Closeup of a brake rotor

Going fast is all fun and games—until it’s time to slow down. When it comes time to hit those stoppers, you want to be confident that you can scrub speed safely and smoothly. Brake rotors play a significant role in providing this peace of mind, but which ones are the best?

We took a look at the marketplace and found our answer: the Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotors, which are precision-balanced to ensure smooth operation. They are a quality product from a respected manufacturer of automotive parts, and they’d be the rotors we would use on our own cars.

Best Overall
Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor
For brake rotors that ensure smooth operation, the Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor is the #1 choice.

If you plan to mount your own brake rotor, keep in mind that your brake rotor should not be loose!

Our Expert’s Top 5 Brake Rotors

Here are our expert’s recommendations for top rotors you can get for any budget and a variety of applications. Compare their ratings and features to determine the best for your budget.

Editor's PicksBrandRatingOEM StylePlatedDrilledSlottedSolid
Best OverallBosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor4.6
Best Budget BuyACDelco Silver Front Disc Brake Rotor4.7
Best Cast IronBrembo UV Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor5.0
Best DrilledPower Stop Front Evolution Drilled & Slotted Rotor Pair4.6
Best Brake Rotors KitDetroit Axle - Front & Rear Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit4.3

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy Brake Rotors

  • Those replacing worn rotors. Like many components on a vehicle, brake rotors are subject to wear and tear during everyday driving. They wear down periodically and need to be replaced for safety purposes.1 If you’re unsure how to tell if your brake rotors are bad, there are many signs you can look out for.
  • Those who want improved stopping performance. By purchasing and installing certain types of rotor and pad systems, vehicle owners can significantly improve their stopping performance.2
  • Performance drivers. If you’re going to be taking your car on the track, you’ll want to upgrade your rotors for improved heat dissipation in order to maintain your stopping power.

Who Should Not Buy Brake Rotors

  • Those with new brakes. Brake rotors should easily last for 50,000 miles, so you shouldn’t have to replace them frequently. If so, reconsider your choice of mechanic or review how you’re performing the installation.
  • Those with drum brakes. Older cars—and some entry-level newer models—use drum brakes, which use shoes and a drum in lieu of rotors and pads. This kind of braking system requires its own maintenance, but you’ll never need to buy rotors for a car equipped with drum brakes.
  • Happy stoppers. If you’re happy with your vehicle’s stopping performance, don’t bother to replace your rotors with aftermarket parts.

Research Tips

When it comes to brakes, you don’t want to cheap out or purchase the wrong size for your car. When shopping for rotors specifically, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Consider their design. Brake rotors come in four main styles: drilled, slotted, drilled & slotted, and blank (or solid).3 Drilled rotors offer improved heat dissipation and are a popular choice for more spirited driving applications. However, note that drilled rotors are more susceptible to wearing and cracking than solid rotors. Slotted brake rotors feature slots carved into the flat metal surface of the rotor that help keep the surface cool. They’re ideal for use in performance driving applications but tend to quickly eat brake pads and also need to be replaced more often. Drilled and slotted are usually designed for performance vehicles, as they can improve braking at high speeds. Blank rotors feature a smooth, solid surface and are an economical choice for those who need to replace their brake rotors.
  2. Check sizing. Different vehicles use different rotor sizes, so it’s imperative to ensure the rotor you’re considering is compatible with your vehicle. Your owner’s manual should have exact specifications.
  3. Look for plated options. Many brake rotors today are available with zinc or other plating. This helps to prevent rust and corrosion, which will lengthen the life of your rotors.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $30 and $100

For most brake rotors, you can expect to pay between $30-$100 per rotor and still get a quality product. One of the major drivers behind rotor pricing is the material choice, with ceramic rotors costing more than metal. That price differential ultimately washes out, however, as ceramic rotors do last longer than their metal counterparts.

Thicker rotors will also cost more, but as with ceramics, you can expect a thinker rotor to last longer than a thinner one. Rotors with plating to resist corrosion will have a higher price tag as well. The most expensive rotors on the market will cost you upwards of $150 per rotor.

The Best Brake Rotors: Full Reviews

Best Overall
Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor
For brake rotors that ensure smooth operation, the Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor is the #1 choice.

The Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor took the top spot on our list of the best brake rotors thanks in large part to its OEM-style vane configuration, which provides more efficient heat dissipation and helps to reduce vibration. This means that these rotors last longer and perform better than other aftermarket rotors, all at a better price than a genuine OEM part.

The Bosch’s heat flow casting provides for quiet operation, while the aluminum and zinc coating gives a sleek look with today’s open-style wheels. All told, this highly-rated brake rotor is probably the best option available.

Pros
  • OEM style vane configuration
  • Precision balanced for smooth operation
  • Available in a choice of sizes
  • Bi-metal coating

Cons

  • Is a bit of an investment
  • Reviewers say customer support is lacking

Best Budget Buy
ACDelco Silver 18A407A Front Disc Brake Rotor
A budget-friendly option with a sleek and simple design.

