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Brake Rotors Comparison: The Best Rotors for You

Types of Brake Rotors

Smooth:

  • Delivers more than enough stopping power for your daily driving conditions
  • Offers more surface area than drilled or slotted rotors so it’s most effective at dissipating heat
  • Not as prone to cracking under extreme use, where drilled rotors can be more susceptible
  • Lack of slots or drill holes means smooth rotors maintain maximum structural integrity
  • Suitable for moderate track use when paired with performance brake pads & brake fluid

Slotted:

  • Features grooves cut along the rotor face where the pad makes contact
  • Under repeated heavy braking, the slots in the rotor allow built-up gases to escape keeping the rotors and pads cooler to prevent pad glazing
  • Puts more of the pad in contact with the rotor compared to drilled rotors, providing better pad bite and more consistent stops
  • Higher coefficient of friction compared to drilled rotors, so you’re actually using less energy to slow down the same amount
  • Slotted venting combats brake fade and maintains consistent stopping power

Cross Drilled:

  • Effectively vent gas and dust that inevitably builds up, and look cool doing it
  • With technology reducing outgassing issues, drill holes are now primarily for aesthetic reasons
  • Keep temperatures down under normal driving for prolonged pad life
  • Allow water to escape the rotor’s surface for better wet-weather performance & initial pad bite
  • Ideal for street use since your brakes don’t encounter track-level temps

Drilled & Slotted:

  • Combine the looks and functionality of both cross-drilled rotors and slotted rotors
  • Runs cooler (cross-drilled) and maintains a clean contact surface (slotted)
  • When kept within its thermal threshold, can provide an extra bit of security and durability
  • Ideal rotors for use on heavy vehicles that frequently tow weighty loads
  • Pair with a high-quality set of brake pads and fresh DOT-3 or DOT-4 brake fluid for best results

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