Which is Better, Steel or Nylon Garage Door Rollers?

Different Types of Garage Door Rollers

Today’s garage doors are marvels of efficiency and dependability. But, there comes a time in the life of every one that you will need to call a professional garage door repair company. Garage doors are complex mechanisms so there are a lot of things that could potentially go wrong and warrant repairs or replacement. Garage door opener repair is something we get a lot of calls for. But there’s another component of the door that’s far less visible but is often behind garage door troubles: the rollers. In this post we’re going to take a close look at garage door rollers. In particular, whether you should be using steel or nylon rollers and the differences between the two.

Steel vs Nylon: Our Garage Door Repair Experts Wade into the Debate

The rollers are the wheels of your door. They serve the same purpose as the wheels on a train. They keep the door moving safely along the track. Roller problems can be anything from a minor nuisance (a squeaky sound as the door moves), to downright dangerous (the door comes off the track while opening or closing and crashes to the ground).

We’re here to look at the major differences between steel and nylon rollers and see if one is inherently better than the other. Just for the record, we’re not going to bring plastic rollers into this conversation since there is never really a time we would recommend a homeowner use them.

Steel vs Nylon: Durability

Steel is, well, steel. It’s got to be stronger and more durable than nylon. Right? Yes, and no. You see, while there’s no doubt that in a head-to-head comparison of material strength steel is going to carry the day most of the time. But there are many ways to measure strength. And as far as garage door rollers are concerned durability may be a better way.

Anyone who’s ever had occasion to fix a garage door, especially an older garage door, has likely encountered steel rollers that have begun to corrode. It’s inevitable. If you expose steel to the weather long enough the weather will win out. It might take several years, but the weather will win out. That’s not the case with nylon rollers. They will never corrode, no matter how often they’re subjected to pouring rain, high humidity, flooding, blizzards or anything else.

Therefore, if the environment where you live is wet and humid, you’d do well to consider installing a garage door with nylon rollers. Or call the local Broomfield garage door repair company and have them replace your steel rollers with nylon. In the long run this could stave off a number of potential problems.

Steel vs Nylon: Noise Levels

Steel rollers not only tend to corrode over time, they also need to be lubricated regularly or they’re going to start squeaking and squealing. Remember, the track is steel as well. So steel on steel without proper lubrication is a noise problem waiting to happen. Mind you, you can fend off this problem by having the garage door repair company in for regular maintenance visits. But if you don’t have the steel rollers lubricated regularly expect squeaks.

Nylon rollers on the other hand are the quietest type of garage door rollers yet devised. Garage doors with nylon rollers glide up and down the track without making much of a sound. Nylon rollers also typically have 10-13 ball bearings inside which further mitigates noise levels. And if you have nylon rollers paired with a screw-drive opener, then you’ll be hard pressed to hear the door at all as it rises and falls. So, nylon wins in this regard.

Steel vs Nylon: Aesthetics

Nylon rollers are typically better looking than steel. But let’s face it, garage door rollers spend their entire useful life tucked into the track of the garage door. No one is ever going to see them unless and until you call for garage door repair. Boulder, CO homeowners then have little reason to spend much time stressing over what others are going to think about the appearance of their garage door rollers. That’s a little like worrying what people are going to think about the look of your new garbage disposal. No one will ever see it, so there’s no reason to worry about it.

Steel vs Nylon: Cost

This is one area where nylon garage door rollers can’t really compete with steel. Steel rollers are almost always cheaper than nylon. Although the price of any set of rollers will be affected by the number of ball bearings (if any) in the roller. More ball bearings, higher price. But, as a rule, nylon garage door rollers are going to cost more than steel. Keep in mind, however, these aren’t the crown jewels we’re talking about here. So any price differential isn’t going to break the bank.

The Bottom Line

If it were up to us we would choose nylon over steel garage door rollers. They’re quieter, they don’t corrode and they typically provide smoother operation. Yes, they’ll cost a bit more than steel rollers but we think they’re worth the modest financial stretch. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with steel rollers. If properly maintained they’ll serve you well for many years. But in our objective assessment, nylon rollers come out on top. If you need garage door repair in Littleton or Broomfield call A Better Garage Door today.

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