Remember when you first learned how to drive?
I spent more time with my foot hovering over the brake than the gas going through intersections. It’s obvious to every driver that good brakes are vital.
There’s more to good brakes than just the thickness or material of the brake pad itself. Brake rotors are something very few people give a second thought to.
But brake rotors are of the utmost importance.
If you’re considering new rotors or you want to improve your vehicle’s braking performance, you would be wise to choose some of the better quality brake rotors on the market.
I’ve done some research and curated a list of top performing brake rotors so you can get the stopping power you want and need.
Everyone knows the ACDelco brand, even if you don’t own a GM product. ACDelco makes a terrific product with quality you can count on.
It’s important to note that this rotor is not coated. That means if you don’t drive the vehicle every day, the vanes and the center portion of the rotor will probably develop rust.
You can paint the center portion with a high-temp paint if you like, but it won’t stop the vanes from developing rust.
I like that this rotor is made from a mixture of alloys which improves heat dissipation. This rotor also features a mill-balanced and rounded radius for balance as well as added strength.
I also like that this brake rotor is very economical for an OEM part. If you’ve got a GM car or truck, you can get a decent, quality brake rotor for a very reasonable cost.
Perhaps the best feature of these rotors is that they are quality made, so you won’t be replacing them every 30-50,000 miles.
If you need some quality brake rotors for your GM vehicle but you don’t want to spend a fortune, this brake rotor from ACDelco is right up your alley.
Best Performance Brake Rotor
Brembo is the number one brand when it comes to performance brake rotors. These are no exception.
Double-check the application before purchase to ensure that these rotors will fit your vehicle.
Note that these are front brake rotors and not intended for the rear brakes.
These rotors are coated with a solvent-free, environmentally friendly coating. The coating will protect your rotors from rust without hurting the environment.
These rotors feature OEM style and quality, but improved performance due to the drilled hole design. Drilled holes allow for exceptional heat dissipation.
When you want the best possible rotors for high performance driving, Brembo UV coated brake rotors will provide reliable stopping power even in the most extreme conditions.
Many users noted that these rotors were extremely quiet, with no whistling sounds even at high speeds. There were minimal instances of pulling and no issues with installation.
For those who are comfortable with removing and replacing their own brake rotors, these were also easy to install for nearly all users.
Pair these brake rotors with some ceramic pads and you will experience improved braking performance like you never imagined.
Best Brake Rotor Brand for Towing
I must say that at first glance, I simply loved this brake package. It has everything you could ask for!
Power Stop may not be the biggest name in brake parts, but I see them gaining market share.
Notice that this is a kit. It contains performance brake rotors with both drilled holes and slots, as well as carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads for the ultimate in stopping power.
Anyone with a 4X4 or who does any towing knows how easy it can be to develop brake fade. You can prevent that problem with these high-performance brake rotors and pads.
The rotors are zinc plated to prevent rust. Power Stop also includes all the hardware such as the dual-layered rubberized brake pads and shims.
This makes for virtually noise-free braking.
In addition to the drilled and slotted discs, I like that these pads create a minimum amount of dust. This means no dirty wheels or squealing brake pads.
The Power Stop Extreme offers you the extra stopping power you need to bring your truck and
This kit is well worth the money.
Best Brake Rotor Brand for Honda
If you’ve got a Honda, you know how particular your car can be. I’ve found that most Honda owners always want the best for their ride.
You’ll be happy to know that Bosch makes the perfect brake rotor just for your Honda.
This rotor is designed to work with 1998-2012 Honda Accords and 2006-2011 Civic. This is for FRONT WHEELS ONLY.
As you would expect from premium rotors, these rotors have a zinc coating to prevent rust. This makes them look clean and awesome when viewing through your wheels.
Bosch is a long-standing name with a reputation for quality. It’s no surprise that these are precision balanced and have an OEM type of vane configuration for effective heat dissipation.
This product contains the ABS tone ring (where applicable) so you will have zero trouble with the ABS and traction control systems.
If you are looking for the right combination of fit, quality, and price for your Honda, the Bosch QuietCast is a perfect choice.
Are OEM rotors better than aftermarket?
It depends. Some are and others aren’t.
Think of brake rotors like shoes. Is a knockoff brand better than the original? Usually, no. They are cheaper and made from less expensive (quality) materials.
But does this mean all other shoe brands are junk?
Of course not.
OEM brake rotors try to balance the best of all worlds in one product. The manufacturer wants to make rotors that are safe, but they don’t want to spend a great deal of money on top-notch designs or materials.
That cost gets passed on to you.
In some instances, OEM rotors rely on their name. A genuine BMW brake rotor, for example, is going to cost you more than a similar brake rotor from Kia. The name alone does not mean that an OEM brake rotor is better though.
But in the brake rotor market, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is true here.
An $18 aftermarket no-name brake rotor from China is not going to compare (or last) like an OEM brake rotor or a $125 performance rotor from a well known company.
Are slotted rotors better?
Slotted rotors are better in one area and not necessarily better in another.
It’s essential that brakes dissipate heat and water. Disc brakes can become overheated, especially when towing, so you want to reduce heat and the gases that build up whenever you step on the brake.
Imagine a shirt that had holes all over it. If you wore it when it was very hot outside, you would feel cooler because of the air that passes through those holes, correct?
Brake rotors are no different.
While a slotted brake rotor does not improve the transfer of heat, it does improve overall brake performance. It helps to remove water, gas, and dust that gets trapped between the brake pad and the rotor.
The accumulation of dust and gas prevents the brake pad from making full contact with the brake rotor, which can reduce braking performance.
Rotors with drilled holes will give you better braking power and performance overall.
Are thicker rotors better?
Yes, thicker rotors are usually better.
The thicker the rotor, the better it can dissipate heat.
Using the shoe analogy, imagine walking on an extremely hot surface with extremely thin flip flops. Now imagine walking on some 2-inch-thick rubber-soled shoes. You can bet that you are going to feel the heat come through those flip flops a lot faster than the thick rubber shoes.
Every time you step on the brakes, a microscopic layer of the brake rotor wears off. It may wear unevenly due to a variety of circumstances. Eventually all brake rotors will need to be “turned”.
This means that a special machine will remove another thin layer of the rotor to make it smooth and flat again.
The thicker the rotor, the less chance that the rotor will become uneven. That also means it can be turned more times before it becomes too thin to be used and must be replaced.
How long do brake rotors last?
The lifespan of brake rotors depends on a lot of factors.
Depending on driving habits, quality of the brake pads and rotors, an average person would expect them to last between 50,000 and 70,000 miles or more.
If you have a stick shift and you properly downshift rather than use the brakes, you can expect a longer life. If you have an automatic and you live or drive-in mountainous areas, you can expect a shorter life.
Brake rotors do not have to be replaced as often as brake pads. But they will need to be replaced eventually.
Wrapping It Up
Since every vehicle (and how you use it) is different, I can’t really pick a winner. However, I will say that for every application above (Hondas, towing, etc.) each product featured is the top of the line.
Why settle for thin, cheap aftermarket products when you can have improved braking performance for just a few dollars more?
If you’re looking for a performance rated brand, go with Brembo. They are top of the line in the aftermarket brake category.
Don’t settle for brake fade or that pulsating pedal because of a thin rotor that became overheated! Give your family the safety they deserve!