A Guide to the Primary Types of Garage Door Openers

residential garage doors

Garage door openers are motorized devices that make opening and closing the door so much easier. Electric garage door openers have come a long way since their invention in the 1920s. They come in various types, each with its features and benefits. Read on to learn more about the main types of garage door openers.

residential garage doors


As the name suggests, chain-driven models use a metal chain similar to a bicycle chain to drive the chain up and down to open and close the door. It was the standard type for many decades and is usually used in residential garage doors. 

Chain-driven openers are preferred for being durable and less expensive than other types. They are also powerful enough to work with heavy doors and older door models. Since they are unlikely to slip during operation, chain-driven is relatively safer than other types of openers.

The biggest drawback to this type of opener is the noise. Metal chains being pulled by metal parts produces noise and vibration that may not be an issue if your garage is detached from your house. However, it may not be the ideal opener if your garage is directly under a second-floor bedroom.


Belt-driven openers work similarly to chain-drive, only they use reinforced rubber belts instead of metal chains. While they can be used for any garage door, they are perfect for lifting light to moderate-weight doors.  

Belt-driven openers lift doors slightly faster than chain-driven. They are also easy to maintain because they do not need lubrication, unlike chain drives. But its most significant advantage is reduced noise during operation.

On the downside, belt-driven openers cost more than chain drive openers. They also have a shorter lifespan and may require replacement sooner than other types. They are also not ideal for heavier, two-car garage doors.


The screw-driven openers have the most complicated drive mechanism. The trolley moves along a threaded steel rod (“screw”) inside the track that runs from the opener to the door. This type is probably the least popular among all opener types.

Screw-driven openers are perfect for garages with low ceilings because of their compact size. This type is quieter, like the belt-driven, and powerful at lifting large doors like the chain-driven. Although slower than the first two types, screw-driven openers are considered to be safer.

One of the cons of this type is its slower operation. It also requires more maintenance as the steel rod needs to be lubricated about two times a year to reduce wear on the threads. It is also not the best choice for heavier doors because it could wear down the threads more quickly.


Jackshaft (also called wall-mounted) is a newer type of garage door opener that is gaining popularity. Instead of being on the ceiling, the motor is mounted to either side of the garage door. 

Jackshaft openers provide more overhead space in garages, making it ideal for garages with a high, cathedral, or angled ceilings and garages with storage space above the door. It is also quiet to operate.

Unfortunately, jackshaft openers are more expensive than other types of openers since they are newer and more efficient. Another disadvantage to this type is its incompatibility with garage doors that have low headroom tracks.  

If you are considering upgrading to an automatic garage door, it is important to choose the right garage door opener based on your specific needs. Titan Garage Doors is a local company happy to provide product guidance on garage door opener Loves Park. They also offer garage door repair Loves Park services for homeowners. 

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