How Do Torsion Springs Differ From Extension Springs

    Springs are critical for operating different machines, mainly with movable parts that may involve some motion. They are available in various sizes, types and made from different materials. 

    Common applications include garage doors, gates, and other movable items. The most common types of springs for home and commercial appliances include torsion and extension springs. 

    When buying any of these two springs, focus on the need. Aligning your need to spring features, performance capabilities, and other considerations will help you distinguish between the two springs and select the most suitable one for the job. 

    Before selection, here are details about the key differences, applications, and perks of buying one over the other. 

    Differences Between Torsion And Extension Springs

    The selection depends on the advantages and disadvantages of these springs used for various applications, such as operating garage doors. Hence Torsion Springs vs. Extension Springs requires analysis of their key features, merits, demerits, and major applications. 

    1. Key Features

    Torsion springs are best for operating machines requiring a high torque or rotational force. They are round, while some are rectangular and short, making them suitable for high-stress applications such as pulling heavy weights. In addition, due to their shape and ability to fit in limited spaces, they are used for machines with limited room for movement.  

    On the other hand, extension springs are necessary for activities that require linear force and high torque levels. Most are long since they are cylindrical and can withstand high-stress levels. The shape, length, and stress levels make them ideal for use in automobiles and suspensions. 

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    2. Types Of Torsion And Extension Springs

    There are different types of extension and torsion springs, and the choice will depend on the nature of the activity. 

    Based on your needs, you can use any of these types of torsion springs: spiral, conical, single, double, compassion, and tapered torsion springs. The categories of extension springs include open loop, close loop, spiral, conical dual, and tapered extension springs. 

    3. Key Advantages And Disadvantages

    Torsion springs may be expensive; however, the long-term costs are lower. With frequent and proper maintenance, such as oiling and greasing, they can last longer, sometimes beyond their lifespan. The torsions should be a considerable choice when operating machines with limited spaces to attach other components, such as springs.  

    Extension springs can sometimes be vulnerable to rapture, especially when they overstretch or are overwhelmed by the machine’s weight. Therefore, you need to replace them frequently; however, replacement may not be a challenge since they are budget-friendly and readily available. Due to the frequent replacements, the long-term costs will be more. 

    Which One Is Suitable For Your Garage Door

    Both springs are suitable for garage doors; however, the choice will depend on the nature of the garage.

    If you plan to open the garage door vertically, the torsion springs will be necessary. However, the extension springs will be the best for the job when operating horizontally. 

    The key differences and applications make them suitable for residential and commercial garage doors. Here is how to select an ideal one: 

    1. The Best Spring For Residential Garage Doors

    Torsion springs are the best option for residential garage doors since they are designed to support high torque levels and withstand stress. 

    They have an inbuilt energy stored when not operating. As you open the garage door, the spring releases the inbuilt and stored energy to pull the door upwards. Therefore, the best location to mount them is on the metal shaft above the door. 

    The other advantage is durability; they can last longer depending on care and maintenance. They are easy to repair and replace hence the most cost-effective springs. As they approach their lifespan, their capabilities will likely decline; thus, you must replace them occasionally to avoid accidents. 

    Residential garages also have limited space; therefore, the best springs should have limited components and fit in tighter areas making torsion springs an ideal choice. 

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    2. Best Springs For Commercial Garage Door

    Commercial garage doors are likely to vary from residential ones due to the mode of operation and size. Most are opened and closed horizontally against the wall due to weight concerns and lengths which makes tacking them on the roof challenging. Therefore, you need a spring that can pull them parallel to the wall and push them to close. This makes the extension springs an ideal option for such doors. 

    Alternatively, you can use the extension springs by attaching them to the main cable that pulls the garage door. Extension springs are the best for garage doors that require a high opening and closing cycle since they can withstand the pressure. 

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    If you operate a heavy garage door, torsion springs will be ideal; however, you may have to modify the door to accommodate the springs. Secondly, they are perfect for operating the garage door by pulling it up the ceiling. This mode of operation is only suitable for garage or warehouse doors that are opened once or twice a day. For repetitive uses, the extension springs will be an ideal offer. 


    The choice between a torsion and an extension spring will depend on their features, capabilities, and the nature of the garage door. Torsion springs should be ideal for residential, smaller, and versatile garage doors. For commercial, heavy, and oversized garage doors, consider extension springs.

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