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Best Brake Rotors

Updated February 2024
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Best of the Best
Power Stop Front Z23 Evolution Brake Kit
Power Stop
Front Z23 Evolution Brake Kit
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Premium Option
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Power Stop delivers a top-notch product with this brake rotor kit.


Has two front rotors and front brake pads made of ceramic to reduce noise fade and dust. Components are engineered to work together in this one-click brake kit. Made of pre-matched components ready to install.


The compatibility chart regarding what vehicles it works for may be inaccurate.

Best Bang for the Buck
ACDelco Advantage Non-Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor
Advantage Non-Coated Front Disc Brake Rotor
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Simple Yet Solid
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A brake rotor that comes with a rounded radius that adds strength.


Manufactured with multiple alloys that improve heat dissipation and performance. Mill-balanced for proper rotor function as no extra weights are needed. Quality validated for proper metallurgy and correct brake plate thickness.


May not be compatible with every vehicle advertised.

Raybestos Professional Grade Disc Brake Rotor
Professional Grade Disc Brake Rotor
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Trusted Brand
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These rotors from a top company are designed to provide excellent braking.


These rotors feature an advanced technology metallurgy that offers long-lasting durability. Easy to install onto the wheel hub. Offer brilliant vehicle stability. Corrosion resistant.


The rotors show surface rust very quickly.

Wagner E-Shield Rear Disc Brake Rotor
E-Shield Rear Disc Brake Rotor
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Easy to Install
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Reliable rear disk brake rotors that are constructed to last and enhance braking performance.


Made with proprietary E-Shield coating that protects against corrosion. Arrive in a VCI bag for minimal prep before installation. Smooth finish. Engineered to control vibration and noise.


Quality control missed a few rotors with flaws.

Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor, Front
QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor, Front
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Smooth Operator
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Precision-balanced product to ensure smooth operation with no pedal pulsation.


OEM-style vane configuration for efficient heat dissipation. Reduces vibration and noise while extending rotor life. Offers consistent wear, long life, and quiet operation. Made of bi-metal aluminum and zinc. OEM-style ABS tone ring provides trouble-free operation.


Does not work with all the cars advertised.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best brake rotors

There are three main parts to your vehicle's braking system: caliper, pads and rotor. All three work together to create the friction needed to reduce a vehicle's momentum. When you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid goes to the caliper. The fluid activates pistons that squeeze the brake pads together on either side of the rotor, pinching it to slow its rotation.

While it might not sound like brake rotors are a big deal, you wouldn't be able to stop a vehicle without them. Furthermore, if they’re improperly designed, they retain too much heat during normal operation, and the excess heat can glaze, melt or degrade the brake pads. Also, high temperatures can render brake fluid less effective. In short, if your brake rotors are wearing out, you need to replace them.

For the best performance, brake rotors need to be durable and able to dissipate heat while providing a smooth, vibration-free stop. To do this, rotors have a few different designs: blank, smooth or plain; drilled; slotted; and drilled and slotted, and each type has its pros and cons. The best brake rotor for your vehicle depends on how aggressively you drive and what kind of driving you do.

Purchasing the best brake rotors isn't hard. You just need to know the different features and how they can benefit your type of driving. It also helps to understand the drawbacks of brake rotors with certain features, so you can weigh those benefits and drawbacks. For instance, would you be happy with a brake rotor that offered exceptional stopping power but was noisy and didn't last long? 

Once you decide what you need and what is acceptable, you'll be able to purchase the best option with confidence, such as our top pick, the Power Stop Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Upgrade Kit.  

Best brake rotors

Power Stop Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Upgrade Kit

If you need both brake pads and brake rotors, this is the set you want. It has everything to make your brakes as good as new again. In addition to pads and rotors, this kit comes with all the needed hardware. The carbon-fiber pads have a dust-free formulation, so you don't have to worry about brake dust building up, and the high-temperature, rubberized shims reduce braking noise. The rotors are drilled, slotted and plated with zinc, so they not only keep temperature and debris to a minimum, but they also look really sharp doing it. Best of all, this kit offers the rare combination of both superior stopping power and extended life.

ACDelco Silver (Advantage) Front Disc Brake Rotor

ACDelco is a name you can trust when it comes to auto parts. Their Silver line of parts offers a balance of quality and affordability that help you get the best bang for your buck, and these brake rotors are no exception. They’re manufactured using multiple alloys to help improve heat dissipation, so brakes are always functioning at peak efficiency with no brake fade or other undesirable issues. Also, they’re mill balanced to ensure proper performance without the need to add any weights. As an extra bonus, the rounded radius helps increase the durability of these wallet-friendly rotors.

