*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Brakes are one of the most important parts of a car when it comes to safety. Having all your brake components, including the brake pads, in good working order can make the difference between a good ride and an accident waiting to happen.
When it comes to the best brake pads, there are many manufacturers, and to help you find the right one, we have provided a short buying guide and a list of the top ten best brake pads on the market today in this article.
For the safety of you and your passengers, it is important to be thoroughly informed before deciding which are the best brake pads for you.
What Are Brake Pads?
Brake pads are one of the components of a disc brake that grips the disc used for vehicles and other applications.
They face the disc brake’s rotor and consist of steel backing plates that have friction material bound to their surface. They come in pairs: a pair for the front wheel and a pair for the back wheel.
How Do Brake Pads Work?
Brake pads are part of the disc braking system, which consists of a brake caliper that has two pads attached to it and a round, flat brake rotor. The brake rotor’s edge sits in the middle of the brake caliper, and the pads sit on each side of the brake caliper.
When the brake pedal is depressed, the pads squeeze against the spinning rotor, gradually causing the car to stop once enough force is applied.
What Are the Types of Brake Pads?
Brake pads are classified by the type of material they are madeout of, and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are semi-metallic and ceramic.
Semi-metallic brake pads are made with softer metals mixed in the friction material of the pads; they are great for varied weather conditions, high mileage, and heavy braking, but they may shorten the longevity of the discs, produce brake dust, and are noisier.
Ceramic brake pads are the highest-quality option. They are made to endure heavy use and high temperatures, last the longest, put the least wear on rotors, and provide reliable braking; however, they are not ideal for cold climates or heavy-duty driving.
Some other less-used types are fully metallic and organic. Fully metallic brake pads are stronger and harder than semi-metallic pads, but they cause the rotors to wear quickly.
Organic brake pads have no metal and are made of softer materials that are gentle to the drums and discs, but they aren’t as high quality as others and wear the quickest out of all types.
How Do I Know When to Replace My Brake Pads?
You should replace your brake pads if you hear squealing or scraping noises when you brake, if your braking becomes jittery, if it’s hard to press the brake pedal, or if it is less than a quarter-inch thin when you check them.
What Should I Consider When Buying Brake Pads?
When buying the best brake pads for you, you want to make sure they fit your vehicle type. You then want to pick a pad based on your driving terrain, amount of traffic, and your climate, to make sure they will last long and perform well.
Try to find the best brake pads that come with an installation kit included so you can install them easily.
You should also check the thickness of the pads, as it differs depending on the manufacturer, even if you’re seeking pads for the same car.
The thickness will make a difference in how long they last and how well they perform. Finally, try to find pads that are reasonably priced while still maintaining good quality.
How We Reviewed
To come up with this list, we independently researched and tested various types and models of brake pads and read numerous positive and negative reviews from both users and expert mechanics.
After doing such research, we compared each model based on their features, price, and where they can be bought. By comparing across these categories, we were able to narrow down our list to the following ten best brake pads available on the market today.
1. Bosch BC905 QuietCast
The Bosch BC905 QuietCast is the first on the list of best brake pads. These are made of premium materials that ensure quiet operation, great stopping power, and low dust.
The rubber core multilayer shim increases their strength and further insulates against noise. The friction material is made of copper-free ceramic and semi-metallic material.
The brake pads have a protective transfer layer on them to extend the life of the pads and the rotor of your car.
Additionally, the slots and chambers in the design provide an excellent fit and performance, and the backing plate is powder-coated to prevent corrosion and rust, prolonging the life of the pads.
The set comes with a hardware kit and synthetic lubricant for an easy install. Some users do not know that they can be hard to adjust during install.
2. ACDelco 171-1040 GM Original Equipment
The ACDelco 171-1040 GM Original Equipment is a high-quality set of semi-metallic brake pads made for the front wheels of any GM vehicle.
The premium slots, chamfers, and shims diminish vibration and noise and provide smooth braking. They are tested using the SAE J2784 standard for braking effectiveness, providing great quality assurance.
They also have friction material molded to the backing plate to ensure bond integrity. Also, they come with an installation kit and lubricant, providing an easy install.
Because they are semi-metallic, they are a little noisier than others and, because of the high quality of the materials, they have a pretty high price tag as well.
