Best Camshafts: Review and Buying Guide in 2023

by Chris Lewis.

If you opt for something that increases the performance and power of your vehicle, then a camshaft can do the job. This is most beneficial for internal combustion engines that have pistons.

It is used to operate the poppet valves. You'll know more about this product as you keep on reading.

Are you getting yourself ready to buy a camshaft? Then you've come to the right place. With the thousands of products available on the market, it may be challenging to choose the right one for you.

Hence, this article will provide you with the best camshafts review along with their highlighted features and a buying guide that will help you confidently select the one suited for your needs and preferences.

Top Camshafts by Editors in 2023

Image Name Ratings
COMP Cams CL12-600-4 Thumpr Camshaft
Price Check
4.8 / 5.0
Hot Cams 1043-2 Camshaft
Price Check
4.7 / 5.0
Elgin E-1840-P Camshaft
Price Check
4.8 / 5.0

Top 8 Best Camshafts Reviews

Here, you'll find our 8 recommended products that we think hold the attributes and specifications that are beneficial to many. Keep reading to find out more!

 Top 8 Best Camshafts Reviews
Top 8 Best Camshafts Reviews

1. COMP Cams CL12-600-4 Thumpr Camshaft

COMP Cams CL12-600-4 Thumpr Camshaft
COMP Cams CL12-600-4 Thumpr Camshaft

The first spot is earned by this Camshaft from COMP Cams, one of the top-notch manufacturers of some of the best ones on the market. They have worked tremendously over 30 years for the excellent design and development of the Thumpr series of camshafts.

This camshaft kit works well with high-performance street stock converters but it works best with 2000 or more converters and gears providing you with an excellent optimum engine performance possible.

Much more, this product has a very high RPM operating range which lets it give its maximum functionality within the large range of RPMs - from 2000 up to 5800 RPM.

You'll also love the fact that it comes with a full complete kit. It doesn't just come by itself, but it includes a set of lifters, assembly lubricant, and a written manual for instructions regarding the installation.

Also, it comes with an optimum overlap made by the early intake opening of the valve and long exhaust duration giving you a hard-hitting exhaust note and more power.

With its many exceptional features, it will increase the performance of your vehicle significantly giving the most horsepower at the most cost-effective price.

Highlighted Features

  • 2000-5800 RPM operating range
  • 227/241 duration at 0.050-inch
  • Camshaft kit includes camshaft, a set of lifters, instructions, and lubricant
  • Optimum overlap created by early intake valve opening and long exhaust duration for a powerful, hard-hitting exhaust note
  • Comes with three unique cam designs - Big Mutha' Thumpr, Mutha' Thumpr, and Thumpr provides broad torque curve and excellent horsepower gains
  • Fits well with Chevrolet GEN 1 Small Blocks
  • 107-degree lobe separation angle

2. Edelbrock 2102 Performer-Plus Camshaft and Lifter Kit

Edelbrock 2102 Performer-Plus Camshaft and Lifter Kit
Edelbrock 2102 Performer-Plus Camshaft and Lifter Kit

Next up is this camshaft and lifter kit from Edelbrock. The brand is one of the premier designers and distributors of exceptional replacement parts on the automotive aftermarket since 1938.

This camshaft and lifter kit is fabricated to function perfectly well with 265-400 Chevy V8 engines from the models made from 1957-86. Much more, it's also known to produce optimum torque from the low-end to the midrange.

In addition to that, it should be matched with the Performer manifolds for vehicles that are operating from off-idle up to 5500 RPM. Hence, they are smooth idling cams especially for daily drivers, vans, trucks, 4x4s, and RVs.

You will be able to notice a major improvement in the torque and throttle response. Much more, you will find torque graphs in the manifold section. This will show you the power gains from the Performer-Plus cams and Performer manifolds.

Furthermore, this model is a complete kit that includes flat tappet lifters, assembly lube, and manual for instructions. So you won't have a hard time utilizing and setting it up by the time it arrives to you.

All in all, this is an excellent product jam-packed with exceptional features that offer you the utmost performance and functionality that you opt to have in your vehicle.

