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.
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 Picks||Brand||Rating||OEM Style||Plated||Drilled||Slotted||Solid|
|Best Overall||Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor|
|Best Budget Buy||ACDelco Silver Front Disc Brake Rotor|
|Best Cast Iron||Brembo UV Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor|
|Best Drilled||Power Stop Front Evolution Drilled & Slotted Rotor Pair|
|Best Brake Rotors Kit||Detroit Axle - Front & Rear Drilled & Slotted Brake Kit|
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- OEM style vane configuration
- Precision balanced for smooth operation
- Available in a choice of sizes
- Bi-metal coating
- Is a bit of an investment
- Reviewers say customer support is lacking
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.
- Excellent value
- Suitable for most vehicle makes and models
- Multiple alloy construction
- Engineered to OE expectations
- Some reviewers weren’t happy with the fit of these rotors
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.
- Compatible with 15 vehicles
- Coated for increased durability
- Limited vehicle compatibility
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.
- Zinc plated for corrosion resistance
- Direct OE fit and vane count
- Precise machine and casting
- Suitable for a variety of vehicle makes and models
- Smelly for at least a couple of weeks
- Reviewers say customer support is lacking
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.
- Drilled and slotted for increased performance
- Zinc plated for rust protection
- Includes a 10-year warranty
- Excellent value for the price
- Some reviewers say these brakes are noisy
- Some reviewers had issues with fit
Frequently Asked Questions
Are drilled brake rotors better?
How long should rotors last?
Do drilled rotors wear pads faster?
Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?
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.
- Hawk Performance. When should you replace brake rotors? Hawkperformance.com. Published August 28, 2020. Accessed August 4, 2021.
- Car Throttle. Engineering explained: Brake systems and how to improve stopping performance. Carthrottle.com. Published August 28, 2020. Accessed August 4, 2021.
- NuBrakes Mobile Brake Repair Service. What are brake rotors and how do they work? Nubrakes.com. Accessed August 4, 2021.
- Askari M. How long do brakes last? Caranddriver.com. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed August 4, 2021.