The ACDelco Silver 18A407A Front Disc Brake Rotor is a good choice for those on a budget, as they come in at less than $40 per pair, making them a steal compared to most other rotors. ACDelco is also GM’s in-house parts brand, so these rotors and others by ACDelco should fit a variety of GM cars and trucks and provide factory-like brake performance at a fraction of the cost. These rotors will also work with non-GM vehicles.

ACDelco’s design offers improved heat dissipation and performance thanks to its multiple alloy construction and boasts a rounded radius for added strength. They don’t feature any protection against corrosion, however, so keep that in mind. That said, value-minded buyers won’t mind the small sacrifice in weather protection for the excellent price.

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Suitable for most vehicle makes and models
  • Multiple alloy construction
  • Engineered to OE expectations

Cons

  • Non-coated
  • Some reviewers weren’t happy with the fit of these rotors

Best Cast Iron
Brembo UV Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor
High carbon cast iron construction helps minimize noise and vibration.

The Brembo UV Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor is constructed of high carbon cast iron to help minimize noise and vibration, while still offering quality performance and enhanced driving comfort. Being a Brembo product, these rotors don’t come cheap at $85 per rotor, but the trustworthy name makes them worth the rather steep asking price.

This rotor features an environmentally friendly, solvent-free UV coating for increased longevity, and is compatible with several Land Rover vehicles. Other vehicles are covered by the same line of Brembo rotors, but wear different part numbers and feature their own unique product pages. Whichever Brembo rotor you need, you can be assured of their quality and performance.

Pros
  • Compatible with 15 vehicles
  • Coated for increased durability

Cons

  • Limited vehicle compatibility
  • Expensive

Best Drilled
Power Stop Front Evolution Drilled & Slotted Rotor Pair
Direct OE fit and vane count for easy fitment.

The Power Stop AR8654XPR Front Evolution Drilled & Slotted Rotor Pair features zinc plating for maximum protection from rust and corrosion. It also offers improved durability and dust reduction.

This option from Power Stop is compatible with a number of different vehicle makes and models. These rotors boast an OE style fitment, which means no special modifications are required for installation. They are an excellent upgrade over OEM that bring improved cooling and performance for not a lot of cash. If you’re looking to up the stopping power on your ride, these rotors are the way to go. As a bonus, they sell in pairs, so there’s no need to double-check you ordered two at checkout.

Pros
  • Zinc plated for corrosion resistance
  • Direct OE fit and vane count
  • Precise machine and casting
  • Suitable for a variety of vehicle makes and models

Cons

  • Smelly for at least a couple of weeks
  • Reviewers say customer support is lacking

Best Brake Rotors Kit
Detroit Axle - Front & Rear Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit
A complete brake replacement kit that offers excellent value.

The Detroit Axle – Front & Rear Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit offers excellent value for those who need to update their braking system, as it comes complete with front and rear rotors, front and rear ceramic pads, as well as all required hardware and fluids. This kit is a one-stop solution that won’t have you running back to the parts store because you forgot to buy that one fastener.

It is suitable for use with a variety of vehicle makes and models, and comes complete with a 10-year warranty for added peace of mind. If you’re planning on doing a full brake job, try out this complete kit.

Pros
  • Drilled and slotted for increased performance
  • Zinc plated for rust protection
  • Includes a 10-year warranty
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • Some reviewers say these brakes are noisy
  • Some reviewers had issues with fit

Frequently Asked Questions

Are drilled brake rotors better?

Drilled brake rotors offer better braking performance compared to their slotted counterparts, especially when it comes to normal city or highway driving. That said, when it comes to high-speed stop applications such as track racing, slotted rotors are the better choice.

How long should rotors last?

The majority of mechanics agree that brake rotors should last at least 50,000 miles, and can last well beyond 100,000 miles depending on your driving style and where you drive. You can tell when it’s time to replace your vehicle’s rotors if you feel any vibration or pulsation when you apply the brakes.4 There may also be a blue discoloration of the rotor surface which further indicates that it’s time to replace your rotors.

Do drilled rotors wear pads faster?

Both drilled and slotted rotors will wear brake pads faster than solid rotors. In return, they offer improved braking performance, which may be worth the tradeoff in life expectancy for some drivers.

Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?

The opposite is, in fact, true. Ceramic brake pads wear rotors slower than organic and metallic brake pads. The reason is that they produce less dust and other particles over time as they wear down. They also provide a quieter ride, making for smoother stopping and less wear. Ceramic brake pads are more expensive than organic and metallic brake pads, which may deter some vehicle owners from purchasing them, but are worth the investment if your budget allows for it.

Article Sources

Ride Digest uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Hawk Performance. When should you replace brake rotors? Hawkperformance.com. Published August 28, 2020. Accessed August 4, 2021.
  2. Car Throttle. Engineering explained: Brake systems and how to improve stopping performance. Carthrottle.com. Published August 28, 2020. Accessed August 4, 2021.
  3. NuBrakes Mobile Brake Repair Service. What are brake rotors and how do they work? Nubrakes.com. Accessed August 4, 2021.
  4. Askari M. How long do brakes last? Caranddriver.com. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed August 4, 2021.