There is no definitive answer on what brake rotors are better, as they each have advantages and disadvantages. Slotted rotors are performance rotors that have machined slots carved into the surface which helps with cooling and removing any dust or debris. Drilled rotors have drill holes through them which do the same thing as the slotted rotors. Cross drilled and slotted rotors combine both designs, making for a hybrid-like brake rotor. Although when installed, all three type of brake rotors look very appealing behind a set of aftermarket wheels and tires.
Slotted rotors are performance rotors designed to cool down the brakes quicker than conventional brake rotors. Conventional brake rotors are solid with no holes or slots to dissipate heat. They are the most common and come equipped with most vehicles from the factory. When the brakes heat up from heavy braking, stress is put on the pads and rotors. Slotted rotors allow the heat to be removed and can increase the life of both the pad and the rotor. Small machined slots on the rotor’s surface are uniquely placed equally apart from each other to provide consistency. EBC slotted rotors are available in many different forms and for various vehicles.
Drilled rotors have a completely different design than slotted rotors, but have the same job. Drilled rotors have holes drilled through the entire rotor from one side to the other so heat can escape, as well as dirt and debris. The holes look much better than the slots as well. Most enthusiasts will upgrade to drilled rotors just for the “wow” factor. High performance and fashion are blended into drilled rotors. Drilled rotors also allow water to escape and allow the brakes to perform at their best.
Drilled & slotted rotors combine both designs into one. The jury is still out on this rotor, as it is not always the more the merrier. Drilled and slotted rotors have less surface area than just drilled or just slotted. This could inhibit performance and the rotor could warp overtime. The design also weakens the rotor and makes it much lighter. Harder braking may need to be done as a result of the lightweight material.
Drilled rotors vs. slotted rotors are all based on preference. Drilled rotors are lighter and more balance than slotted rotors due to the drill placements. Slotted rotors are stronger and heavier than drilled rotors since there are no holes in them. Slotted rotors will slow down your vehicle quicker than drilled rotors. Slotted rotors will dissipate heat better than drilled rotors. Drilled rotors will allow water to escape better than slotted rotors. Drilled rotors are more prone to warp than slotted rotors due to the decreased surface area.
Upgrading to aftermarket performance rotors provides increased braking power for those high horsepower enthusiasts. Vehicles with more power cannot rely on stock brakes and rotors to get the job done. Enthusiasts who track their vehicle also like to upgrade the brakes and rotors because of the high temperatures caused from constant braking. Factory rotors will be destroyed a few times at the track, as well as the brake pads. Drilled rotors or slotted rotors can allow the heat to escape much faster which will decrease the possibility of brake fade. EBC brakes have a wide selection of both drilled and slotted rotors, as well as their unique v groove rotors.