What You Will Get Here
- How Does a Brake Rotor and Your Braking System Work?
- How Did We Pick these Products?
- Basic Considerations for Buying Brake Rotors
- Our Top 10 List
- Editor’s Choice: Bosch 26010746 QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor
- Budget Choice: ACDelco 18A925A Advantage
- Front Disc Rotor: ACDelco 18A1705 Professional Front Disc Brake Rotor
- For Professionals: ACDelco 18A2497 Professional Front Disc Brake Rotor
- A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- When to Replace Your Brake Rotors?
- Maintenance tips
How Does a Brake Rotor and Your Braking System Work?
Brake rotors are disc-like metals on the wheels of the vehicle which you’ll see clearly by removing the tires. They connect the wheel to the axle and helps to slow and stop the vehicle. Many of them are made from cast iron, steel, and ceramic composites.
So, how does the braking system work?
All braking systems have calipers that hold the brake pads. By engaging the brake pedal you’re pulling the caliper which in turn, pushes the brake pads together. The coming together of the two brake pads against the rotor will create a frictional force that tries to stop the spinning tires. Upon the release of the pedals, the caliper and the brake pads open, freeing the brake rotors for the vehicle to move again.
How Did We Pick these Products?
We engaged in a lot of research and tests to ensure that we’re choosing only the best brake rotors for you. So, we started by selected 20 brake rotors out of the top 40 brands that are available on the web. Our criteria for selection was good quality, good reviews, and ratings from existing users, as well as budget, material, and durability.
Since we couldn’t test all the products ourselves, we had help from some community-based volunteers. The feedback they gave helped to enrich our ideas about the performance of these products.
So, our top ten brake rotors were properly chosen to ensure that they’re worthy and perfect for you. We’ve reviewed each of the products along with their pros and cons so you’ll have every information to enable you to choose the best.
Basic Considerations for Buying Brake Rotors
Since rotors are among the most important parts of your vehicle’s braking system and since they wear over time due to friction, it’s necessary to be serious when shopping for a replacement. Here, are the basic things you need to consider before buying.
1. Purpose of your vehicle
How and what you use your vehicle for is very important when buying a brake rotor. Here is a list of the Best Brake Rotors for a commuter, towing, off-road, and street performance vehicles.
In reality, there is no special brake rotor for commuting vehicles because you can use any good quality OEM rotor. Yet, if you’re in the habit of carrying more load in your vehicle and cruising the steep roads, then, drilled rotors will be ideal.
Towing is like loading your vehicle while traveling on a hilly road. Once this happens, there is no doubt that the braking system will develop heat. So, you’ll need to buy drilled brake rotors for this purpose.
If you’re going through rough tracks like deserts or an area with many potholes, it’s best to avoid conventional rotors. This is because the clogs on the wheel often result in poor performance. So, you’ll need to buy either slotted or drilled rotors for off-road rides.
- Racing & Street Performance
Racing vehicles are often associated with speed-brakes and sharp turns which generates more heat. The only rotor type that will meet your vehicle’ demands is the drilled brake rotor.
2. Type of rotors
Before you buy a new brake rotor, it’s important to know their types and how they can affect your vehicle’s performance. The different rotor types are smooth, drilled, and slotted.
These are the most common rotors on the market. They have smooth surfaces that are without holes or markings. So, you’ll appreciate their efficacy when driving under normal conditions. They’re best for low-class vehicles and seldom produce noise or dust when operating. Smooth brake rotors are cheap, long-lasting, and are perfect for less aggressive driving.
These rotors have holes on the surface that makes for quick dissipation of heat since the buildup of heat could result in cracks. Besides, if you’re driving in the rain, the wheels will remain dry since the water will flow through the holes.
The only disadvantage with this rotor type is that the holes will reduce the binding force between the pads and the rotor. And this could limit the performance even though it’s a minor drawback considering other benefits.
These are brake rotors with lines or markings to quicker heat transfer and removal of water. They’re suitable for powerful vehicles that apply high-speed brakes which often increase the system’s stress level. Such high-performance vehicle can’t use drilled rotors since the braking system will likely fail. The slotted rotors are often expensive and tend to wear faster than drilled types.
- Drilled Slotted
These rotors have both slots and hole on the surface. They allow you to enjoy the benefits of having a slotted and drilled rotor in one piece. They’re most efficient but very expensive.
Brake rotors are mostly made from metals like cast iron, aluminum, and steel, but you’ll also find ones from carbon or ceramic materials. We can’t say which material is best since they have their merits and demerits. Cast iron rotors will perform excellently in heavy-duty trucks, but can’t withstand much heat and may even break. Yet, steel rotors are good with heat and also light in weight, but aren’t as durable as cast iron rotors.
4. Ease of Installation
If you’re installing the brake rotors yourself, then it’s essential to buy one with simple installation steps. Smooth rotors are easier to install than the slotted and drilled types. You’ll find some help by watching videos online and adhering to the manufacturer’s installation guide.
When buying a brake rotor for your vehicle, it’s important to get one that’ll provide good value for the money. You may not have to focus on extremely cheap models since their quality is often low, neither do we recommend the high-priced models. Yet, it’s better to opt for the top-rated brands with a reasonable price range since their features are more dependable.
Our Top 10 List
Here, we have a list of the top Best Brake Rotors on sale and they’ve been categorized by budget, point of installation as well as the vehicle’s type to make your selection process easier.