by burgersmith

As a homeowner, 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 springs. These are two different types of springs that are responsible for managing your garage door’s counterbalance system. The counterbalance system uses force to offset the weight of the door, allowing it to safely and reliably raise and lower. To manage the counterweight, the system uses either a torsion or extension spring.

So if both springs perform the same function, what’s the difference?


While there are several different types of springs that can be used in your garage door’s counterbalance system, the two most popular options professionals use are torsion and extension springs.


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 operated, 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.


Whether your garage door utilizes torsion or extension springs, the experts at Stapley Action Garage Door are available to maintain your system or perform safe, fast and effective replacements. If you’re unsure of what type of spring system your garage uses, feel free to consult the expertise of our trained technicians — we are happy to answer any questions you may have and make recommendations about which option works best for your daily needs and budget.

If you’re looking for torsion spring replacement in the Phoenix area, call the professionals at Stapley Action Garage Door with your garage door installation and maintenance needs. Since 1986, we’ve been the most trusted garage door sales and repair company in Arizona and throughout the Mesa and Flagstaff communities. We also offer a large selection of high-quality and attractive Clopay® garage doors. Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling 480-655-1255 to speak to one of our specialists.

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