5 common types of garage door motors

home | Jan 07 | 2024 | No Comment

The garage door motors allow us to open and close our doors quickly in a flash. Each motor type has its specifics to facilitate the efficient opening of garage doors. According to residential garage door builders, here are some of the most widely used door motors.

Belt Drive Garage Door Motors

Belt drive motors are used a lot in Canada and around the world. They are known for being quiet and quick. Here are the main things to know about them:

1. Quiet and Quick

Belt drive motors are silent when they open and close the garage door. This makes them great for homes with bedrooms nearby. They use a special belt that reduces noise and vibrations.

2. Fast and Efficient

These motors are good at opening and closing doors fast. They have smaller engines that work well, and some even have a backup battery for when the power goes out.

3. Great for Homes

Belt drive garage door openers are perfect for homes where noise matters because they’re quiet. They’re also handy during power outages with their backup battery.

Chain Drive Garage Door Motors

Chain drive motors are another common type known for being affordable and robust. Let’s look at what makes them stand out:

1. Affordable

Chain drive motors are budget-friendly, making them popular for people looking to save money.

2. Solid and Durable

These motors use a strong chain, making them tough and long-lasting. They work well with standard aluminium doors and properly handle wear and tear.

3. Some Noise and Vibration

While sturdy, chain drive motors can be noisy and cause slight vibrations. Regular maintenance helps keep them running smoothly and quietly.

Screw Drive Garage Door Motors

1. Compact and Low-maintenance

These openers are compact and need less maintenance compared to chain drive motors. This helps in making them a good choice for those who prefer simplicity.

2. Can Be Noisier and Slower

While requiring less maintenance, screw drive openers can be noisier and a bit slower than their belt drive counterparts. It’s essential to consider noise preferences and speed requirements.

3. Best for Specific Doors

They work well with one-piece doors or in garages with low ceilings. Understanding the type of door and space available is crucial when choosing a screw drive garage door opener.

Direct Drive Garage Door Motors

Direct-drive garage doors have the motor moving along the track to open and close the door. 

1. Quiet and Low Maintenance

These openers operate quietly and need minimal maintenance. 

2. Ideal for Heavy Doors

Direct-drive motors are suitable for heavy doors. They offer reliability and ease of use, making them a good fit for homeowners with more oversized, heavier garage doors.

3. Great for Living Spaces

If you have living spaces above or beside your garage, direct-drive openers are a suitable choice due to their quiet operation.

Jackshaft Garage Door Motors

Jackshaft garage door openers are fixed to the wall adjacent to one side, with an engine driving a torsion bar into the lifting and lowering. Here’s what makes them stand out:

1. Quiet and Low Maintenance

Like direct-drive openers, jackshaft motors are quiet and require minimal maintenance. They provide a smooth and reliable operation.

2. Best for Specific Spaces

Jackshaft openers are well-suited for garages with high ceilings or limited headroom. Their wall-mounted design offers installation flexibility.


Screw drive motors, with their compact size, threaded steel rod, and low maintenance, suit one-piece doors or garages with low ceilings but can be noisier. Moving along the track, direct drive motors are quiet, low-maintenance options ideal for heavy doors and spaces with living areas nearby. Jackshaft motors are mounted on walls and offer quiet, low-maintenance operation, making them perfect for high-ceilinged garages. Regarding motor sizes, residential options range from ⅓ to ¾ HP for AC motors and 500 or 700 newtons for DC motors. Commercial and industrial motors, designed for heavier doors and more frequent use, range from ½ to 5 HP. Consider your garage space and door type when selecting the garage door technician.

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