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Garage Door Opener Types

Garage Door Opener Options

So your opener needs to be replaced? Maybe you’re wanting something quieter, smoother and more reliable.  Garage door openers​ typically last a long time depending on the type you get.  Depending on the model, a garage door opener can last up to 10 years or more, so it’s important to get one that is right for you and fits with the type of garage door you have.  Even if you have an older opener that works fine, it may not have all the safety features that are offered on newer models, so it is a good idea to consider buying a new one.  Wherever you are in the decision making process, we’re here to help.  We hope that this article will help you in deciding what type of garage door opener you should buy.​

Let’s get started with some Garage Door Opener education! 

There’s two main components to the opener that we’ll focus on in this article, the drive type and the motor type.  The drive type is simply the way your garage door travels along the guide when it opens and closes. The guide is the long rail that’s attached above the center of your door which connects to your opener.  Within this guide is a screw, chain, or belt which moves the trolley along the guide to open and close your door.  So before we get any further into the drive types offered, let’s first talk about the motor.​

Garage Door Opener Motor Types

There's two types of motors out there for garage door openers, DC and AC power. DC powered garage door openers have become the standard in the garage door industry and there's a reason why.

AC motors are typically louder, larger and heavier since they require more components. For many years openers were designed to use AC power but with technological advances in the garage door industry, manufacturers found a way to make openers quieter, smaller and more powerful. ​

DC Powered Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers powered by a DC motor are quieter and lighter than the traditional AC motors. DC motors also allow more features on the opener like soft start and stop which reduces wear and tear on the door and motor.  Many DC motors even offer a battery backup option to power your opener when the electricity goes out.

Garage door openers with a DC motor offer the most power and are the smoothest running motors in the industry.  All of Overhead Door's garage door openers come with a DC motor option, which helps to make our line of openers some of the quietest, longest-lasting, and safest in the industry.

 Purchase a new garage door opener today | Find your nearest Overhead Door™ Distributor

Garage Door Opener Motor Types

What's the difference between chain, belt, and screw drive openers?

Now that we've established that all of our openers are powered by a DC motor, let's take a look at the drive types offered. We offer three drive types for garage door openers; chain drive, belt drive, and screw drive. Here we will discuss what each drive type is and the difference between the three.

What is a chain drive garage door opener?​

A chain drive garage door opener​ uses a chain to move the door open and closed.  It's suitable for most garage doors. Chain drive has been around for many years and will last a long time with routine maintenance.  Chain drive openers are typically available at an opening price point.

chain drive garage door opener, garage door opener types

What is a belt drive garage door opener?

A belt drive garage door opener is super quiet.  Our belt drive opener models are some of the quietest garage door openers you can buy.  These openers are especially great for garages that are attached to the house. We've all heard what a noisy garage door opener sounds like, with a belt drive opener you'll experience less sound and vibration when the opener is operating. 

Belt drive is typically available as an upgrade over a chain.

belt drive garage door opener, garage door opener types

Why is it so quiet?

The belt drive garage door opener is quiet because it's belt-driven, hence the name "belt-drive". The use of a chain in the chain drive opener and the use of a screw in a screw drive opener are noisier than the reinforced steel rubber belt that is used on the belt drive opener.  The belt opener design allows smoother operation which reduces the overall noise level. Smoother operation means there's no jumping of the door and less vibrations. Not only is it quieter but the steel-reinforced rubber belt is very strong and durable.

Depending on the amount of power you need and the size of your door, you can buy a belt drive garage door opener with three different amounts of power.

What is a screw drive garage door opener?

Last but certainly not least is screw drive garage door openers. These garage door openers will give you the most power with fastest operating speeds.  If you have a large garage door measuring 14 ft. high or one-piece doors that are up to 8ft high, then these are the openers you'll want to use. This is because our screw drive openers feature an exclusive direct drive system that transfers more power from the motor without using a gear reduction system.

screw drive garage door opener, garage door opener types


Want to Purchase a New Garage Door Opener? Contact Your Local Overhead Door™ Distributor

What's the difference between Overhead Door® Garage Door Opener Models?

Overhead Door® garage door openers offer a number of options with both screw, belt, and chain drive that feature a variety of features and can operate residential garage doors up to 14ft tall.

Screw Drive Opener Models

Our Destiny® 1500 is a screw drive garage door opener featuring our strongest 140V DC motor with enough power to lift virtually any residential garage door, up to 750lbs.  This garage door opener also has a top of the line opening speed, opening a garage door at a speed of 12 inches per second.   The Destiny® 1500, and other select models, also include a motion sensing light for added safety and security.

Our Odyssey® 1200 is another screw drive garage door opener with a 140V DC motor.  The difference between the Odyssey® 1200 and the Destiny® 1500 screw drive openers is speed.  The DC motor has enough power to raise a residential garage door at a speed of up to 10 inches per second compared to 12 inches per second with the Destiny® 1500.

