Torsion Spring vs Extension Spring Which One is Better Torsion Spring vs Extension Spring | Which is Better for Your Garage Door?

Torsion Spring vs Extension Spring | Which is Better for Your Garage Door?

When it comes to garage door repairs or replacements, choosing the right type of spring is crucial for smooth operation and longevity. 

Torsion and extension springs are the two primary options, each with unique characteristics and advantages. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision about which one is better suited for your needs.

What are Torsion Springs?

Torsion springs, positioned horizontally above the garage door, store energy as they twist when the door closes and then release it as the door opens. This setup ensures a smoother and more controlled operation compared to extension springs. 

Notably, torsion springs boast superior durability and longevity over extension springs, making them a cost-effective option. Moreover, their parallel installation to the door tracks enhances safety by minimizing the risk of accidents or injuries.

What are Extension Springs?

Extension springs, positioned vertically on either side of the garage door, elongate and contract to aid the door's movement. Though simpler to install, they demand more upkeep than torsion springs. Despite being cost-effective, extension springs are vulnerable to wear and tear due to exposure, necessitating more frequent replacements.

Torsion Spring Vs Extension Spring


Torsion Spring

Extension Spring


Turns on a shaft

Expands and contracts


Partially extended

Fully extended


Sturdier, lasts longer (15,000-20,000 cycles)

Less sturdy, shorter lifespan (up to 10,000 cycles)





Less prone to needing adjustments

More prone to needing adjustments


Less complex, fewer parts

More complex, more parts (sheaves, cables)


Easier to lubricate and maintain

More wear and tear on additional parts

Operator Wear

Less wear on the operator

More wear on the operator


Safer when it breaks (stays on the shaft)

More dangerous when it breaks (it can fly off)


More expensive

Less expensive

Which One is Better? — Torsion Spring Vs Extension Spring

While both types have their merits, torsion springs generally emerge as the victor due to their safety, durability, and quieter operation. However, there can be cases where extension springs make sense:

  • Tight budget: Extension springs offer a more affordable option if cost is a primary concern.
  • Limited headroom: Extension springs might be your only choice if space above the door is restricted.
  • DIY repairs: If you're comfortable with repairs, the simpler spring replacements of extension springs might appeal to you.


Consulting a professional garage door technician, such as Door Doctor, is always recommended to assess your specific needs and suggest the best spring system. They can also handle safe installation and ensure your door operates smoothly and safely for years.

Contact Door Doctor today to learn more about what’s better for your garage door. 

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