Raybestos Professional Grade Disc Brake Rotor

These blank brake rotors are best for everyday highway driving, and the black fusion finish gives them a clean, stylish look. Raybestos is known for aftermarket brake parts. The company makes drums, calipers, hub assemblies, rotors and more, and the parts exceed the original equipment in performance. Raybestos rotors have an advanced technology metallurgy that enhances durability to help ensure they offer a solid value as well as reliable, quiet performance. The diverse Raybestos product line covers almost all domestic and import vehicles, so you can be sure that you'll find the right equipment for your car. 

Wagner E-Shield Disc Brake Rotor

Wagner has the consumer in mind from the start. Their brake rotors arrive in a vapor corrosion inhibitor bag that helps protect the metal from corroding and eliminates the need for an oil coating, which can reduce prep time. All you need to do before installing these rotors is give them a warm, soapy rinse (with or without scrubbing) to remove any particles or hand oils that may have accumulated. The rotors are precision-turned and balanced to provide a smooth finish that not only reduces break-in time but also helps ensure proper bedding for even wear and quiet, vibration-free stopping.

Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Rotor

There are a few key features that help set Bosch brake rotors apart from other brands. First, the original equipment manufacturer-style vane configuration is effective at drawing heat away from the inner part of the wheel to help ensure consistent, reliable performance even under less than ideal conditions. Second, the high-quality materials give these rotors a safe and long performance life. And third, the attention to disc thickness variation and a low run-out means that the brake pedal moves evenly down with no pulsation. For extra corrosion protection, the rotors have an aluminum/zinc coating that also keeps them looking clean and new on vehicles with open wheels.

Centric Parts Premium Brake Rotor

If you want to upgrade when it's time to get new brake rotors, consider Centric Parts. This company manufactures parts with original equipment specifications to make sure the fit and performance are everything you expect. These rotors have a double disc with a ground surface to provide smooth operation, which extends the life of the brake pads. The machined finish and mill balance give you a quiet, vibration-free braking experience. Centric goes above and beyond by applying an Electrocoating finish that allows the rotors to withstand up to 400 hours of saltwater exposure without rusting.

ACDelco Silver Front Disc Brake Rotor

If you’re a fan of spending less for higher quality, this ACDelco option will catch your interest. These original equipment brake rotors are made for General Motors vehicles as well as most makes and models of other cars, trucks and SUVs. They’ve been manufactured since 2010, offering peace of mind that they’re reliable. A great deal of care was taken to make sure these rotors met or exceeded expectations. The multi-alloy construction helps dissipate heat to increase durability, while the mill balancing ensures smooth and vibration-free performance without the need for extra weights.

What to know before you buy brake rotors

What they are

Brake rotors are round metal discs that you might be able to see inside each tire on your vehicle, especially if you don’t have hubcaps. Remove a tire and you can clearly see the brake rotor. It’s part of the wheel, which connects to the vehicle’s axle. As the axle rotates, the wheels rotate, propelling the vehicle forward. When you stop, the brake rotor and braking system come into play. On most cars, the rotors are cast iron. High-performance vehicles might use brake rotors made of reinforced carbon or ceramic composites to reduce weight.

How a braking system works

The rotors are only part of the braking system that slows and stops your vehicle. The braking system uses a caliper with two brake pads attached to it. Pressing the brake pedal pinches the ends of the caliper together. This action presses the brake pads against the brake rotor, creating friction. Because the rotor is connected to the wheel system, this friction eventually stops the tire from spinning. When you release the pedal, the caliper ends flex open, disengaging the friction between the pads and the rotor, and the wheel moves freely again.

Types of brake rotors 

When selecting new brake rotors, you can pick from four primary types: blank, smooth or plain; drilled; slotted; and drilled and slotted.

Blank or smooth brake rotors are the most common rotors on the market. These have a smooth design that offers the most surface area for the brake pads to grip. Plain brake rotors, in turn, provide the greatest amount of friction, or stopping power, of all the available rotor types. It makes them an effective and economical choice for average use situations.

The downside of blank brake rotors is they have no built-in features to dissipate heat or help get rid of gasses, dust or debris. Since the heat created by braking can diminish the effectiveness of your brake fluid as well as the life of your brake pads, smooth brake rotors are not the best option for any type of high-performance driving. This includes any commutes that require frequent or quick stops.

Drilled brake rotors have holes drilled through the rotor disc to allow the friction-generated heat to dissipate more quickly. Excessive heat around the brake rotors and pads can cause the system to work less effectively. The holes in the brake rotors also allow water to pass through. When driving on wet roads, the brake rotors could become slippery if they stayed wet. The water dissipates more quickly when the rotor has holes.

