Garage door springs – extension vs. torsion

Action Shutters > Uncategorized > Garage door springs – extension vs. torsion

There are so many choices when it comes to buying a new garage door – colours, materials, style, to name just a few. However, something that should also be considered is the spring mechanism. The safe and smooth operation of your garage door is dependent on the appropriate choice of springs being installed correctly. A professional fitter should always repair or replace springs. don’t be tempted to ‘give it a go!’. A spring fitted incorrectly could cause serious damage or injury.

There are quite a few different types of garage door spring, but here we will cover the two most commonly available types, the extension spring and the torsion spring. We have collated the most important factors related to each one to assist you in reaching your decision.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs use torque, or rotational force, to work. They are positioned in a shaft above the opening of the garage door. Here, they provide a counterbalance by twisting into coils as the door is opened. There are many options available for torsion springs such as different door heights, widths, and track radii, as well as different lengths and gauges of wire.

Torsion springs are the more expensive garage door spring option, and this is because they can bear considerably more weight than extension springs and last twice as long. They are also safer due to having fewer exposed components.

Extension Springs

Extension springs are located on both sides of the garage door over the horizontal runners and they extend depending on the amount of force applied to the door to open or close it. By pulling in the opposite direction the springs create tension to hold the door in position. Due to the high tension created in operating the door, it is important to have safety cables attached to the mechanism in the event of the spring cables or bottom bracket failing. This can happen at any point whilst the door is open.

Extension springs are a more affordable option than torsion springs, which is why they tend to be the most popular type for residential garages. Having more exposed components than the torsion springs mean that the extension springs don’t have such a high safety profile as torsion springs.


If you moved into a house with a garage already in situ you will have inherited their choice of door and springs. Do you like the way it works? Have you ever noticed what type of mechanism it has? It might be worth considering your answers to these before you arrange your replacement.

Garage door replacements can be a very worthwhile home improvement project. As with any decisions when it comes to repairing or buying a new garage door, you will need to carefully weigh up your priorities for a new garage door and your budget. You are likely to have questions or want to discuss your options and we are ready to help. remember that all installations and repairs should be carried out by a qualified professional.

Leave a Reply