The tough choice: Cast or forged wheels?

What is the difference?

When looking for new wheels for your car, you have several options. Alloy wheels are generally made using three different processes: Cast, flow-formed and forged wheels.

Each type of wheel has its pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences before deciding. Let’s take a look at how each is made and what the pros and cons are.


Casting aluminum wheels is the most common method of manufacturing alloy wheels. To make these wheels, molten aluminum is poured (or vacuumed) into a mold that forms the material into the desired wheel shape.

Cast wheels are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. They are also relatively strong and absorb shock and vibration well.

Advantages of cast wheels

  • Cost effective
  • Easy to manufacture
  • Relatively strong
  • Good for shock and vibration

Disadvantages of cast rims

  • Heavier than forged rims
  • Poorer heat dissipation
  • Not as strong as forged rims


Forged wheels are made by forging a single piece of aluminum or steel into a wheel. This makes them lighter and stronger than cast wheels. But all of these advantages come at a price.

In the end, forged wheels are more expensive. When you see how these rims are made and how much material is used, you understand why they are so expensive.

Forged wheels can also dissipate heat better, which can lead to better driving and braking performance.

Advantages of forged wheels

  • Lighter than cast wheels
  • Better heat dissipation
  • Stronger than cast rims
  • Better handling and braking

Disadvantages of forged wheels

  • More expensive in comparison
  • More difficult to manufacture
  • Less sensitive to shock and vibration


An alternative to cast rims is the so-called impact extrusion process. This process is also known as “Flow Forged” or “Forged Hybrid”. Flow formed wheels are a type of forged rims that are manufactured using a special process.

In this process, the rim is heated in a furnace after forging and then placed in a mold. This presses the rim into a specific shape, making it lighter and stiffer.

Advantages of flow-formed wheels

  • Lighter than cast rims
  • Better heat dissipation
  • Stronger than cast rims
  • Cost comparable to cast rims

Disadvantages of flow-formed rims

  • Not as shock and vibration resistant as forged rims

Which rim is right for you?

Which rim is right for you depends on your needs and budget? If you are looking for an inexpensive rim that resists shock and vibration, a cast rim is a good choice.

If you are looking for a lightweight, strong rim with good heat dissipation, a forged or flow-formed rim is a better choice.

Here are some other factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Handling: If you want a sportier ride, forged or flow-formed rims are a better choice. They are lighter and stiffer than cast rims, which can result in better handling and faster acceleration.
  • Appearance: Forged and flow-formed wheels generally look better than cast wheels. They have a smoother finish and are available in a wider range of colors and designs.
  • Maintenance: Cast wheels are usually maintenance free. However, forged and flow-formed rims require regular maintenance to prevent cracking and breakage.


Whether cast, pressed or forged – you have the choice when it comes to rims and wheels for your car.

Your vehicle’s weight, tire wear, and intended use (autocross, street racing) will help you decide which wheels are best for your tuned vehicle.