“If you need a very quiet, smooth running,
long-lasting opener, choose the belt drive opener.”
A belt drive garage door opener is great for people with living space next to or above the garage. It’s really quiet with long lasting performance. You might call it the “strong, silent type.”
It’s very similar to a chain drive garage door opener, but it uses a very strong, smooth-running rubber belt instead of a noisy steel chain. Do you remember when steel belted tires became the rage? Most belt drive openers are built using similar technology, with fiber reinforcement or flexible steel cords running through the belt.
Who makes the best belt drive garage door opener?
Belt drive garage door openers are made by most of the major manufacturers. Based on reviews and customer feedback, Chamberlain’s Whispering Drive® line is probably the most popular, as well as being the best selling. The Chamberlain WD822KD is an affordable, top-rated model.
In the professionally-install line, Genie Pro and Liftmaster are excellent choices. Genie recently updated their Pro line with powerful, quiet belt-drive DC powered garage door openers.
The Genie IntelliG 1200, as one example, is a 3/4 HP DC garage door opener that can be fitted with either a chain drive or belt drive lifting mechanism. Among others, Genie also sells the TriloG 1500, a top-of-the-line DC powered model with the equivalent of 1 HP.
Since Chamberlain is the largest garage door opener manufacturer in the world and Craftsman is probably the most well-known name, you can’t overlook Craftsman belt drive garage door openers. The Craftsman 53915 belt drive model is highly rated and under $200 when it is on sale.
What about the warranty?
Chamberlain’s belt drive models include the best of Chamberlain’s warrantees, with a lifetime warranty on the motor and 10 years on the belt. Genie’s Pro line models offer a lifetime limited warranty on their motors and 5 years on parts. Sears Craftsman models offer solid warranties that vary by model.
Are belt drive garage door openers easy to install?
If you are a do-it-yourself person, many top rated belt drive models are available for direct purchase. Genie, Chamberlain and Craftsman® all offer very good installation manuals with step-by-step instructions. If you have never attempted a garage door opener installation, two ladders and a helper will make the job much easier.
For a pro, a new installation will likely take less than 2 hours. For someone who has never done it before, it may take more than 4 hours, depending on the individual’s skill level. To help cut down on installation time, Chamberlain developed the Quick-Install Rail System, also available on Craftsman® models, which makes rail assembly very quick (about 60 seconds) and tools unnecessary.
|IMPORTANT: If you are going to install the opener yourself, you can save a lot of time and frustration by checking the installation parameters BEFORE you even buy the opener. It’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer to be certain you have everything you need. Some models include only the bare minimum in parts and you must buy some parts separately.In addition, be sure you have enough ceiling length and vertical height for the model you are considering, something to attach to, i.e., framing members, as well as access to a 110-volt grounded outlet.|
Remember, too, that some models are designed for 7 foot doors, some for 8 foot doors, etc. Many models designed for 7 foot doors also offer rail extension kits for taller doors that add about $50 to the total cost. It’s a lot to think about, but the little bit of extra time you spend up front will be well worth it!
How much do they cost?
Belt drive openers are more expensive than other models, but still won’t break the bank. For example, you can buy Chamberlain’s Premium Whisper Drive® Plus with EverCharge Battery Backup for about $270 (Chamberlain WD962KD). The EverCharge™ Standby Power System is a pretty cool option that allows the opener to still work in a power outage.
If you want to save $40 or $50, buy the Chamberlain Model WD822KD without the Standby Power System. Better yet, buy the Sears Craftsman® counterpart, theCraftsman Model 53915, and you’re in for under $200 when you buy it on sale (which happens frequently). Consumer reports for all three models are highly very good.
What about options?
As with most consumer goods today, you always have a list of optional features to consider. Buying a car? Do you want air conditioning? Electric windows? CD changer? You get the idea.
It’s no different when buying an automatic garage door opener. One light or two? One remote control or two with one button or three? Exterior keyless entry pad? More options generally equate to a higher price, but not always.
Manufacturers often make more models with a particular set of options, causing other models, even with fewer options, to cost more. Think about what you really need (or may some day) before making a mistake and having to pay for it later. Get the second remote and get the keyless entry pad. You won’t regret it.
Belt Drive Garage Door Opener – Bottom Line
If you need a very quiet garage door opener that is smooth running and long-lasting, choose the belt drive opener. They are quiet, long-lasting and most are highly rated.
Although many of the newer chain drive models are much quieter than their older siblings, and screw drive models are often quieter than chain drive openers, it’s hard to go wrong with a top-rated belt drive opener.