Highlighted Features

  • Maximum performance from off-idle up to mid-range
  • Designed for optimum acceleration and torque
  • Major improvement in torque and throttle response
  • Comes with hydraulic lifters and ad assembly lube
  • 204-degree intake duration 0.050-inch lift
  • 112-degree lobe separation

3. Elgin E-1840-P Camshaft

Elgin E-1840-P Camshaft
Elgin E-1840-P Camshaft

The third spot is earned by this E-1840-P camshaft from Elgin. This product is a high-performance camshaft designed and fabricated to suit perfectly well for Chevy models made in the year 1997 and up.

Furthermore, it is known to be a hydraulic roller type of camshaft that functions with an LS1 engine. This camshaft has a broad operating range from 2200 up to 5400 revolutions per minute. It produces its utmost performance within this range.

When it comes to its functionality, it works just fair for the idle state, good for the mid-range, and strong for the top-end power. Also, it has an 0.585-inch intake valve lift and exhaust valve lift.

In addition to that, this product is best utilized for 3-bolt cam gear but is not suited to be used for Active Fuel Management and DOD. It is also sold and shipped as a kit that includes all the necessary stuff you need to get started with this product. The installation will never be this easy.

Much more, this unit comes with a 112-degree lobe separation and 108-degree intake centerline. Overall, it is a great product that comes with amazing attributes and specifications at a decent price.

Highlighted Features

  • For Chevy 1997 and up
  • LS-Series engine
  • 2200 to 5400 RPM range
  • 3-bolt cam gear attachment
  • 112-degree lobe separation and 108-degree intake centerline
  • 0.585-inch valve lift for both intake and exhaust
  • Hydraulic roller type of camshaft
  • Advertised duration 283/286
  • Duration at 0.050-inch lift 228/230

4. Hot Cams 1043-2 Camshaft

Hot Cams 1043-2 Camshaft
Hot Cams 1043-2 Camshaft

The next one on the list is earned by this 1043-2 camshaft from the Hot Cams. This manufacturer comes with a slogan "unleash the power within," and it is indeed reflected on each product they make.

They are known to be the leader in design, development, and innovation of aftermarket dirt bikes, UTVs, and ATVs high-performance and exceptional camshafts available on the market.

Much more, it is one of the most economical and reliable models that can add to the power gain of your vehicle giving you the maximum performance that you always wanted.

This exceptional camshaft features an 8620 billet case constructed from hardened steel and it is CNC machined as well to give the product the exact precise fit and lobe profile.

In addition to that, this camshaft is engineered to be drop-in cams that make use of stock valve springs in most cases. Also, it offers multiple stages that you can choose from for different applications you're planning to use it - Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3.

Stage 1 is made and designed to be perfect for an excellent bottom-end performance. While, on the other hand, Stage 2 is fabricated for an increased bottom to mid-range performance. Lastly, Stage 3 is suited for top-end performance.

In conclusion, this product is top-grade made in compliance with the standards of the stringent industry offering you a combination of great design and exceptional level of craftsmanship. For sure, it ensures a high level of reliability.

Highlighted Features

  • Provides dependable and efficient operation
  • 8620 billet hardened steel case
  • CNC-machined for precision and accuracy
  • Utilizes stock valve springs
  • Multiple stages for various applications - Stage 1, 2, & 3
  • For dirt bikes, ATVs, and UTVs

5. WMPHE Camshaft Intake and Exhaust

WMPHE Camshaft Intake and Exhaust
WMPHE Camshaft Intake and Exhaust

This camshaft from WMPHE comes as a complete kit that including both the actuator solenoids for its intake and exhaust. The variable valve timing (VVT) solenoids will be able to move the intake and exhaust camshafts to retarded or advanced positions by changing the oil pressure supply.

Much more, the camshaft position actuator solenoids can be found on the cylinder head of GM vehicles or Chevrolet which controls the position of the camshafts. You won't have trouble in the installation as it's just a simple process - detach the original actuators and put the replacement ones.

