What differentiates the 3 residential garage door opener types?

How do you choose the opener that really meets your needs? Which one is the best fit for your garage? What are the characteristics that differentiate them?

Here is information that will help you understand the types of residential garage door openers available on the market.


Need help?

For assistance in making the right choice when the time comes to choose a residential garage door opener, contact us. If you wish, we can supply you with a free, written quotation.​

Chain drive opener

Chain Drive Opener​

This opener type is the most common and affordable. It works with gears and a chain that moves a trolley along a metal track to open and close the door. Some models come with a mix of chains and a length of cable instead of a complete chain. Reliable and powerful, they are built to handle heavy and frequently-used doors. These garage door openers are a little noisier because of the contact between the metal chain and the metal track as well as the vibration noises when running.​

Belt drive opener

Belt Drive Opener​

The operation of this opener type is quite similar to the chain drive opener. However, its mechanism is made of a steel-reinforced rubber belt. The belt manufacturing process is close to that of car tires. This garage door opener operates more quietly because of its rubber belt. Furthermore, it is the recommended opener if you have a garage attached to your house or a living space such as a bedroom above your garage. Ultra-strong, they can be used with double garage doors. Their price is usually a little higher than the chain drive opener.​

Wall-Mount Opener (Jackshaft)

Wall-Mount Opener (Jackshaft)​

This opener is installed on the wall, right beside the garage door. When the headroom between the top of your garage door and the garage ceiling does not allow you to install a chain drive opener or belt drive opener, it is highly recommended to use this type of opener. It should be preferred too if your garage has a sloped or cathedral ceiling. It frees up the space overhead and opens up the possibilities to maximize your garage space (ex.: added ceiling storage). Please note: this opener can only be used with a torsion spring system since it attaches to the shaft where the springs are mounted (no tracks). This opener is the quietest of all, but usually the most expensive.

How much power does my opener require?

Chain drive openers and belt drive openers are available with two different power ratings: ½ HP* and ¾ HP. For most residential garage doors, an opener with a ½ HP motor is enough. A more powerful ¾ HP is recommended for a heavier door (larger square footage or made of solid wood).

*HP = horsepower (1 HP = 745.7 watts)


What does s AC motor or DC motor mean?​

A DC motor allows a variable-speed door opener. It is slower at the start, speeds up, then slows at the end. The speed of an AC motor never varies, making it not as quiet as a DC. To add an emergency backup battery to a door opener, it must be a DC motor.




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