Zamflix – General news & advice

Difference between Drum Brakes and Disc Brakes

Modern braking systems are a great wonder of technological development. Through sensors, computers, and other engineered parts, you can use braking systems to stop cars safely.

However, some vehicles use disc brakes with new and changing trends, while others use drum brake systems. So if you have plans to change the system in your car, it would be best to know the difference between disc brake and drum brake systems to get a better one.

What is a Drum Brake?

A drum brake is basically an original in-tire braking system. Most cars have this system behind the rear wheels. However, some classic cars have a drum brake system at the four corners.

According to Kor Pak, each circular drum fits on a brake shoe, related to a wheel cylinder and hardware. One of the tire assemblies and wheels in a car is held against the brake with lug nuts.

Before their introduction, they were a block of wood on levers, which pressed against tires. The outer casing of these brakes is made of cast iron or aluminum.

How Drum Brakes Work

Inside the brakes, a set of shoes are crescent-shaped metals, which have high friction materials affixed on the outer edges. When you step on the drum brake system, a fluid transfers the movement to the shoes, which then presses against the brakes to slow down the car.


  • Less expensive
  • Independent operation


  • Poor heat dispersion
  • Less effective in a wet condition

What is a Disc Brake?

It is a system in which drums of the braking system are replaced with metallic circular discs mounted over the wheel and rotate with a rotating wheel of cars.

In this system, the rotor or disc is fitted on the outer part of a wheel with a brake pad. This means the entire system is connected with a viscous fluid and a thick fluid line.

They are different from a drum brake that allows the heat to build up during heavy braking. Instead, rotors used in the disc braking system are completely exposed to the outside air. This cools the rotor and decreases fading as well as overheating.

How Disc Brakes Work

Over the disc in the braking system, A clamp-type device referred to as a caliper is usually mounted so that the inward movement of brake pads makes frictional contact with a disc to stop or decelerate cars when brakes are applied.

To increase the stopping power, you will need bigger pads. This is why most superbikes come with large or dual discs at the front wheel.


  • More stopping power
  • No wheel damage
  • Affordable spares
  • Great heat dissipation
  • Easy maintenance


  • Costs a lot
  • Weighs more
  • Not transferrable

Which System is better?

While both systems operate with similar basic hydraulics, they work differently. Disc braking system is more effective, works better in wet conditions, dissipates heat easily, and provides better stopping power.

Most modern cars have a disc braking system on all four wheels. Plus, when you hit the braking system, the weight of your car transfers to the front, making disc brakes better than drum brakes.

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