Garage door openers are widely used either with a belt drive system or a chain drive system. Both follow the traditional mechanism to open and close the door but come with a set of features that distinguish their functionality. Although these features don’t affect the primary objective of a door opener, they certainly add convenience, reliability and safety every time you visit your garage and hence people choose accordingly.
Chain Drive System:
Chain drive system is the most commonly used door opener with a metal chain that runs on a track to open and close the door. Comparing it with belt drive, chain door openers are reasonable in price, last longer and have more strength. They have the capability to lift, raise and lower heavy wooden, metallic doors, be it a single door or double-sided. They are safe, don’t slip off easily and provide greater durability as well. Talk about weather conditions and chain drive systems will handle the toughest heat and humidity but require frequent lubrication else it may rust and stop working. However, with all these benefits comes the loud noise and vibration of chain door openers. Since the door is lifted with the help of a heavy chain, it is loud, shaky and also slow in its function.
Garage door openers with a belt drive system are newer in technology and use a rubber belt along the moving track to open and close the door. Since it replaces the metallic chain for raising and lowering the garage door, it is relatively silent, smooth and vibration free. With a common myth that belt drives are not stable and sturdy, they have proven to easily lift 1-car garage doors but struggle with heavy wooden and double-side doors. In terms of speed, belt drives are quick and very easy to install. Belt drive garage door openers are easy to maintain but be sure to consider the climate where you live, which means if you live in a hot, humid weather, the drive may slip and not function as intended. If at any given point you feel the need to replace the belt, the task isn’t as challenging as for the chain drive.
Best Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
LiftMaster is one of the most reliable and efficient garage door opener manufacturers. Their 8550W series is a belt door opener that runs on powerful 24V DC motor and makes less noise to ensure smooth opening and closing. Its unique features also include the Auto-Force monitoring system that allows you to adjust the floor height, door movement and temperature fluctuations that affect the door opening and closing.
Made with durable materials, LiftMaster can easily be installed and mounted on the wall without any rails. Alongside great lubrication, the company also offers a lifetime warranty on the motor and belt.
- Includes battery backup power
- Batteries not included in the kit
- Lifetime motor and belt warranty
- Makes hardly any noise
- Auto-force feature
Chamberlain Whisper Drive is one of the safest options in garage door openers. It features a ¾ HPS DC belt system and motor vibration isolation system that makes it quieter and smoother than any other door opener. The door opener is thoughtfully designed consisting of protector system safety sensors and rapid-snap brackets that reverse the door if in case, it notices someone or something coming in between while the door is being lowered.
What’s unique about Chamberlain WD962? Its Timer-to-Close function, where you can set the timings and the door will open and close automatically in between 1, 5 and 10 minutes. With easy integration on your smartphone, Chamberlain can be operated both with electricity and battery power.
- 0.75 HP DC system
- Back-up battery
- Smartphone integration with MyQ Technology enabled
- Kit includes one control panel, two 3-button remote controls, one wireless keyless entry system
The Genie QuietLift 800 is known for three basic yet very important features; durability, safety and easy installation. With 0.5 HP Power Plus DC motor, it is not less quiet but guaranteed silent. Most suited for residential garages, the door opener has a maximum height of 7 feet.
The Safe-T-Beam system and auto-reversing system ensure to flash the beam and activate the signals so that the door reverses its action whenever someone passes through it. Unlike others that open with one speed, Genie QuietLift 800 begins with a ‘slow start’ and as the door opens, it reaches its normal speed. If you are a beginner and looking for something reasonable as well as easy to start off, Genie QuietLift will guide you through and serve as a pocket-friendly yet long-term investment.
- 0.5 HPC DC Belt
- Remote with wireless keypad included
- Includes a wall console
Decko is one of the proven door opener meant to provide durability, reliability and most importantly last long. With a power of 0.75 HP, it comes with two remote controls, a wireless keypad, optical safety sensors and a wall panel for mounting.
Like all other belt door openers, this one also features an auto-reverse safety system that works on sensors and non-polarized wired connections which make it an easy to install choice. What’s more with Decko? It’s compatibility with Home Link, dual lighting system and an add-on 8-foot long extension for larger doors.
In the most reasonable price, Decko is a heavy duty belt door opener that can be used for domestic and other purposes.
- Powerful 0.75 HP belt drive operating system
- Features auto-reverse safety system
- 8-foot extension available
- Kit includes two 3 button remotes, 3 function wall panel, wireless wall button and wireless keypad
Skylink EQ-1522BK may look like an average door opener but it’s a lot more than its price and claim. With 0.5 HPF belt drive system, the door features a soft-start and soft-stop motor function that gradually increases the speed of the door functions. It comes with 2 keychain remote controls and a keyless entry system, both easy to use and install with a clear instruction manual included in the kit.
To open and close the garage door, it uses a flexible rubber belt which gives quiet, vibration-free, smooth and safe operations. With built-in force sensing and infrared sensors, it can identify obstacles that come in the path and give signals to the door to immediately stop functioning. Along with safety, Skylink also brings convenience. You can operate the door not only with a remote control but also a keyless entry system. Simply feed your 6-digit PIN code and it will obey your command.
