You’ve probably never researched the parts of your garage door, but you’ve most likely heard of a garage door's torsion or extension spring. These are two different types of springs that are responsible for managing and lifting your garage door. The springs are a counterbalance system that uses force to offset the weight of the door, allowing it to safely and reliably raise and lower.

So if both springs perform the same service, what is the difference between the two?


Torsion springs are the most common and more modern garage door spring option. They are available in several sizes and lengths that are calculated based on your garage door weight, height and track radius. They are large springs that are installed on the top of the garage door, and when they are operate, they slide into a channel where lifting cables are attached. To lift and lower the door, torsion springs wind and unwind in a controlled motion. Benefits of torsion springs include:

  • Sturdier and longer lasting: While torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs, they are more durable and last 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.

  • Less wear: When raising and lowering your door, torsion springs offer a steadier movement that keeps the door better balanced and creates less stress on parts. With torsion springs, your garage door opener doesn’t have to work as hard to open and close the door.

  • Safer: If your garage door spring ever breaks, the torsion spring will create a loud sound but remain inside its shaft, while extension springs can snap off and cause property damage as well as injury. 


Extension springs are older technology, but they are still a common option for many garage doors because they are less expensive than torsion springs and are an ideal solution for small garages. They don’t occupy much overhead space because they are installed on the side of the door versus overhead and extend whenever the door is operating.

While a popular spring option, extension springs are less recommended by professionals because they only last 10,000 cycles, require more maintenance than torsion springs, operate with a jerking motion that results in additional wear and tear and can be a safety hazard when broken — they can snap away causing personal injury or damages. However, despite these drawbacks, extension springs are generally safe when the safety cables are installed, and they are properly maintained.

Whatever garage door springs you may have, Lake Woodlands Garage Door is the name to call. If you have any questions, need a repair, a replacement or just a good tune-up, put our hassle-free service to work for you and call a name you can trust! 832-833-2442

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