In the world of high-speed personal computing, it’s not difficult to name the best laptop available: the MacBook Pro. Not only is it blazing fast and immensely powerful, it also looks like a piece of geek-sculpted art. In the world of high-speed brakes, though, fingering the best between drilled or slotted rotors is a sticky wicket. Both are vastly superior to those flimsy factory frisbees, but is one a clear winner in the battle between slotted vs drilled rotors? We’ll present the facts, and you can decide.
Slotted Brake Rotors
Slotted brake rotors look an awful lot like a traditional set of rotors, but with a twist: they have slots carved into the surface of the discs like the grooves in fine New England whalebone scrimshaw. Unlike carved bone, though, slotted rotors ain't brittle and they won't run afoul of international whaling statues. Now, the slots definitely add some decoration, but there's more to it than just looks. The slots actually allow the discs to expel built-up brake dust and gases that are generated every time you tap those brakes. So, they're fun and functional, like a three-martini business lunch. Better still, you can continue to use traditional brake pads with slotted rotors, though a set of performance Hawk brake pads would pair well with the performance discs.
So, who makes slotted rotors? Lots of companies. DBA rotors are not only slotted, but they're made in Australia, so you know they're hearty. And, EBC rotors are available slotted, but they're designed in England and don't get along too well with the DBAs (the whole penal colony business).
Drilled Brake Rotors
Unlike slotted rotors, drilled rotors do not have grooves. Instead, they have holes drilled through the surface of the rotors like fingers holes in a bowling ball (assuming the finger holes go all the way through). Why would a manufacturer like Brembo brakes cut out holes in their discs, you ask? For two reasons. First, these holes allow brake dust and gas to vent—similarly as the slots in slotted rotors. Secondly, the holes just look cool. So, blend high performance and high fashion into one power-packed combo, and you've got a set of drilled rotors, like Baer Decela rotors and StopTech rotors.
Drilled and Slotted Rotors
Can't decide between either slotted or drilled rotors? Well, you could either buy two identical cars and equip one with slotted rotors and the other with drilled rotors. Or, you could get the ultimate brakes and rotors hybrid: drilled and slotted rotors. You read correctly: there are options out that are both drilled and slotted, though these have a higher brake rotors replacement cost. But, that's still a lot less than two cars.