Who Makes the Best Brake Pads? (Buyer’s Guide & Reviews)

Contents

brake pad reviewsIf you are like most people you probably take very good care of your vehicle. You keep the oil changed, the engine tuned up and your car’s exterior has an amazing shine to it. Not to mention your interior has been kept showroom new. All that won’t matter though if your car will not stop when you go to hit your brakes. Brake pads should be checked on a routine basis and looked at by a professional at even the slightest sign there may be a problem with them. One part that needs to be changed regularly on your vehicle is its brake pads. That is why we have taken the time to write this article to give you more information about the best brake pads and the ceramic brake pad reviews in the marketplace.

We tested several different brake pads out on our own vehicles here and this is a review list of the brake pads that rated the highest:

Reviews of Best-Selling Brake Pads in 2017

  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • ACDelco 171-1040 GM Original Equipment Front Disc Brake Pad Kit
  • PRICE $$$$$
  • Dimensions : 9.8 x 9.2 x 4.2 inches
  • Weight : 8.6 pounds
  • Position : Front
  • Material : Friction-enhancing material
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $
  • Dimensions : 4.9 x 4.1 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight : 1 pounds
  • Position :Rear
  • Material : Ceramic
  • 5.0 Customer Rating
  • Brembo P83024N Rear Disc Brake Pad
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 5.4 x 3.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight : 2.5 pounds
  • Position :Rear
  • Material : Ceramic
  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • EBC Brakes DP31210C Redstuff Ceramic Low Dust Brake Pad
  • PRICE $$$$
  • Dimensions : 5.7 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches
  • Weight : 4.5 pounds
  • Position : Set for both tires
  • Material : Ceramic pads
  • 4.1 Customer Rating
  • ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Equipment Rear Disc Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 9 x 4 x 3.3 inches
  • Weight : 3.3 pounds
  • Position : Rear
  • Material : Friction-enhancing material
  • 3.8 Customer Rating
  • Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake Pads
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 4 x 9 x 9 inches
  • Weight : 5.5 pounds
  • Position : Includes pads for both front sides
  • Material : Carbon Disc Brake

ACDELCO 171-1040 FRONT DISC BRAKE PAD KIT

ACDelco 171-1040 GM Original Equipment Front Disc Brake Pad KitThese are original equipment grade parts that will go on most GM produced vehicles. They will give you a lot of confidence in your braking system once you have replaced your worn out pads with these. GM also fiercely stands behind the AC Delco auto parts name and guarantees their manufacturing standards and performance.

They are made with all premium parts that will help reduce friction and noise. This brake pad kit also comes with premium shims to ensure a proper fit when installing them. These are a set of front brakes.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    These are semi-metallic brake pads which means they should last you a long time in between replacements. They will also dissipate heat very well. We also like them because they are an OEM part and those types of parts are always manufactured to higher standards.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    We had some concerns about these brake pads too. It’s true they are a great brake pad but they are also very expensive. You may be able to find a comparable quality brake pad for less money. They will cause a little bit more noise than other types of brake pads too.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

BOSCH BC905 Ceramic DISC BRAKE PAD SET

BOSCH BC905 QUIETCAST PREMIUM DISC BRAKE PAD SETThis is a nice set of brake pads that Bosch makes. They are a very reputable manufacturer when it comes to auto parts. Their brake pads and spark plugs are some of the best you will find and these brake pads keep with that tradition. They are a very good pair of ceramic rear brake pads that can be bought at a very affordable price.

This is actually a whole kit. Under normal circumstances, this will be everything you need to change your brake pads. Even the shims needed to make adjustments to the pads are included in the package.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    We really like the price point of these brake pads. It is a very fair price for a good quality set of ceramic pads. They are a pad that has very little noise and vibration when stopping your vehicle. The fact they don’t produce much brake dust is another nice feature of these brake pads.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    Among the things we did not like about these brake pads is we thought they might be a little thin. These can also be a little hard to adjust when you are installing them too.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

BREMBO P83024N Ceramic DISC BRAKE PAD

Brembo P83024N Rear Disc Brake PadThis is a very good quality ceramic brake pad that Brembo makes. It is a pad that will easily outperform most semi-metallic brake pads. They are a very thick pad that will hold up well and give you superior braking performance when you go to stop your vehicle.