Also, this model is precision-machined to make sure of the OEM fit. It also comes with premium Viton oil seals. With this, your camshaft will be oil leakproof and strong corrosion resistant as well to ensure smooth functionality and work.

It features an inner copper core manufactured to give this product much stronger stability. This will effectively restore the performance of your engine to provide enhanced power, better fuel economy, improved idle and reduced emissions.

On top of that, all the main parts are made of imported, high-quality metal materials such as lacquer wire (copper coil) and pure iron. It has also a 3-layer dustproof net design wherein it prevents all sorts of dirt to enter the engine and prolong its service life.

Given these features and attributes, you'll surely get your money's worth with this product. It offers way beyond your expectations that will never disappoint for sure.

Highlighted Features

  • Compatible with 2 L, 2.2 L, and 2.4 L engines only
  • Maximizes HP and torque
  • Precision-machined for OEM fit
  • Three-layer dustproof net design
  • Controls the flow of oil for the precise timing
  • Thermal-shock corrosion resistance

6. GELUOXI Right Passenger Side Camshaft

GELUOXI Right Passenger Side Camshaft
GELUOXI Right Passenger Side Camshaft

Next up is this Right Passenger Side Camshaft from Geluoxi. This is manufactured to be compatible with your Ford Expedition F-150, F-250, Ford Mustang 2005-2008, and many more. It's versatile enough to function well with various vehicles.

7. COMP Cams 102100 Xtreme Energy Cams

COMP Cams 102100 Xtreme Energy Cams
COMP Cams 102100 Xtreme Energy Cams

This 102100 Xtreme Energy Cams from one of the top-leading manufacturers on the market - COMP Cams. They are known to fabricate decent and high-quality products that many consumers loved. It functions best with Ford 4.6 L & 5.4 L 2-valve Modular V8.

Moreover, this is considered as an excellent upgrade from the stock cam that can for sure improve the power and torque. It works well with the stock computer and works best with custom tuning providing a smooth idle.

For sure, the product has a wide operating range which can be advantageous for various applications. This works from 1200 RPM up to 5200 RPM. Also, it has a 0.500-inch/0.500-inch valve lift.

Furthermore, it can offer exceptional performance for various applications like street carbureted. This cam also features faster profiles for the opening lobe that will be able to deliver enhanced responsiveness and more area under the curve for the lift.

Also, it comes with a 224/232 duration at 0.050-inch. It delivers more vacuum which escalates its duration for improved performance. This will be able to assist the power brakes also.

All in all, you will be offered the best optimum performance with all these specifications especially when it comes to aftermarket intake manifolds, lower gear ratios, and headers.

Highlighted Features

  • Operating range at 1200 up to 5200 RPM
  • 114-degree lobe separation angle
  • Great performance in street carbureted applications
  • Quicker opening lobe profiles
  • More vacuum
  • Fits Ford 4.6L/5.4L 2-valve Modular V

8. Melling MC1383 Camshaft

Melling MC1383 Camshaft
Melling MC1383 Camshaft

Melling is known to be a leading manufacturer around the world for its product development and exceptional engineering allowing them to fabricate some of the best ones on the market. And this MC1383 camshaft is no exception at all.

They offer a full complete line of camshafts for light trucks, domestic cars, marine, import vehicles, and high-performance engines. The OEM applications match the engine requirements such as the desired horsepower, economy, and needed torque.

You will be able to enjoy its maximum functionality for various applications. It is also designed to provide a perfect fit for your vehicle giving you a hassle-free installation.

This is a hydraulic roller tappet type of camshaft that comes with a 0.28-inch exhaust lift. It also has an intake and exhaust duration of 281-degree and 291-degree respectively.

If you're looking for a high-quality replacement offering a high-level of quality, reliability, and performance, then this product might be the perfect choice for you. This will for sure make a difference in your vehicle!

Highlighted Features

  • Made of high-quality materials for exceptional durability
  • Roller type of lifter
  • Advertised intake and exhaust duration are 281-degree and 291-degree
  • 3-bolt camshaft
  • 116-degree lobe separation
  • Hydraulic roller tappet camshaft style

How to Choose the Right Camshaft?

