Unless you’re a professional garage door contractor, you probably have not paid too much attention to your garage door parts. If you did, you’d notice the lift motor overhead, the door, a chain, and a large spring above the door. Interestingly, there are actually a few different types of springs that can be used to move your garage door. But what are the differences between the two types of springs? And what type do you have?

Types of Springs

In fact there are several types of springs out there. They all serve to raise and lower your garage door. However, the two most popular choices are torsion springs and extension springs.

Torsion Springs

This is considered to be the most common and more modern option. They vary in size and length depending on your particular garage door needs. They are large springs that are installed on the top of the door. When they are in use, they wind or unwind in order to pull on lift cables that attach to your garage door. This twisting motion is what raises and lowers your garage door. The benefits of torsion springs include that they are sturdier and therefore last longer than extension springs. They also are prone to less wear and tear. They are also generally safer, as, in the case of a spring breaking, they remain encased in a shaft that will not allow broken parts to fly around the room, thus protecting both you and your property.

Extension Springs

These are older technologically speaking, but they are still a popular choice, especially for smaller garage doors. They are generally less expensive than torsion springs. Instead of being over the door, they are installed along the sides of the garage door and stretch like a slinky to operate the garage door. But extension springs are not recommended as often by professionals because they do not last as long, they require more maintenance because they do not operate as smoothly as torsion springs. They also can be a safety hazard if they break, because parts of the spring can be ejected like shrapnel across the room. They are however, generally considered safe as long as they are properly installed and maintained.


While your garage door relies on a variety of parts and ever advancing technology, you are best served by speaking with a professional about your individual garage door needs and maintenance. Straight Up Garage Doors has technicians who will inspect your garage door for safety and proper function. They can also make sure that your garage door is truly working at its best for you and home. This means not only that it raises and lowers in a safe and timely manner, but that it matches your home’s aesthetics and how you are using your garage. Speak to one of our professionals today to make your garage door work for you.