They are ultra-quiet when you apply the brakes on your car and they also will leave behind only a small amount of break dust as they are being used. We have no problem recommending these brake pads for purchase.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    The packaging on these brake parts is the cleanest we have ever seen coming out of a box. That gets high marks from use here. These are also very easy to install and everything you need comes right in the kit.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    These pads are of high quality for sure but they are a little pricey for a non-high performance ceramic brake pad. They also seemed to be just slightly smaller than the old pads we took off, but they seemed to work fine so this was not a big issue.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

EBC BRAKES DP31210C REDSTUFF CERAMIC BRAKE PAD

EBC Brakes DP31210C Redstuff Ceramic Low Dust Brake PadThis is a very nicely designed set of ceramic brake pads from EBC. They will last you a long time and will outperform many other types of brake pads. These ceramic brake pads are designed to also give off as little brake dust as possible.

They work exceptionally well on fast stock street car versions and luxury European imports. They grab very nicely when you go to stop and they produce very little noise when doing so.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    If you take a lot of pride in keeping your car clean and that means the wheels too, then this is a very good brake pad for you. It tends to emit only small qualities of brake dust as the brakes wear down. Your care will stay looking good much longer with these into tire cleanings.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    These pads are not without their drawbacks. To be honest they are probably best suited for installation on European imports. They will also cause the rotors to build up more heat and because of that, the rotors will wear down faster.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

ACDELCO 171-0999 DISC BRAKE PAD SET

ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Equipment Rear Disc Brake Pad SetHere is another fine set of AC Delco brake pads that are great replacements for worn-out original equipment pads. These brake pads are especially made for the rear brakes on many GM cars and trucks. They are much cheaper than the front pads by a lot.

One of the nice things about this hand brake pad kit is it also comes with replacement bolts and shims. It makes for a very worry free installation.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    We really like the price on these brake pads considering they are a certified OEM replacement part on all the GM-manufactured vehicles they fit. They also do not let your brake rotors build up as much heat when they are working to stop your car.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    There are a few things you do have to be aware of with these brake pads. If you live in an area where temperatures get extremely cold, then you can expect longer stopping distances when the weather gets very cold. These types of pads will also get a bit noisier as they wear down.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

HAWK HB453F.585 HPS HIGH-PERFORMANCE STREET FERRO-CARBON DISC BRAKE PADS

Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake PadsThese are some of the nicer brake pads that we tested. Hawk has made a brake pad that goes nicely as a replacement brake pad on higher performance street cars. They are a pad that is not to provide increased stopping power, yet do it in a way that it does not add a lot of heat to your rotors.

These are a semi-metallic brake pad that uses some very advanced compounds in their manufacturing process. They do not perform like normal semi-metallic brake pads do.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    There were a few things we really liked about these brakes. For one, not only do they give you increased stopping power but they also do it virtually noise free. They are brake pads that are made with what is called a Ferro-Carbon formula; that means these brake pads have some space age technology built into them.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    One of our concerns with these brake pads is that they are pretty costly for a set of them. They also will not wear rotors down as much but they will weaken them with the higher heat they produce from friction when stopping.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