Camshafts are an essential part of every vehicle; it controls several parts of your car including the intake and exhaust valves. To have a powerful engine you're going to need the right camshaft.

It may seem easy to choose one, but it's more complicated than most people think. There are several factors to consider before you decide on which camshaft to buy. But there's no need to worry because in this part of the article you're going to find everything you'll need to know for finding the perfect camshaft.

  • Flat Tappet or Roller Cams

When choosing a camshaft you can either go with a Flat Tappet or Roller Cams. These have certain differences and their advantages and disadvantages.

Flat tappets camshafts have a lifter and a slightly curved bottom. Roller cams, on the other hand, use lifters and a wheel or a roller. When comparing both in terms of power production, the roller cam can produce more top-end and midrange power than the flat tappet, which is why more OEMs use it for their engines.

  • Camshaft Lift

This is one of the main factors that need to be considered when looking for a camshaft, and it is also known as the Gross Lift. The lift of a camshaft is usually measured in inches, and it refers to how much the cam lobe moves the valve from its seat.

A higher lift gives more power at higher RPMs, but higher lift doesn't necessarily mean better performance. Generally, the maximum valve lift for engines is only limited to about 12% of the cylinder bore's diameter.

If the lift of the camshaft is too high, it could cause lesser airflow and an increase in turbulence due to air breaking away from the valve's surface. It also shouldn't be too low because if there is too little airflow it will also mean lesser power.

  • Duration

The duration in a camshaft is the amount of time that the camshaft opens and keeps the valve off of the seat until it finishes closing. This factor is measured in degrees of crank rotation. And together with the camshaft lift, it determines the total area of the open valve.

Performance camshafts have durations that range from 220 to 280 degrees. It can even exceed 280 degrees at times. A longer duration amounts to a higher power range, but rougher idle. If a cam has a duration of 240 degrees, it is capable of producing 3,000 up to 7,000 RPM.

  • Lobe Separation

Another factor that's important to consider is the camshaft's lobe separation. This is the area that is in between the peak lift exhaust and intake lobe points of the camshaft and it is usually measured in degrees. It describes the reaction of the intake valves to the exhaust valves in a similar cylinder.

A narrow lobe separation typically ranges from 104 to 108 degrees. This narrow separation offers low to midrange torque production. But it will also increase the cylinder pressure which can make the idle of the engine worse and reduce the idle vacuum.

If the separation is too narrow and it is at zero degrees, the intake and the exhaust valves would close and open simultaneously which won't make it work properly.

On the other hand, when the lobe separation is wider at 112 to 116 degrees, it will reduce the cylinder pressure and make idle vacuum a lot smoother. This will help in lessening the overlap of the exhaust and intake valves.

Another advantage of a wide lobe separation is a higher rpm range. But it does have a downside because it lowers the torque production which results in a narrower region for operation.

Does a Bigger Cam Give More Power?

Best Camshafts: Review and Buying Guide in 2023
Best Camshafts: Review and Buying Guide in 2023

Yes, it does. The size of the cam can directly affect how much power it can deliver.

Not only does the size matter, but also the shape and placement of the lobes (or cams) on the camshafts will determine the compression, valve timing, and the breathing of the performance and RPM range of the engine.

Moreover, it is said that a bigger cam that is stock to a certain specific degree will produce more horsepower. This cam can significantly determine all the other parts that must be selected for an efficient engine.

What Are the Best Camshaft Brands?

What Are the Best Camshaft Brands?
What Are the Best Camshaft Brands?

There are tons of camshaft manufacturers in the business and among these many brands, there are only some that stand out because of their great performance and unique features. Whether you're looking for a high-end of an economical choice, there is a brand that will fit your needs.

Competition Cams Inc. or otherwise known as Comp Cam has tons of great camshafts that have wide operating ranges. This brand is trusted by many and it has even ranked in the top 3 of most camshaft surveys. It has been around for years. Their Competition Cams, in particular, are great.

Another great brand that's worth considering is Elgin Industries. They have a long line of products that are sure to impress you. Although they cost a few more dollars, they're worth every penny because of their good valve lift and duration.

