Low Disk vs High Disk Wheels: Which One is Right for You?

Wheels are indeed the most needed components of any vehicle we drive. They provide the necessary contact with the road to facilitate motion. Hence, all wheels are not made equally, impacting the vehicle’s performance. Similarly, low disk and high disk wheels can affect handling, stability, and overall performance.

Low disk wheels have a smaller dish and a more pronounced offset. The wheel’s hub is positioned closer to the back of the rim in these wheels. In contrast, high disk wheels have a larger dish and a smaller offset. It refers to the wheel’s hub positioned closer to the front of the rim.

In this article, I will explain low disk vs high disk wheels to help you choose the right wheels for your vehicle. After all, the wheels transfer power from the engine to the road. They also provide traction and support the weight of the car. So, I suggest you continue reading to learn about the difference between those wheels and their roles.

Disk Types of Wheels

A disk “refers to the thickness of the center section of the wheel.” (Source: Supra Forums) A thicker center section moves out the spokes distance to clear the brake caliper. Therefore, you can find four types of wheel disks:

  • SLO-Disk or Super Low Disk: Deeper rim lip, least brake clearance
  • LO-Disk or Low Disk: Less clearance than HI-Disk by 17 mm.
  • HI-Disk or High Disk: Less clearance than SHI-Disk by 10 mm.
  • SHI-Disk or Super High Disk: Greatest brake clearance but small rim lip size.

Thus, I am here to talk only about low disk and high disk wheels. Continue reading to understand more about these wheels.

Comparison Chart of Low Disk vs High Disk Wheels

FeatureLow Disk WheelsHigh Disk Wheels
Wheel heightSmallerTaller
Ground clearanceLowerHigher
Center of gravityLowerLower
ManeuverabilityMore agileLess agile
StabilityLess stableMore stable
Shock absorptionLess effectiveMore effective
Rolling resistanceHigherLower

Low Disk Wheels

Low disk wheels have a lower offset and a smaller diameter than standard wheels. Now, you may have a question about the offset.

The offset is the distance between the wheel’s centerline and the mounting surface. A lower offset means the wheel is closer to the car’s center, which reduces the tire and the fender distance. As a result, the vehicle gets a more aggressive look on its wheels.

Low disk wheels are also known as deep dish wheels. They have a concave shape that features a broader lip or barrel. It can create a more significant visual impact.

Advantages of Low Disk Wheels

Better Acceleration

Low disk wheels have less rotational mass. They are typically lighter than standard wheels. So, you can accelerate the car more efficiently.

Improved Handling

The reduced offset and smaller diameter in these wheels create a lower center of gravity. It helps to gain a more stable ride. Besides, the wider stance of the wheels distributes vehicle weight evenly across the tires. As a result, the vehicle gets an enhanced grip and reduced risk of understeer or oversteer.

Reduced Weight

The weight reduction by low disk wheels can improve the vehicle’s performance, like acceleration, braking, and handling. It also improves fuel economy, saving you money in the long run.

Lower Center of Gravity

Low disk wheels have a lower center of gravity. It can improve the vehicle’s stability and handling. Again, tires get better traction and grip on the ground.

Disadvantages of Low Disk Wheels

Less Ground Clearance

A lower offset of low disk wheels means they sit closer to the ground. This lower stance can cause clearance issues when driving over speed bumps, curbs, or rough terrain. So, you may need extra care when driving to avoid damage to the wheels or tires.

Limited Brake Clearance

Low disk wheels have limited brake clearance. So, the larger brake systems may not fit inside the wheel. If you still want to fit, you may need to modify the brake system to fit the low disk wheels.

Higher Risk of Wheel Damage

Low disk wheels are more susceptible to damage from potholes, bumps, and other road hazards. You may often see the wheels bent or cracked due to the reduced amount of metal. Therefore, you will need to count some cash for expensive repairs or replacement of the wheels.

Suitable Vehicles for Low Disk Wheels

Most aggressive, sporty vehicles have low disk wheels. In these cars, you will get larger brake systems to fit within the limited brake clearance of the wheels. They also have stiffer suspensions for better handling and control.

Low disk wheels are ubiquitous which you may see in most cars. They clear “most of the OEM factory front and rear brakes (non BBK).” (Source: AME)

Some popular cars with these wheels are Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Porsche 911, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, and BMW M Series. You will fall in love with the aesthetic look of these cars. Also, improved handling and control help ride them.

High Disk Wheels

High disk wheels are also known as high-offset wheels or positive-offset wheels. In these wheels, the mounting surface is closer to the wheel’s outside. It creates a larger gap (known as a positive offset) between the wheel and the suspension.