  • 4.2 Customer Rating
  • Akebono EUR918 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $$$
  • Dimensions : 10.1 x 6 x 3.6 inches
  • Weight : 4.3 pounds
  • Position : Front
  • Material : Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • Toyota Genuine Parts 04465-06100 Front Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 6.9 x 3.5 x 3.1 inches
  • Weight : 4.2 pounds
  • Position : Front
  • Material : Semi-metallic pads
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Hawk Performance HB370F.559 HPS Performance Ceramic Brake Pad
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 4 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight : 2.1 pounds
  • Position : Rear
  • Material : Ceramic pads
  • 4.4 Customer Rating
  • ACDelco 17D785CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $
  • Dimensions : 8.2 x 6.2 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight : 5 pounds
  • Position : Front
  • Material : Ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas
  • 4.7 Customer Rating
  • Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set
  • PRICE $$
  • Dimensions : 6.4 x 3.7 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight : 4.1 pounds
  • Position : Rear
  • Material : Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake
  • 4.3 Customer Rating
  • Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Disc Pad Set With Installation Hardware
  • PRICE $
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 5.3 x 2 inches
  • Weight : 18.1 pounds
  • Position : Front
  • Material : Ceramic Disc Brake

AKEBONO EUR918 EURO ULTRA-PREMIUM CERAMIC BRAKE PAD SET

Akebono EUR918 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad SetThese are some really nice brake pads that Akebono has come up with. They are as good as or better than any OEM pad that they will replace. They interact with your rotors very smoothly for much greater stopping power.

Your European-made vehicle will love stopping more after these fine brake pads have been installed. They are pads that also come with a 90-day warranty which applies to workmanship and material defects.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    These brake pads amazed us with how quiet they are, yet they will still stop your car on a dime and leave very little unsightly brake dust on your wheels while doing their job. They are also a pad that should go a long way before needing to be replaced when used under normal driving conditions.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    They are made specifically for replacing the brake pads on European model cars only; it’s a shame they do not make a version for American street cars. Although these brake pads do not wear down your brake rotors as much they still generate a lot of rotor heat when used for stopping.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

TOYOTA GENUINE PARTS 04465-06100 FRONT BRAKE PAD SET

Toyota Genuine Parts 04465-06100 Front Brake Pad SetIf you are a Toyota car or truck owner we think you will be very satisfied after installing these replacement brake pads on your vehicle. You will have very good stopping power once again and should not have to replace your brake pads again for a long period of time.

They are considered a factory authorized front brake replacement part for any Toyota vehicle they can be used on. These replacement pads even come with new tension springs included right in the kit.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    There is a lot to like about these brake pads. For one they are an OEM replacement pad on all the Toyota models that they fit. You know you are buying a quality pad when you purchase these. The price for a set of them for the front brakes on your Toyota car or truck is very reasonable too.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    These are semi-metallic pads so they will tend to last a little less long than some other types of brake pads. We did question a little bit when installing them if they were quite as good as the factory brake pads we took off the Toyota vehicle we installed them on.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

HAWK PERFORMANCE HB370F.559 CERAMIC BRAKE PAD

Hawk Performance HB370F.559 HPS Performance Ceramic Brake PadHawk Auto Parts puts yet another very fine pair of brake pads on our list of the best ones. These are really high-quality ceramic pads that will provide you with incredible stopping with little or no noise. We loved the feel of them when going for a test drive.

These are made to fit on such high-performance cars as Ford Mustangs. This kit even comes with high-quality rubber shims so you can get your installation perfect.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    Man, these pads are nothing short of amazing. No noise, no dust and they really stop a car in a very short distance without grabbing and throwing you forward. They are also very inexpensive for high-performance ceramic brake pads.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    These have a lot of the typical drawbacks that all ceramic brake pads have. They tend to dissipate heat quickly and that heat has to go somewhere; that somewhere is usually into the brake rotor. They do not wear rotors like other brake pads but this heat cycle still shortens a brake rotors life.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

ACDELCO 17D785CH CERAMIC BRAKE PAD SET

ACDelco 17D785CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad SetNot only are these front brake pads an OEM approved replacement part but they are also some of the best brake pads you can put on your GM made vehicle. They function flawlessly and we were really amazed how much braking had improved after they were installed.

