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Automatic Doors – Chain verses Belt

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Due to the decrease in price of the technology, electric garage doors have really seen a rise in popularity. More than 50% of our customers purchase an automatic garage door operator in addition to their new garage door. One of the more popular questions that we are asked by potential customers is, “What is the advantage of chain-drive over belt-drive?”More often than not, we tend to stick with a belt-driven automatic operator since it is the most versatile – ideal for a wide variety of requirements/environments. Nonetheless, we’ll help you decide which is the best for you. Before we commence, there is not a “best” solution. Both operators have their accompanying advantages/disadvantages. Belt-Driven Operators:Advantages:

  • Belt-driven operators are very quite. This is often necessary for living rooms which are adjacent to the garage or above the garage.
  • Hardly any maintenance is required on a belt-driven operator. They tend to take care of themselves or so it seems.


  • Many argue that belt-driven operators aren’t as durable as their counterparts, but we would argue otherwise. The belts located in these units tend to feature a rubber belt which is as tough as a steel-belted tyre.

Chain-Driven Operators:Advantages:

  • Chain drive operators are more durable offering the potential to lift a larger overall weight. This is only important for large/heavy doors – often wooden doors.


  • Unfortunately, chain driven operators tend to be considerably noisy because the chain clatters against the guide-rail. A squeaky, oil-lacking chain also tends to cause a bit of noise.
  • Additional maintenance is required over a belt-drive operator. For example, it is imperative that the chain is oiled every now and then to ensure proper operation. On the other hand, oily chains tend to accumulate unnecessary dust and grit which can hinder the operator’s smooth operation.

Probably, your most important concern is the price. Fortunately, the difference is negligible. A few years ago chain-drive was considerably cheaper, but that has all changed. In closing, there is not a clear-cut winner…