3. StopTech 309.10780 Street Performance
If you’re looking for front brake pads for autocross use or light-duty track use, then The StopTech 309.10780 Street Performance may be the best brake pads for you.
They have a scorched pad surface, which ensures that they will brake well in both cold and hot weather and produce little brake dust.
They are formed from a high-temperature compound, which eliminates fade and ensures consistent braking performance. The set comes with an installation kit and lubricant for an easy install.
4. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A
The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Set could be the best brake pads for you if you need ceramic brake pads at a more affordable price.
Despite the lower price, they still provide great stopping power, quiet braking, and low wear and tear on rotors. They feature a patented Integrally Molded Sound Insulator (IMI), which dissipates heat and vibration for quieter braking.They require little to no breaking-in after install and come with pad-retaining clips. Also, they are thinner and louder than some more high-quality ceramic pads but provide great performance for their price.
5. ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Equipment
AC Delco provides another great set of brake pads with the ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Equipment Brake Pad Set, which is made for rear brakes on GM vehicles.
These ceramic pads are a certified OEM replacement part, just like the front pads, and the friction material is molded to the backing plate to ensure bond integrity.
The premium slots, shim, and chamfers diminish vibration and noise, while providing a smooth braking experience.Because they are ceramic, they reduce the amount of heat buildup on the rotors, but they don’t perform as well in the cold and get a little noisier when they start to wear down.
The set comes with clips and only two caliper bolts, so some buyers have re-used two of their factory bolts for install. They are still pretty expensive, but they are significantly cheaper than the front pad set.
6. Centric 105.0436 Posi-Quiet
The Centric 105.0436 Posi-Quiet are another set of ceramic brake pads, but they come with four instead of just two.
These have precision-cut or shaved backing plates, which reduce noise, vibration, and uneven wear of the pads by providing a proper fit. The pads have mechanically attached shims on the back, avoiding the mess of adhesive.The friction material was compressed under extreme pressure to provide a consistent material density and increase stopping power.
They provide stable performance in cold or hot weather and come with an installation kit complete with springs, pins, clips, and lubricant.
7. Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance
The Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Brake Pad Set is for those who need pads for autocross or light-duty purposes.
They are semi-metallic, using a Ferro-Carbon formula to add advanced compounds into the manufacturing process.
This makes them good for high-performance vehicles and gives them increased stopping power when compared to regular semi-metallic pads, due to their high friction.
They are gentler on rotors, much quieter, and can stand hot or cold weather. Because of the high-quality compounds, they cost more than other pads and, while they reduce wear on rotors, may weaken them because of the higher friction heat they produce when stopping.
8. EBC Brakes FA409HH Disc Brake Pad Set
The EBC Brakes FA409HH Disc Brake Pad Sets are the best brake pads on the list if you’re looking for aluminum pads.
They are made using high-pressure, die-cast aluminum with bonded brake linings that have lead in and lead out chamfers at their ends for proper fit.
The material makes them last twice as long as organic pads, and they feature original equipment style brake shoe springs. They are durable, good quality, and have great stopping power while still being affordable.
9. Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium
The Akebono ACT787 ProACT Set features rear brake pads made of an ultra-premium ceramic that has been vehicle-optimized to enhance their performance, making them perform almost like more high-performance ceramic pads when braking.
They come with the shims included and are designed to be quiet, reducing noise, vibration, and harshness when braking.They are rotor friendly and come with an installation kit and shims. Additionally, they don’t need a break-in period and are as good as OEM parts, fitting on most Japanese, European, and American domestic cars.
These are a bit smaller than other ceramic pads, and the factory fit chart can be confusing, so pay close attention to the part numbers.
10. Brembo P83024N
The Brembo P83024N is last but not least on the list of best brake pads because of their great braking power, despite not being high-performance brake pads.
These rear brake pads are made of a good quality ceramic and are thick enough to provide good performance.
They are very quiet when braking and don’t leave behind a lot of brake dust. They require no break-in period and are gentle on the rotor, but they do wear a bit faster than other ceramic pads.
After comparing these ten different models, we chose the Centric 105.0436 Posi-Quiet as the best on the list.
We like that the ceramic set comes with four instead of two, and the shaved backing plates make them ultra-quiet. We also like the shims that are mechanically attached and the scorching for applying the friction material.
If you’re looking for a high-performance set for an autocross or light-duty applications, then we highly recommend the Hawk HB453F.585 HPS Set.