When you install these on your vehicle you will also notice the amount of brake dust on your wheels will be greatly reduced and they do not grab harshly when braking hard like some brake pads tend to do.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    These pads are really quiet. Even at high-speed braking under wet conditions, we could not even get a chirp out of them. That is pretty impressive, to say the least. Another great thing about them is that there was very little vibration with them when braking too. To put it simply, these are really impressive brake pads.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    There really was not a lot that we did not like about these. We did notice the shms on these were no longer stainless still and the pad size has now been reduced from what it previously was.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

AKEBONO ACT787 CERAMIC BRAKE PAD SET

Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad SetAkebono has added another well-designed brake pad to our list. These pads are what you would call a high quality ceramic brake pad. They will outperform most ordinary semi-metallic brake pads and even approach the smoothness of high-performance ceramic pads when braking. That in itself is a big compliment to the quality of these brake pads.

Akebono brake pads are made to be as good as OEM parts and you can buy them to fit on most European, Japanese and American domestic cars.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    The fit on these brake pads is really nice and everything you need such as the shims are included right in the kit. Akebono’s 75 years of brake part manufacturing really shows up with this product.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    There were only a few small concerns here. One was the smaller size of the brake pad itself. The other thing to note is that you have to pay close attention to the factory fit chart because it can be a little confusing because the part numbers are so close.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

WAGNER THERMOQUIET QC465A CERAMIC DISC PAD SET

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Disc Pad Set With Installation HardwareThere are few names when it comes to brake products that are as well-known as Wagner. These fine and affordable brake pads are a good quality pad that offers a lot to those that install them.

These are not perfect high-end ceramic pads but they are a definite upgrade over semi-metallic brake pads. They also require little or no break-in period after installing them.

  • What we like about these brake pads

    This is an almost unheard of price point for very good quality ceramic brake pads. They are priced more like semi-metallic brake pads but instead, you get the extra bonuses of quiet braking and low wear and tear on the rotors as you come to a stop.

  • Some concerns we have about them

    There were a few concerns that we had with these Wagner brake pads. For one they were not as quiet as many other ceramic brake pads that we tested. We were also worried because they seem to be a little thinner than other ceramic brake pad brands too.

Check The Latest Price on Amazon!

Here’s How To Buy The Right BRAKE PADs

best-brake-padsBuying brake pads is not as easy as picking up and purchasing the first brake pad you come across that fits your vehicle. There is really a lot to consider as far as your brake pad purchase goes.

Here are some common brake pad characteristics that you would do well to consider before making your brake pad purchase:

  • Price

    Brake pads come in all different types, price ranges, and qualities. When you are shopping if you are looking at prices make sure you are comparing apples with apples. You can often find comparable brake pads where one is significantly lower priced than the other. Price does not always indicate quality with brake pads either but in general, the higher priced pads do seem to be a little better quality.

  • Fit

    Brake pads are by no means a one size fits all type of auto part. It is of the utmost when you are ordering them that you get the exact model replacement part that fits your vehicle. There are many online guides and any auto parts salesman can help you too.

  • Pad Type

    There are several different types of brake pads. Here are some of them and a quick overview of their qualities. The two most common types are semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads which we will discuss more in depth in the brake pad Q & A section.

  • Semi-metallic

    These are good quality brake pads that you can buy for an affordable price. They wear very well but the can be noisy and give off a lot of brake dust as you use them too.

  • Ceramic

    These are undoubtedly the best brake pads on the market these days. They stop a vehicle quickly, are quiet and produce very little break dust. As you can expect they are the most expensive brake pads in the marketplace too.

  • Low metallic

    These pads do a fine job of bringing your vehicle to a stop. The bad thing about them is they become very noisy over time. They also give off a lot of brake dust as they break down quickly.

  • Organic

    These really tend to be the potpourri of brake pads and you can find all different non-metallic ingredients in them. They are inexpensive but tend to wear very quickly.

  • Thickness

    Brake pads are a wear item and as such, it stands to reason that the thicker a brake pad is the longer it will take to wear down. So pay attention to the thickness between different brands because you will definitely notice a difference.

