Tech Talk with Master Power Brakes

The Different Types, Functions & Looks of Brake Rotors

Posted by Master Power Brakes Team on Jul 8, 2021 12:16:13 PM


Plain? Drilled? Slotted? Or drilled and slotted?

If you’re trying to decide which brake rotors to put on your classic car, first you need to know the different types and how they perform. Then, you’ll want to know how good (or not so good) each type will look on your vintage ride.

Here’s a breakdown of the different brake rotor types by functionality and appearance. 


What Is a Plain Brake Rotor?

Plain brake rotors come standard on most new passenger vehicles. These brake rotors are typically made of cast iron and can absorb an average amount of heat. They perform reliably under normal circumstances such as your daily commute.

Plain brake rotors aren’t good for aggressive driving and excessive braking, which generates a lot of heat. They’re more likely to rust if they don’t have a finish. And without a finish, plain brake rotors just aren’t that attractive.


What Is a Drilled Brake Rotor?

The holes in drilled brake rotors allow water and heat to dissipate away from the rotor surface. This type of brake rotor can help increase stopping power, so it’s good for wetter climates.

When it comes to racing, though, drilled brake rotors don’t perform as well because they can fail quickly under high heat and are prone to cracking. However, in terms of appearance, they look cooler than the plain model.

What Is a Slotted Brake Rotor?

Slotted brake rotors have slots instead of holes in the rotor surface. These brake rotors can help heavy-duty trucks and SUVs improve stopping power when towing or hauling. They allow gas and dust to escape and provide greater resistance to cracks.

Slotted brake rotors don’t do much for heat dissipation and can also increase brake pad wear. Like the drilled brake rotors, the slots are an upgrade from the plain model and increase the bling factor.

What Is a Drilled & Slotted Brake Rotor?

When brake rotors have holes and slots, the dust, gas, moisture, and heat can all escape easier ensuring good contact with the brake pads. The combination of a drilled brake rotor that runs cooler and a slotted brake rotor that keeps the surface clean provides extra security and durability.

Compared to plain brake rotors, drilled and slotted brake rotors look great and will not rust as easily, especially with the silver zinc finish offered by Master Power Brakes. These brake rotors are great for cars that need enhanced cooling and heat dispersion as well as improved braking at high speeds. However, the lifespan for drilled and slotted brake rotors can be short.


Brake Rotors: Types, Functions & Looks

Now you know more about the different types of brake rotors, how they will perform, and what they will look like on your classic car.

Here’s a recap:

    • Plain rotors are smooth with no holes or slots and look basic
  • Drilled rotors have holes that help water & heat dissipate and look cool
  • Slotted rotors have slots that allow gas & dust to escape and look cool
  • Drilled & slotted rotors have holes & slots that dispels dust, gas, water & heat and look cool

If you want to combine nice looks with great performance, drilled and slotted brake rotors are the way to go. Master Power Brakes offers plain brake rotors as well as drilled and slotted brake rotors in many of our front and rear disc brake conversion kits.

Check out all of our products online and contact us with your brake rotor questions!

Topics: Master Power Brakes, Parts

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