- 1/2 Horsepower DC Motor
- Deluxe wall console
- Keyless entry system
- Infrared safety beam sensor
Chain Garage Door Openers
This Craftsman chain drive garage opener is the best choice for wooden, ornate and metal sectional doors. With a 0.5 horsepower chain drive, it isn’t loud or vibrating but rather gives smooth and quiet operations. Craftsman is known for its safety and security. Key features of this door opener include the rolling and lock mode that disables the door functionality if you have misplaced your remote. In case you don’t have the remote in your hand, you can still use the door with the keyless entry number system.
It also features light sensors that can switch on the garage lights once you cross the infrared beam. An added safety feature is the auto-reverse system that reverses the door operations as soon as it detects a blockage.
All in all, Craftsman 0.5 HP is a strong and reliable door opener with only one drawback. You can’t connect it with HomeLink, MyQ or Car2U home automation systems, which means you can’t operate the door functions from your smartphone.
- 0.5 HP Chain drive system
- Kit includes 2 remote controls, keyless entry pad system
- Door height: 7 feet
- Includes manual and automatic door release
Chamberlain PD762EV is by far one of the easiest to install door openers that come with a user-friendly comprehensive instruction manual. With a powerful 0.75 HP AC chain motor, it operates on a rugged and strongly built chain that can lift double-side and heavy metallic doors easily.
Unlike most other chain door openers, Chamberlain is compatible with MyQ home automation system, so no matter where you are, you can turn on the garage light and operate the door functions with your smartphone. Other features also include the rolling code system, lock mode and auto-reverse system; however, it doesn’t contain keyless entry pad. So why choose Chamberlain PD762EV? Because it still proves to be efficient, reliable and quiet with durable manufacturing that is meant to last long.
- Powerful 3/4 HP AC Motor chain drive system
- 3-button visor remote with tri-band frequency
- Include motion sensing wall control
- Lifetime motor warranty
Sommer 0.75 HP Direct Drive isn’t a complete package but certainly an option not to be missed out. With 0.75 HP Chain Drive System, with a chain and motor that moves together along a single moving part making it is less noisy, smooth and vibration free. Ideal to function on double-wide wooden doors and standard sectionals, Sommer Direct Drive is capable to lift a door weighing 550 pounds and a height of maximum 8-feet.
Sommer is also known for its innovative design. Unlike other door openers, it has a unique remote control with a slim and sleek control panel. The kit gives great compatibility with HomeLink and a lifetime warranty on the entire door opener. Take about safety and as safe as any other door opener with an auto-reverse system, infrared beam lights however you will not find the keyless entry pad and light detectors as part of this.
- Powerful 0.75 HP chain drive system
- Includes rail for 7 ft. to 8 ft. door height
- Full installation kit included
- Includes two x 2-button transmitters and one interior wall station
- Easy replacement of existing opener
Genie is one of the most powerful door openers that offer great value, efficient functionality and quiet execution at an affordable price. With an opening speed of 7.5 inches/second it features a 140-volt chain drive system that can easily be installed at home.
The chain system operates on a low profile c-channel rail that prevents the rail from dirt, dust, debris and ensures soft start and close. The Safe-T-Beam system allows the door opener to detect anything that comes its way and the auto-reverse system gives signals to the door to immediately reverse its action. It also features an Intellicode Technology that can prevent access of unauthorized persons in your garage and allow you to change the access code after every activation.
- 140-volt chain drive system
- Lifetime motor warranty and 5-year parts warranty
- Kit includes two pre-programmed 3-button remotes, a wireless, keyless keypad and a multi-function wall console (control panel).
- Features Self-diagnostic Safe-T Beam system
LiftMaster 8360 is a user-friendly, easy to install door opener that consists of all essential basic features and yet sold at a low price. Equipped with a powerful 0.75 HP DC chain motor system, it is manufactured with durable and sturdy materials that give smooth and silent execution.
Its essential safety features include infrared protector system and sensing technology that prevent your family and pets from accidents. The Security+2.0 and Posilock Technology will give you a new security code every time you use the remote control and lock the door every time it is closed, ensuring full-proof security to your garage.
LiftMaster is not only safe and reliable but also smart. It is compatible with HomeLink and MyQ technology, so you can easily operate from your computer or smartphone. In case there is a power outage, the motor also runs on a battery backup and appears to be power-efficient using less 75% power in standby mode.
- 200 Watt (max.) Lighting
- Compatible with HomeLink and MyQ Technology
- Features 200 watts adjustable lights
- Long battery backup
Choosing in between a belt door opener or a chain drive system is very much dependent on your preferences, usage and affordability. Both types have their pros and cons, however, if you are looking for a door opener that challenges tough and challenging weather conditions, has the capability to open any door size, a chain door opener is a better choice. If you focus is on having smooth, quick and silent execution, you will have to spend a little extra and choose the belt drive system.