garage door opening mechanism

5 Best Types of Garage Door Openers

5 Best Types of Garage Door Openers

types of garage doors openers

A garage door opener is a mechanical device that controls the opening and closing of the garage door using wall switches or remote controllers.

You’d understand better how a garage door opener works if your car door is remote-control enabled. Statistics show that in any residential apartment or home, the garage door is averagely opened and closed about 1,500 times a year.

The wireless garage door opener has come of age but advancement in technology has helped to include new upgrade capabilities for monitoring and sharing access to your garage from anywhere in the world.

With the replacement of remote controls by smartphone apps, you get steady alert reminders and notifications whenever you leave the door open. You’ll also be able to easily manage who can have access to your garage, set rules for automatic opening and closing, and monitor the garage via a live video stream.


Features of Garage Door Openers

To understand how garage door openers function and how to determine the best type, it’s crucial to examine their features.

  • Remote control

One of the advantages of using a garage door opener is its remote-control feature. By pressing a button on a built-in remote control, you can open or close a garage door. It is usually portable enough to be handled and can work from inside or outside the garage.


  • Security light

Garage door openers are often equipped with lights that can aid your vision when coming in or going out of your garage. One distinctive feature of regular garage lights is that they are automated with motion sensors. The security lights switch on whenever motion or movement is detected and switch off moments after inactivity.


  • Vehicle compatibility

Some cars manufactured in recent years now have an in-built smart technology that operates like in smart homes. You don’t need a remote to control the opening and closing of your garage door; you can activate your garage door using the voice command feature or simple touch gestures.


  • Backup Battery

When there is an occasional shortage of power supply and the entire home is left in the dark, the battery backup in your garage door opener provides an additional energy source. You won't have to worry about manually operating your garage door due to power outage.


  • Motion detection

The most massive moving part of the house is often the garage door; it can be hazardous if it is not pre-installed with motion sensors. If an object is placed under the door, the motion sensor will detect the object’s presence and suspend its movement. This way, you won't have to worry about the door crushing an item or a child that might be running around.


  • Holiday mode

Sometimes, we want to go to a faraway land to spend some vacation with family for days or weeks. Quality garage door openers make it possible to lock your door completely throughout your duration of absence from home. This will make it difficult for burglars to break-in.


Best Types of Garage Door Openers

Having examined the basic features of garage door openers, let’s dive into the best types available alongside their pros and cons.


1. Chain Drive Openers

types of garage doors openers

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If you own a bicycle or you’ve seen one, then you know what a chain drive opener looks like. The chain that helps to rotate the pedals of a bicycle is the same chain used on a chain drive opener. This chain pulls a trolley connected to a metal bar called the J-arm, which is affixed to the garage door. The impact of the pull or push causes a vibration that makes a disturbing noise.


  • Highly reliable with a lower chance of breaking down
  • They are older methods of garage door operating systems, so they come at affordable prices



  • The vibration produced makes a loud cracking noise that people find very disturbing. It is better used in a house where the garage is detached from the main building
  • The movement of chain drive openers can be very shaky. The vibration caused by the interlocking of the chain mechanism with the trolley and motor causes the door to tremble. The chain will also lift your door slower than a belt drive opener might, though the difference of a few seconds overall isn’t much of an issue to most homeowners


2. Belt Drive Openers

types of garage doors openers

A similar variant to the chain drive opener is the belt drive opener. As the name implies, it has a belt rather than a chain. The belt connects the trolley and motor to the metal bar. The belts are manufactured from fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber.

Belt-driven openers are just as reliable as chain-driven openers, but people prefer the belt over the chain option because the rotation of the motor makes little or no noise.



  • As you might have guessed, the most significant advantage of using a belt drive opener is its reduction in noise compared to its older counter-part (chain-drive)
  • Belt drive requires little maintenance. Hence, you eventually save significant money



  • Due to the noiseless mechanism it is made of, it costs higher to acquire than the chain drive opener


3. Screw Drive Opener

types of garage doors openers

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As an alternative to the chain drive opener and belt drive opener, a screw drive opener is a great door option for more expansive and massive doors. It can lift more massive doors than a belt drive opener and isn’t as expensive as the chain drive.



  • It is easier to maintain because it has less moving pieces
  • It is noiseless and more durable than a chain drive opener



  • The opener is highly sensitive to changes in weather temperature
  • It costs more than chain and belt drive openers


4. Direct Drive Openers

types of garage doors openers

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Equipped with the best direct drive technology, this is the best garage opener in quality and reliability.



  • It has only one movable part, which makes it silent
  • It is durable and long-lasting. Hence, it doesn't wear and tears quickly
  • The mechanical structure is easily replaceable using DIY methods 



  • This model of drive opener is costly
  • Direct drive openers are relatively scarce due to low demand because only a few people can afford them
  • In cases of damage, the cost of repair is high


5. Jackshaft Openers

types of garage doors openers

These are unique modern garage door operating systems also referred to as wall-mounted door openers. They are connected to the torsion bar of the garage door to lift and lower the door.

A jackshaft opener is suitable for any garage door including a full vertical lift, standard lift, and high lift doors. With its superior design, a jackshaft opener is also quiet and suitable for garages near living spaces.



  • Unlike other openers, it is installed on the side of the garage door against the overhead. Hence, you have more space for storage in your garage
  • Modern jackshaft openers feature an upgrade that ensures your home has the latest security upgrades including safety reversal systems and sensors. The newer models also include a notion-sensor-enabled 200-watt light for added safety and convenience
  • The newest versions offer various connectivity options like Wi-Fi and smartphone control. And you can receive real-time alerts on activities happening around your garage while you're away



  • This garage door is very expensive
  • One problem it has is that of selective compatibility. Jackshaft openers support little garage doors, only those with at least a 15-inch radius track and standard torsion tube



From our analysis, you can deduce that there are various garage door operating systems with appetizing features. The reviews will help you to determine the most appropriate garage door opener that suits your garage whether you’re looking to install a new door or replace an old one.

Before making a choice, it’s important to consider various factors like budget and maintenance.

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