Garage doors play a vital role in providing security and convenience to our homes. One of the key components that ensure the proper functioning of a garage door is the type of spring used. There are primarily two types of garage door springs: torsion springs and extension springs. In this article, we will delve into the details of these springs, compare their features, and help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right type for your garage door.


When it comes to garage door springs, it's important to understand their purpose and how they contribute to the overall functionality of the door. Springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of the garage door, making it easier to open and close smoothly. They act as a form of energy storage, providing the necessary force to lift the heavy door.

Understanding Garage Door Springs

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are commonly used in modern garage doors. They are typically mounted above the door opening and work by twisting and untwisting to generate the required force. The twisting action stores the energy when the door is closed and releases it when opening.

Working Mechanism

Torsion springs consist of a tightly wound metal rod or coil. When the garage door is closed, the springs are under tension. As the door is opened, the springs unwind, releasing the stored energy and assisting in lifting the door. When closing the door, the springs wind up again, storing energy for the next opening cycle.

Pros and Cons

Torsion springs offer several advantages. Firstly, they provide a smoother and more controlled operation compared to extension springs. They are also generally considered safer because they are located above the door, reducing the risk of accidents. Additionally, torsion springs have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance compared to extension springs.

However, torsion springs are typically more expensive than their counterparts, and their installation requires professional expertise. In case of a spring failure, it may be necessary to replace both springs simultaneously to ensure balance and optimal performance.

Extension Springs

Extension springs are another type of garage door springs that are usually found in older or smaller garage doors. These springs are mounted on the sides of the door and work by extending and contracting.

Working Mechanism

Extension springs stretch and expand as the garage door is opened, absorbing and storing energy. When closing the door, the springs contract, releasing the stored energy and assisting in the closing process.

Pros and Cons

One advantage of extension springs is their affordability. They are generally less expensive compared to torsion springs. Additionally, extension springs are relatively easier to install and replace, making them a suitable choice for DIY enthusiasts. However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Extension springs are more prone to wear and tear, requiring regular maintenance and adjustments. They also provide a less smooth and controlled operation compared to torsion springs, which can result in a jerky door movement.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Springs

When selecting the appropriate type of garage door spring, it's essential to take several factors into consideration. These factors will help determine which type of spring is best suited for your specific needs and requirements.

  • Door Weight and Size
    The weight and size of your garage door are crucial factors in determining the type of spring required. Heavier and larger doors often require torsion springs as they can handle the extra weight more effectively. On the other hand, smaller and lighter doors can work well with extension springs.
  • Durability and Lifespan
    Considering the durability and lifespan of the springs is vital for long-term cost-effectiveness. Torsion springs are known for their durability and longer lifespan compared to extension springs. They are designed to withstand frequent use and can last for many years with proper maintenance.
  • Maintenance Requirements
    Maintenance is an important aspect to consider, as it directly impacts the longevity and performance of the springs. Torsion springs generally require less maintenance compared to extension springs. Regular lubrication and periodic inspections are necessary to ensure optimal performance and identify any signs of wear or damage.
  • Cost
    Cost is often a significant factor when making any purchasing decision. Torsion springs are usually more expensive upfront, but their longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements can make them a cost-effective choice in the long run. Extension springs are more affordable initially, but they may require more frequent replacements and adjustments, resulting in higher maintenance costs over time.

Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs

Safety is of utmost importance when dealing with garage doors. Torsion springs are considered safer due to their location above the door. This positioning minimizes the risk of accidents, as the springs are less exposed and less likely to snap or cause injury. Extension springs, on the other hand, are more exposed & can potentially pose a safety hazard if not handled properly.

Balance and Smooth Operation
Torsion springs provide a more balanced and smoother operation compared to extension springs. They distribute the weight of the door more evenly, resulting in reduced strain on the opener and other components. Torsion springs also offer better control and precision during opening and closing, ensuring a seamless operation.

Lifespan and Durability
In terms of lifespan and durability, torsion springs outshine extension springs. Torsion springs are typically made from high-quality materials and are engineered to withstand frequent use without significant wear and tear. They have a longer lifespan and require less frequent garage door spring replacement compared to extension springs.

Installation and Maintenance
Installation of garage door springs should ideally be done by professionals. However, if you have the necessary skills and experience, installing extension springs can be a DIY project. Torsion springs, on the other hand, require specialized knowledge and tools, making professional installation the recommended option.

Regarding maintenance, torsion springs generally require less attention & maintenance compared to extension springs. Lubricating the springs and performing regular inspections are essential for both types to ensure their longevity and performance.

Cost Comparison
In terms of cost, torsion springs are initially more expensive than extension springs. However, considering their longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements over time, torsion springs can be a more cost-effective option. Extension springs may be more affordable upfront, but their shorter lifespan and higher maintenance needs can result in additional costs in the long run.

Which Spring Type is Right for You?

Choosing the right type of garage door spring ultimately depends on your specific requirements and preferences. Here are a few considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • If safety is a top priority and you prefer a smoother and more controlled operation, torsion springs are a suitable choice.
  • For smaller and lighter garage doors on a budget, extension springs can be a more cost-effective option.
  • If you're looking for long-term durability and minimal maintenance, torsion springs are the recommended choice.
  • Consider seeking professional advice and assistance to ensure proper installation and optimal performance of your chosen spring type.

It's essential to prioritize safety and consult with experts in the field to make the right decision for your garage door.


In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the right type of garage door springs, understanding the differences between torsion springs and extension springs is crucial. Consider factors such as door weight, size, durability, maintenance requirements, and cost. Torsion springs offer advantages in terms of safety, balance, lifespan, and minimal maintenance. Extension springs, on the other hand, are more affordable upfront but may require more frequent replacements and adjustments.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific needs and priorities. Seek professional guidance if necessary to ensure the proper installation and functioning of your garage door springs.