However, rotors with holes have less surface area to generate friction between the rotor and the pads, which could cause the brakes to work more slowly. Also, if not drilled correctly, the holes can weaken the structure of the rotor. However, the benefits of holes in the brake rotors significantly outweigh the minor drawbacks.

Slotted brake rotors have thin slots or lines in the surface. These slots aren’t deep enough to weaken the brake rotor, but they’re just the right depth to help remove water and heat.

You’ll find slotted brake rotors more often on high-performance vehicles where the rotors are under excessive stress. Holes in rotors could cause a brake system failure in this type of vehicle. Most consumer vehicles don’t put such stress on the rotors, so slotted ones aren’t necessary.

One disadvantage of slotted rotors is that the brake pads tend to wear out more quickly versus pads on drilled rotors. Also, on average, slotted rotors are more expensive than drilled.

Drilled and slotted brake rotors have both of the previously mentioned features. The benefits are that these rotors remain cooler and are much better at removing moisture, gasses, debris and more. They help prevent overheating, which reduces the chance of building up a low-friction glaze, so the brakes perform much better in high-demand situations.

The bad news is these brake rotors are the most expensive and the least durable — cracking may occur between the drilled holes. Also, though you probably won't notice it much, these rotors can be louder and feel less smooth when applying pedal pressure.

When to replace brake rotors

You can’t always tell if the brake rotors are too worn just by looking at them. However, there are clear signs you can look for when trying to decide whether you should replace the rotors.

Measure the wear. The original thickness of the rotor should be listed in the vehicle owner’s manual. You can measure the wear on brake rotors using a micrometer. This type of caliper will tell you the exact thickness of the material to a fraction of a millimeter. Take four to six measurements around the rotor. Always measure where the brake pads have touched the rotor.

If the brake rotor has worn down beyond acceptable limits or if the wear is uneven, it needs to be replaced.

Listen for odd noises. If your brakes make loud whining or squealing noises, this can be a sign of a failing brake pad, but it can also signal a brake rotor problem. Sometimes this high-pitched noise is caused by metal on metal: the brake pad has been completely worn down, which will eventually cause the brake rotor to fail. The rotor needs a functioning brake pad in order to work. A poor-quality or worn brake pad also can cause grooves to appear in the surface of the rotor, which can sometimes cause a high-pitched noise. If the grooves become deep enough, the rotor must be replaced.

Notice any vibrations. If your vehicle shakes when you apply the brakes, this points to a warped brake rotor or underinflated or weakening tire. If the rotor is causing the vibration, it means the rotor has suffered wear on some part of the surface and is no longer a uniform thickness.


Q. How much do brake rotors cost?

A. You have two options: you can pay a mechanic to replace them, or you can install them yourself. 

Most mechanics recommend replacing at least two brakes (on the front or rear wheels) at the same time. A complete brake system replacement, including pads, caliper and rotors, costs between $350 and $700 per wheel (each wheel has its own brake system). If you’re only having the brake rotors replaced, it costs about $150 to $300 per wheel. At the very least, most mechanics will recommend replacing the pads and rotors at the same time, which costs about $200 to $400 per wheel. 

If you go the DIY route, average-quality brake rotors cost anywhere from $25 to $60 each. These are basic models made for lightweight vehicles. High-end rotors cost $200 to $250 each. The more expensive brake rotors are made of better quality materials or are specialty rotors for certain vehicles.

Q. How long do brake rotors last before needing replacement?

A. The longevity of brake rotors varies greatly from vehicle to vehicle. If your car uses especially rough or aggressive brake pads, the rotors will wear down more quickly. If your vehicle’s manufacturer used low-quality materials to make the brake rotors, such as poor-quality cast iron, the rotors will wear more quickly. On average, brake rotors last for 30,000 to 75,000 miles, but some high-quality rotors can last even longer.

Q. Can I change out brake rotors myself?

A. Choosing the DIY option will save you quite a bit of money over going to a mechanic, but replacing rotors requires some auto repair know-how and specialized tools. Purchasing tools or renting space at a DIY garage will drive up the cost. Before buying any type of brake rotor, make absolutely sure it’s compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. The hub attached to the rotor is a different size and thickness depending on the vehicle. Then you need to be able to safely jack up the vehicle, and you need to know how to remove brake fluid. You have to remove several large bolts, so you’ll need the right tools on hand for that. This is an intermediate-level DIY job, so you’ll have better success if you already have some experience working on vehicles.

Q. How long does it take to swap out brake rotors?

A. When changing brake rotors, you’ll probably also change the brake pads. For an experienced mechanic, the process can take between half an hour and an hour and a half for two wheels. If you haven’t worked on vehicles a lot, the process could take twice that long for two wheels. Novices might need even longer, especially if they don’t have the proper tools.

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