In this article we’re going to talk about garage door rollers (or wheels). You will learn the difference between them and why they are so important for a quiet and smooth and operation.
There are several kinds of garage door rollers out there, and they have some big differences in how noisy and smoothly your garage door operates. Many houses today still have old garage door rollers that haven’t been replaced for a long time. With time, the rollers wear out and become wobbly, causing a lot of friction, noise, and vibration when operating the door. Although noise is not a big problem for some people, it’s a sign of bad rollers and keeping these rollers can lead to bigger problem. I can’t emphasize enough how many times our technicians handle cases of off track garage doors due to broken rollers that should have been replaced months, even years, before. Worn out rollers can also cause the garage door opener (or parts of it like the gear) to break long before it should because of the excessive force needed to open and close the door. Worn out rollers can also lead to worn out and broken hinges and brackets.
There are several common types of garage door rollers out there:
(We only write about 2'' rollers that are most common in houses, there are also 3'' roller for super heavy garage door).
The Plastic roller, AKA No Bearing roller
This roller has no bearings and they are used for low cost construction. Today you often see them on Wayne Dalton garage doors. These rollers have a lifespan of about 3 years. Since they are made of plastic, these rollers are not suitable for insulated or wooden garage doors because they cannot handle the weight. If you have these rollers on you garage door, we highly recommend you replace them with any of the other rollers on this list.
The 7 Ball Bearings Roller
Although this roller is better than the plastic one we just covered, it’s far from being a recommended roller to any garage door. This roller can withstand up to 35 lbs. each. They are good for 5,000-7,000 cycles, which is about 5 years of normal use. These rollers are not as smooth or as quiet as the other rollers we have coming next in this list.
The 10 Ball Bearings Steel Roller
These rollers are a good upgrade to the 7 ball bearing steel roller and can stand weight of up to 75 lbs. each. The three adding bearings provides quieter and smoother operation. The ball bearings are exposed to provide a lubrication point and have a lifetime of 15,000 cycles. The big drawback of these rollers is that they are noisier than the nylon rollers because the steel tracks.
The 10 Ball Bearing Nylon Roller
This is a high-quality roller made of heavy duty nylon. This roller provides a smooth and quiet operation when the door moves up and down the tracks. Each roller can withstand up to 75 lbs. each and is good for up to 15,000 cycles. This roller’s bearings are exposed to provide easy and fast lubrication points. *Today most new garage doors come with these rollers.
13 Ball Bearing Nylon Roller
These are considered the best garage door rollers out there. They are designed to keep out moisture and dirt, and the 13 ball bearings provide for a lifetime of up to 20,000+ cycles. The 13 ball bearings provide an even smoother operation than the 10 Ball Bearing Roller. These rollers can withstand up to 125 lbs. each and are recommended for commercial garage doors as well as heavy wooden residential garage doors.
Replacing your garage door rollers will make a big difference in operation of the door and sound a lot quieter. From my personal experience, I can tell you that our customers often can’t believe how much this simple and affordable roller replacement improved their garage door operation.
*Our recommendation is to replace rollers only with nylon rollers, not only they works better and smoother, the price is no much difference from any other roller.