Advantages of High Disk Wheels

More Ground Clearance

The best advantage of these wheels is the more ground clearance than other types of wheels. If you often take your car on rough terrain or in areas with steep inclines, these high disk wheels will be a better choice. Besides, the higher clearance reduces wheel risks of scraping against curbs or rocks.

Better Brake Clearance

You can get better brake clearance for the high disk wheels. Their larger positive offsets create more space between the wheel and the brake caliper. So, you can install larger brakes in your vehicle, giving better braking performance. (Source: AME) And it is essential for high-performance cars or vehicles that tow heavy loads.

Lower Risk of Wheel Damage

High disk wheels have increased the gap between the wheel and the suspension. It can reduce the risk of wheel damage by potholes, speed bumps, or other obstacles. So, you will require less maintenance of the wheels.

Disadvantages of High Disk Wheels

Reduced Handling Performance

High disk wheels can reduce handling performance due to their increased positive offset. The wheels stick out further from the vehicle, which causes the car to feel less stable and more prone to body roll. Thus, you may experience these issues when you drive at high speeds or make sharp turns.

Higher Weight

The extra weight of low disk wheels can impact a vehicle’s performance. Also, it can increase the vehicle’s braking distance and reduce acceleration. Your car may become less fuel efficient than vehicles with low disk wheels. Additionally, there are chances of increased wear and tear on suspension components.

Higher Center of Gravity

High disk wheels can increase a vehicle’s center of gravity, affecting its stability. Especially when you drive on uneven or sloping surfaces, it can make the car more prone to tipping over.

Suitable Vehicles for High Disk Wheels

High disk wheels are suitable for vehicles that require improved ground clearance and better traction over rough terrain. So, these wheels are primarily visible in off-road vehicles like trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps. But some sports cars and luxury vehicles may use high disk wheels for aesthetic purposes.

Some popular vehicles with high disk wheels are Jeep Wrangler, Ford F-150 Raptor, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Caterpillar 797F. These vehicles can offer a signature look, improved clearance, and off-road capabilities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Low Disk and High Disk Wheels

The low disk vs high disk wheels topic comes to mind when you need to choose any of them. Some factors you should consider finding what disk wheel you need are:

Vehicle Type

There are thousands of vehicles around the world. They require specific wheels depending on their weight, power, and handling characteristics.

For example, sports cars with a high horsepower engine may benefit from low disk wheels. It’s because these wheels are lightweight and provide improved handling and acceleration.

Alternatively, a heavy-duty truck may require high disk wheels. These wheels can support the weight of the vehicle and its payload.

Driving Style and Intended Use

These are also crucial factors in choosing low disk and high disk wheels. Many of us love spirited driving and cornering. In this case, low disk wheels may be the better choice for their better grip and handling.

Choose high disk wheels if you need to take your vehicle on rough or uneven terrain. They can provide better off-road capability and durability.

Wheel Size and Fitment

Wheel size and fitment affect the overall look and performance of your automobile. You should pick wheels of the correct size and fitment for your vehicle. Also, they should be compatible with the tires.

Tire Selection

Each wheel type works with specific tires. So, you should choose tires compatible with low disk or high disk wheels. Together they can work well in any driving conditions.

Suspension Setup

Suspension can play a vital role in wheel performance and interaction with the roads. Whether you choose low disk or high disk wheels, they should be compatible with the suspension setup.


Low disk wheels are typically more expensive. The reasons for this price are their lightweight materials and advanced construction techniques. You can install high disk wheels if you are on a tight budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question-1: What is the difference between low disk and high disk wheels?

Answer: Low disk wheels have a smaller diameter, and high disk wheels have a larger diameter. This difference affects the clearance between the ground and the machine using the wheel. Also, the wheel size can impact its weight capacity and stability.

Question-2: Can I replace my low disk wheels with high disk wheels (or vice versa)?

Answer: It depends on the specific machine and the type of wheels being used. Typically, you cannot interchange low disk wheels with high disk wheels. The height difference can cause clearance issues and affect the machine’s stability. But you can follow the manufacturer’s principles and advice.

Question-3: Can low disk wheels be used on heavy machinery?

Answer: You can use them on heavy machinery. But it may not bear weight as much as high disk wheels. Besides, the lesser ground clearance may harm the vehicle’s performance and safety.

Conclusion: Low Disk vs. High Disk Wheels: Which One is Right for You?

So, what do you think about low disk wheels and high disk wheels? Which one will you get for your car, SUVs, truck, or other vehicles?

I believe the choice between these two types of wheels depends on your needs and preferences. I have discussed the factors which may help in this case.

For better handling and acceleration, you can select low disk wheels. But if your prime need is off-road performance and durability, high disk wheels will be good ones.

Thus, you should research and consider these things to decide on wheel types. I wish you a happy drive with the preferred wheel for your car!

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