  • Ease of installation

    You want the installation of your brake pads to go as smoothly as possible. In order to do this look for a complete kit that has everything, you need such as shims to make adjustments.

BRAKE PAD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How exactly do brake pads work?

    Brake pads are used in conjunction with disc braking systems. These systems consist of a brake caliper with two pads attached to it and a brake rotor. The rotor is round and flat and its edge sits in the middle of the brake caliper. A pad on each side of the caliper squeezes up against the spinning brake rotor when the brake pedal is depressed. When this squeezing action gets tight enough on the rotor the car will come to a stop.

  2. How many sets of brake pads are on a car?

    This is actually a little bit of a trick question here. The normal answer would be 2 sets if you have disc brakes on the front and rear of your car; a set being a pair of dual pads for the front wheels and another set being a pair of dual pads for the back wheels (most brake calipers need two pads on them in order for them to work properly). But as with everything, there are exceptions and it’s true when it comes to brake pads too.

  3. What are the major differences between semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads?

    At last, we get asked the million dollar question when it comes to brake pads. Both types of pads work well but there are definite differences between them. Take a look:

    • Semi-metallic brake pads

      These pads more often than not are the less expensive of the two major types of brake pads. They have a high metal content in their composition as the name suggests. These are the most durable brake pads but they also tend to produce the most noise when braking. They are tough on rotors and produce a large amount of brake dust when used too.

    • Ceramic brake pads

      Braking with ceramic brake pads tends to be smoother and sharper than braking with semi-metallic brake pads. It better be for the additional cost you will pay for these. They do not wear as well as semi-metallic brake pads but they also don’t produce as much brake dust. People often say they buy these because they are easier on the brake rotor but in truth, they build up more heat than semi-metallic brake pads which can be tough on brake rotors in its own way.

you may also like: Looking for brake fluid for your car?

BEST BRAKE PADS COMPARISON CHART

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTPOSITIONMATERIAL
ACDelco 171-1040 GM Original Equipment Front Disc Brake Pad Kit
$$$$$9.8 x 9.2 x 4.2 inches8.6 poundsFrontFriction-enhancing material
Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad Set
$4.9 x 4.1 x 3.4 inches1 poundsRearCeramic
Brembo P83024N Rear Disc Brake Pad
$$5.4 x 3.5 x 2.8 inches2.5 poundsRearCeramic
EBC Brakes DP31210C Redstuff Ceramic Low Dust Brake Pad
$$$$5.7 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches4.5 poundsSet for both tiresCeramic
ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Equipment Rear Disc Brake Pad Set
$$$9 x 4 x 3.3 inches3.3 poundsRearFriction-enhancing material
Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake Pads
$$$4 x 9 x 9 inches5.5 poundsIncludes pads for both front sidesCarbon Disc Brake
Akebono EUR918 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set
$$$10.1 x 6 x 3.6 inches4.3 poundsFrontUltra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad
Toyota Genuine Parts 04465-06100 Front Brake Pad Set
$$6.9 x 3.5 x 3.1 inches4.2 poundsFrontSemi-metallic pads
Hawk Performance HB370F.559 HPS Performance Ceramic Brake Pad
$$4 x 6 x 6 inches2.1 poundsRearCeramic pads
ACDelco 17D785CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set
$8.2 x 6.2 x 2.8 inches5 poundsFrontCeramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas
Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set
$$6.4 x 3.7 x 3.2 inches4.1 poundsRearUltra-Premium Ceramic Brake
Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Disc Pad Set With Installation Hardware
$8.5 x 5.3 x 2 inches18.1 poundsFrontCeramic Disc Brake

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT BRAKE PADS FOR YOUR NEEDS

The right brake pads can make all the difference in your stopping ability and your braking smoothness as you drive. That is why it is recommended to get the best brake pads you can buy for the money you have to spend. You can make that even better by purchasing the best ceramic brake pads that will fit your car. Use the buying guide advice found here and the brake pad reviews to help you find the perfect brake pads for your vehicle.

Leave a Reply