: Jackshafts are not as powerful as other types of openers, so they may require additional reinforcement for heavier models.

Looking For Someone to Install Your Next Garage Door Opener?

Phew, we’ve done it! Now that we’ve explored the selection of garage door systems that customers can find on the market, it’s up to you to decide which garage door products you want. But when comes to finding the right company for garage doors, there’s only one choice: Legacy Garage Doors.

Our expert garage technicians can provide services for the entire garage including installation, repair, replacement and more at competitive pricing and with excellent customer service across Treasure Valley. Whether you need a new garage door opener or require broken spring repair on an existing one, you can always trust Legacy Garage Doors to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Contact us today for a garage door tune-up or call us at 208-944-1110.

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