Difference Between Drum Brakes and Disc Brakes [Notes with PDF]


Before discussing the difference between drum brakes and disc brakes we will first understand what is a brake. So that particular component which generates the braking effect is called Breaking System. In our daily life, we see the braking effect everywhere, like bicycle, motorcycle, car, bus, train, and more. The list is quite long. So to get the breaking effect we need to have some component which produces the effect. A Braking system can be made of several components, and are of different types.

You can dive into the details of Braking System by clicking here. For now, we will talk about the Difference Between Drum Brakes and Disc Brakes. So let’s get started.

What is a Brake?

A component that is used for stopping the engine within short possible distances is called Brake.

Drum Brake:

A drum brake is a break in which a cylindrical drum is used for stopping the wheels and It is used in heavy vehicles as well as in some motorcycles too.

Drum Brake - difference between drum brakes and disc brakes
Components of a Drum Brake, Learn mechanical

Video on Drum Brakes:

Disc Brake:

It is one of the important types of brake in which a disc shape rotor is used to stop the vehicle within a short distance. It is used in light vehicle scooter, motorcycle, car, etc.

Disc Brake
Components of Disc Brake, Learn Mechanical

Video on Disc Brake:

Difference Between Drum Brake and Disc Brake:

Drum BrakeDisc Brake
The drum brake is used in heavy vehicle likes buses, trucks because they can be expanded to any size. However, you might see it on old motorcycles too.Whereas the disc brake is used in two-wheeler vehicles like motorcycles or scooters even on cars, because of limited expanding.
Cylindrical Drum is used here.Disc shape rotor is used in Disc Brake.
The braking effect of drum brake is less.It can stop within short distance.
It is available at cheaper price as it is traditional system.Disc brake is costly as compared to drum brake and it is a modern type brake system.
When drum brakes come into action there is slow heat dissipation.It dissipates heat faster and effectively.
The performance is slow at high temperature.It works fine even at high temperature.
The inspection of the drum brake is a little difficult.Disc brake inspection is easy.
It is operated mechanically.Here we use mechanical, ABS and other mechanisms too.
Maintenance cost is less.Here Maintenance cost is more.
It is a self-locking system.Disc brake is not a self locking system.
The design of drum brake is complex.Disc Brake design is not complex.
Usually it gets difficult to change friction pads when it gets damage.In Disc Brake the change of friction pads is easy compared to Drum brake.
Overall Performance of drum brake is average.Overall Performance of Disc Brake is much better than Drum Brake.
Drum Brake VS Disc Brake

More Resources for You:



  • Disc brakes: everything you need to know – Cycling Weekly
  • Complete Guide to Disc Brakes and Drum Brakes – Les Schwab
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