If you want to opt for a more affordable option there are still plenty of brands in the market that offer budget-friendly camshaft options. Brands like Hot Cams and GELOUXI offer cheaper priced camshafts while still managing to give good quality and performance.

WMPHE is also a great brand since it is widely compatible and highly durable. Despite its products that have many handy features you'll still be able to find affordable ones to fit your budget. Other good brands are Melling and Edelbrock.

What Is the Function of a Camshaft in Engine?

The camshaft is a simple engine component, but it has several functions that are essential for the engine to operate properly. It is a rod that turns rotational motion into linear motion. This functions as a timing device and it helps to enhance the performance of the engine.

Opening and closing the exhaust and intake valves is also the task of the camshaft. When this shaft rotates, it acts on a switch or a valve to a certain degree because of its shape. The shape of the shaft also helps it to control the opening and closing speeds of the valves.

This task is very vital because the opening and closing actions have to be perfectly synchronized with the piston's movements for smooth engine performance. To provide more precise timing, camshafts are usually connected to the crankshaft by a timing belt.

Different engines require different numbers of camshafts depending on the cylinder arrangement and the valve operation of the engine.

Is a Camshaft Part of the Engine?

Yes, it is indeed part of the engine. As mentioned above, it is one of the constituents of an engine that does the job in making your vehicle deliver its utmost optimum performance and functionality.

There is a myriad of options of camshafts on the market that come in different styles and sizes for various engines and applications. You'll need to consider a few factors to pick the most appropriate one for you.

Final Words for Camshaft Buyers

Choosing the best camshaft can be very overwhelming, especially with all the numerous options that you have on the market.

With this article, you'll be able to find the excellent ones out there so you can just pick one and buy it. If nothing suits your needs and preferences, you can refer to the buying guide in confidently picking the most appropriate one for you.

Buy on Walmart

Ford Racing (M-6004-463V) Camshaft Drive Kit for Ford 4.6L 3V Engine - Walmart Link

Brian Tooley BTR Stage 2 Truck Camshaft Beehive Springs Vortec Truck Cam 3 - Bolt Cam 4.8 - Walmart Link

Texas Speed TSP Stage 2 Low Lift Truck Camshaft Vortec Truck Cam 3 Bolt Cam 4.8 5.3 6.0 - Walmart Link

Brian Tooley BTR Stage 3 Naturally Aspirated Cam LS1 LS6 LS2 5.7 6.0 Camshaft includes - Walmart Link

DNJ CAM3172A Camshaft For 07-14 Chevrolet, GMC, Buick 5.3L V8 OHV Naturally Aspirated - Walmart Link

Texas Speed TSP Stage 2 High Lift Vortec Truck Camshaft 4.8 5.3 6.0 Includes Spring Kit - Walmart Link

Buy on eBay

Ford Racing (M-6004-463V) Camshaft Drive Kit for Ford 4.6L 3V Engine - eBay Link

Brian Tooley BTR Stage 2 Truck Camshaft Beehive Springs Vortec Truck Cam 3 - Bolt Cam 4.8 - eBay Link

Texas Speed TSP Stage 2 Low Lift Truck Camshaft Vortec Truck Cam 3 Bolt Cam 4.8 5.3 6.0 - eBay Link

Brian Tooley BTR Stage 3 Naturally Aspirated Cam LS1 LS6 LS2 5.7 6.0 Camshaft includes - eBay Link

DNJ CAM3172A Camshaft For 07-14 Chevrolet, GMC, Buick 5.3L V8 OHV Naturally Aspirated - eBay Link

Texas Speed TSP Stage 2 High Lift Vortec Truck Camshaft 4.8 5.3 6.0 Includes Spring Kit - eBay Link

About Chris Lewis.

Chris Lewis is a passionate individual with a deep affinity for the world of automobiles. From a tender age, his fascination with cars was nurtured by his father, a seasoned mechanic based in the vibrant city of San Francisco. Growing up under the watchful guidance of his skilled father, Chris developed an early aptitude for all things automotive.

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