Torsion Springs Versus Extension Springs

Common Questions, Garage Door Customization, General, Installation

If you are installing or replacing your garage door, one decision you will want to consider is whether to use extension springs or torsion springs. The springs in your garage door assist in lowering and raising your door.

Extension springs have been widely used in the past, but torsion springs are growing in popularity. Torsion springs are more sturdy and durable than extension springs. They also last longer, meaning they can endure more lifts and operation cycles of opening and closing an overhead door. However, there are circumstances and situations when using extensions springs are necessary. For instance if there is low headroom in a garage, extension springs may be a better option. There are different types of springs within each category. Extension springs can be sectional garage door or one-piece garage door extension springs.

The extension spring looks like the box spring you see in a mattress. Extension springs are located at the sides of the door and are mounted on the swing arms. They have a hook on each end and when purchased, they will be in their compressed state. Extension springs are fully extended when your garage door is down. When the garage door is raised, the extension springs contract. Because they have no protection factors when stretched, extension springs can be more dangerous than torsion springs. It is also more inexpensive compared to the torsion spring. Its main difference from a torsion spring is that the operation of the extension spring is based on distance; the further it is extended, the more force there is applied on the spring.

In general, extension springs get their name because of their function of stretching, or “extending” when force is applied to them. They are usually installed on the sides of the garage door and attached to the door’s swing arms. The more force that is applied, the farther the spring will extend. Extension springs usually span between 5,000 and 10,000 lifts.

Torsion springs, are a function of “torque.” Therefore, when pressure is applied, the springs twist and coil. Torsion springs are twisting steel which retains the force in the twist of the internal bar. The torsion spring’s force is proportional to the torque in the twist. This is usually an enclosed unit and thus safer than the loose spring. Torsion springs are located at the upper section of the door and are usually mounted on the door header. This kind of spring will be the far stronger of the two and can lift a weight up to 500 lbs. You do pay more for a torsion spring when compared to an extension spring. They do last longer and research shows closer to 15,000 to 20,000 lifts. Most people find that their door’s overall operation is smoother when using torsion springs compared to extension springs. The actual opening and closing process is more controlled, whereas some people experience a jerking motion with the opening and closing process using extension springs.

Putting this into everyday practical terms, if you average about two car trips per day, opening and closing the door a total of 4 times daily when you come and go, then that expected life becomes 2,500 days, or only about 7 years or less for an extension spring. At that rate, the life of the torsion spring would be approximately 13-14 years.

Regardless of which type of spring you invest in, don’t hesitate to ask your garage door professional for additional information. Each situation is unique and the goal is to find garage door parts that best suit your garage door or overhead door.


"Brandon and crew were very easy to work with. Doors were put in in a timely manner and everything was cleaned up when done. Would definitely recommend to anyone."
- Jane Heiny
5 Stars
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- Jason Brown
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"I’m very pleased with the work done, and in a timely manner. The guys were friendly, answered all my questions, and left the property cleaned up. I love the quiet door movement."
- Lorna Thompson
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"Excellent service very friendly and knowledgeable high quality. love our doors thanks overhead doors!!!!!"
- Dianna Weaver
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"I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences! The individuals on the other end of the phone are always so kind and organized. We have received quick service twice and have been so pleased with the level of professionalism and courtesy shown by technicians. Great and honest company!"
- Olivia Hildebrand
5 Stars
"Torsion spring broke on my garage door. Called Overhead Door and spoke with Brandon. He scheduled the techs for the next day which they came out and replaced both torsion springs on the door and adjusted the door so it worked perfectly!! The technicians were very knowledgeable and experienced and had the new springs installed very quickly. Great job!!"
- Dale Rogers
5 Stars
"Very professional! Completed the repairs in an hour and gave the rest of the unit a checkup. Would definitely give them my business again. "
- James Edmonson
5 Stars
"Had a very good overall experience. They arrived within one hour of my request for a quote and provided a written formal quote an hour later.They arrived on time, completed the job in a couple of hours and left the garage spotless. Very professional installers. Highly recommended!"
- Bruce Costigan
5 Stars
"HI called them and they were extremely friendly and made you feel comfortable. I told him my problems and he knew what was wrong. They scheduled me for the next day and they came when they said they would. The two men that came were very professional. Upbeat and knew their job. The job took them 15 minutes. They oiled everything up. (above and beyond) I will use them again I hope I don’t have the need anytime soon. But I would recommend them highly."
- Yvonne Berryman
5 Stars
"The technician did a very nice job replacing the springs. He was very proficient in his work. He also shared ideas for lubricants for maintaining the opener."
- Paul Johnson
5 Stars
"I called on Friday at 11am with a broken garage door spring. I was told the soonest they would be able to get to me was early the following week. By 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon to my surprise they arrived and fixed the spring. I had a very positive experience recommend them!!"
- Chris Beaver
5 Stars
"Workers were friendly and did good work."
- Robert Hanson
5 Stars
"We and a non-emergent problem with our door. They were there the same day."
- Phillip Blake
5 Stars

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