Belt and Chain Drive Opener Models

The Destiny® 1200 opener has the most speed out of all the other models. This opener also has a 140V DC motor and can open your garage door at an approximate speed of 9 inches per second.

The Odyssey® 1000 opener is one step below the Destiny 1200 when it comes to speed, but is still a great option for most garage doors. This opener has a 140V DC motor, the same as the Destiny 1200, still opening your door quickly at approximately 7.5 inches per second.

Our Legacy® 920 is our newest residential garage door opener which has some really great features. One of those features is the option to have a battery backup already attached to the opener. Many times battery backups are sold separately and don't easily attach to the opener itself. Battery back-ups are great in case of a power outage, allowing you the ability to still open and close your garage.  The Legacy 920 has a very durable 24V DC motor which will work with most garage doors weighing up to 500 lbs.

The Legacy® 850 is another solid choice. This opener doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the Odyssey and Destiny Models offer but is still a great choice for homeowners that want value and convenience. The durable DC motor of the Legacy® 850 openers can be used with most residential sectional garage doors weighing up to 500 lbs.

The most cost-efficient garage door opener model is our Legacy 650. It's our base model that can be used on a garage door weighing up to 350 lbs.  This opener may not have all the features of the other openers in our line-up, but is a great value.

So what garage door opener is best for my garage door?

The answer is…it depends.

It depends on the size of the door and the key features you value.

Contact a professional​ to have them suggest a garage door opener for your garage door type.

Determine the Weight and Size of Your Garage Door

You'll first need to call your local Red Ribbon distributor to help you determine the weight and size of your door. For garage doors that are large and heavy, a more powerful garage door opener will be needed. With a more powerful opener also comes faster speed.

Something else you'll have to take into account is rail sizes. Larger rail sizes are available with more powerful openers since a more powerful opener should be paired with a larger door.  If your door has a max height above 8 ft. then it requires an opener with more power.

Here's a list of the ranking of our openers based on power and speed.

The Power Rankings (and Speed)

What garage door openers are the quietest?

If you want a garage door that is quiet then you'll want to go with our belt drive garage door openers. Belt drive openers are notoriously quiet due to the steel-reinforced rubber belt that provides extremely smooth operation of the door.  Here's a list of the garage door opener models that will provide you with the quietest and smoothest operation.


I need more light in my garage, how do I get a garage opener with more light bulbs?

Some of our openers offer two light bulb sockets and some offer only one. If you're wanting more light in the garage then you should choose one with two light bulb sockets. Here's a list of our garage doors that allow you to add two light bulbs.

Which garage door openers have motion detection lighting?

Motion detection lighting on your garage door opener can come in handy when entering your garage. On most garage door openers the light turns on when the opener is operating and then shuts off automatically after a period of time.  Have you ever opened the garage door to go get the mail or take the trash out and then you come back and all lights are off in the garage?  When having a motion detection light on your garage door opener you don't need to worry about trying to find a light switch in a dark garage. Here's a list of openers that have motion detection lighting as a feature.


What garage door openers are compatible with HomeLink® and Car2U®?

Homelink® and Car2U® gives homeowners the ability to sync their car with a garage door opener. All of our garage door opener models are compatible with these car systems. Find our step by step instructions on programming your HomeLink®​ or Car2U® to your garage door opener.

What garage door openers are available with security features like rolling codes?

All Overhead Door® openers are included with our CodeDodger® access security system. Our CodeDodger® technology helps keep our garage door openers safe and secure with the use of rolling codes. Each time the remote control is pressed, a new code is selected from 4.3 billion possible combinations.

What garage door openers offer the ability to open and close with my mobile phone or device?

You can use a mobile device like an iPhone or Android to open any of our garage door openers if you have OHDAnywhere™ and have downloaded the device app.  The really great thing about OHDAnywhere™ is it's a remote access control system that's compatible with most brands of residential garage door openers.

OHDAnywhere™ allows you to open, close, and monitor your garage door from almost any mobile device. When you open the OHDAnywhere™ App, you'll be able to see when someone is opening or closing your garage door. Another useful feature is you can easily open the door for someone when you're not home, whether that's a repairman or the babysitter. Also if you get all the way to work and can't remember if you closed your garage door or not then all you need to do is launch the app and it'll show you if your door was left open.  Additionally, new features like 'virtual keys' providing temporary, recurring or permanent access to relatives, friends or service workers, and time-based rules and notifications have been added to enhance the user experience.

Which garage door openers slow down when opening and closing?

The feature on a garage door opener that allows your garage door to start slowly, speed up, and then softly stop is called "Soft start – soft stop".  This technology is possible because of the DC motor in our garage door openers, allowing us to operate our openers with variable speeds. The smoother operation with this feature also reduces the overall wear and tear on your garage door system.  Here's a list of the garage door openers that have this feature.



*HomeLink is a registered trademark of Gentex Corporation.

*Car2U is a registered trademark of Lear Corporation.​ 

​Ready to buy a new garage door opener? Find your local Overhead Door™ Distributor​ and ask them about the types of garage door openers they offer. ​

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