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Comparing Screw Drive and Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

There are four types of garage door openers out there, which is something we’ve written about before.  In this week’s post, however, we’d like to directly compare two different styles of garage door openers; one of them is probably the most common out there, and the other is quickly becoming very common, because people are realizing how advantageous it is to have one.  So, without further ado:

Chain Drive vs. Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

First, let’s take a look at the mechanical differences:  They’re operate the same way, but there’s major difference between the two:  The method of drive; that is, how the opener transfers force to the garage door itself.  A chain drive does this by a simple chain drive system that will pull a sled along a track that is attached to the garage door.  Very simple, and you could kind of think of it like a bike chain in a way.

Chain drive opener image

It even looks like a bike chain.

A screw drive works on a similar principle, but instead of a chain going down the track with the sled, it’s a long threaded rod (a screw) that rotates, and moves the sled up and down the track.

Screw drive garage door opener image

They weren’t the most creative with names.

So what does this mean for the garage door openers themselves?  It mostly translates to some advantages for the screw drive opener, which means that a screw drive garage door opener is better in the following ways:

  • Quieter operation, which makes them less annoying.
  • Smoother operation, which means less stress on other components.
  • More reliable operation, which means money saved and less headaches.

Do you know what style of opener you have?  With the price of screw drive openers continuing to drop, it’s pointless not to upgrade!


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