10 Best Brake Pads 2019 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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Are you frustrated with your search for the best brake pads? We know that it is difficult to research and find the best out of the many options on the market, and that’s why we have reviewed the best ones.

The best brake pads for cars are not the most expensive or cheapest brake pads; they are the ones that will safely slow down your car in the most efficient way. Regardless of the qualities, which range from reduced dust and longevity of the brakes, you always want your brake pad to be efficient at slowing down your car or truck. This is why investing in quality brake pads that perform in the best way is a necessity.

Best Brake Pads: At A Glance

Product Name
Editor's Rating
Price
1. Akebono EUR1340 Ultra-Premium Front Brake Pad
2. Power Stop Z26-1053 New Formulation Brake Pad
3. EBC Brakes FA347HH Disc Brake Pad Set
4. ACDelco 17D1160CH Professional Brake Pad
5. Bosch BC1654 QuietCast Brake Pad Set
6. Genuine Toyota 044465-0E010 Brake Pad
7. EBC Brakes DP61799 6000 Rear Brake Pad
8. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Pad
9. StopTech 309.10780 Front Brake Pad
10. Bosch BC905 Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Quality brake pads will give you a more comfortable journey when driving and also keep you and your passengers safe. We took time to select the best ones based on reviews, rating, manufacturer information, longevity, and other factors which we will discuss better on our buyer’s guide.

For now, let’s see the brake pads that made it to our list of top 10…

Top 10 Best Brake Pads Review:

1. Akebono EUR1340 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Front Brake Pad

 

If you are looking for a perfect OE brake pads replacement, then this set from Akebono ticks all the right boxes for you. This company was founded in 1929 and specializes in brake technology for cars, bikes, trucks, and scooters. The Akebono EUR1340 EURO brakes are one of the best ceramic brake pads in the market. In the end, you have a brake pad that offers the exact performance as the manufacturer claims.

These are the ultimate upgrade for OE organic, semi-metallic and low metallic pads you will typically see. You will be impressed by how ultra-quiet these pads are as you will be able to control the vibration and noise and even the harshness levels. These have fantastic stopping power yet so smooth which makes them perfect even for beginner drivers. The manufacturer even states that these require no break-in period thanks to their ‘superior initial effectiveness’.

Another thing you get is an extremely rotor friendly performance. This means that with the brake pads you will be able to improve the rotor life in general. Moreover, they have been engineered to OE standards and are DOT certified which means you get a safe, reliable and durable product. The price is fantastic as well. They work for most European vehicles such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.

Highlighted Features

  • Ultra-quiet ensuring less vibration, noise, and harshness
  • Upgrade for OE semi-metallic, low metallic brake pads
  • European braking performance which makes them one of the best brake pads for trucks
  • Has friction formulas specifically designed for European vehicles
  • They are extremely rotor friendly to ensure longer rotor life

2. Power Stop Z26-1053 New Formulation Brake Pad

 

StopTech is popular for producing high-performance brake pads for racing cars. For stopping power, Power Stop high performance have the biggest bit of them all. This is due to a scorched pad surface that the company uses to ensure a solid bite even when breaks are cold.

Apart from the incredible stopping power, the Power Stop Brake Pads do not produce any squealing noise as long as they are installed correctly. Moreover, they feature stainless steel shims that dampen the vibrations hence the quiet operation.

Featuring high-temp compounds, these pads provide consistent performance under most conditions. Whether you are driving a high-end Nissan or a high-end Mercedes, this is probably the way to go.

They work better for light duty truck and spirited street use compared to most other brands. This is a low-ceramic brake pad that offers excellent resistance to heat and doesn’t eat away the rotors regardless of how long you press hard on the brake pedal. Besides, it does not produce any dust which ensures the wheels stay clean even when driving longer. This is one of the best brakes for trucks particularly if you need to replace the OEM brake pad in trucks or SUVs.

Highlighted Features

  • Carbon fiber infused brake pads
  • Has stainless steel shims to reduce noise and vibrations
  • Made of ceramic which ensures no dust is produced
  • Rotor friendly
  • Has a reliable bite even in cold weather making them one of the best brake pads for BMW

3. EBC Brakes FA347HH Disc Brake Pad Set

 

EBC is a top tier brand, and for this reason, we always expect the brake pads from the company to be great. Well, that is true considering the quality they put in FA347HH Brake Pad Set. They are simple, affordable and one of the best brake pads for bikes. They feature a semi-metallic material compound and has been designed in a way that it doesn’t produce dust keeping your vehicle’s wheels clean even when driving.

You can use them for various applications since they are designed using the original equipment style. As a result, you do not have to worry about fixing them because they are OEM pads – just ensure that your vehicle is on the recommended list. You can expect excellent stopping power from these high-quality breaks because they have been made using aluminum with bonded linings.

These will not corrode over time which makes them long-lasting brake pad. They feature a friction rating of HH which is exactly what you need when you are choosing the best. In addition, they come with shoe springs to ensure you replace any OEM brake pad effortlessly. You also get lead in and lead out chamfers to make it better.

Highlighted Features

  • Designed with high-pressure aluminum platforms with bonded brake linings for excellent stopping power
  • With a friction rating of HH, you will find these brake pads long-lasting
  • Easy installation
  • Has a friction rating of HH
  • Comes with lead in and lead out chamfers to diminish noise

4. ACDelco 17D1160CH Professional Brake Pad Set

 

Coming from such a top brand, ACDelco 17D1160CH is one of the best disc brakes overall. These are really good at performance particularly when it comes to stopping your car during emergencies. The brake pad set has been tested to SAE J2784 hence are effective in terms of braking. Besides, you won’t have to deal with noise, vibration, and harshness as they have undergone NVS test as well as durability tests for assurance of quality. This way, you can rest assured that they won’t let you down.

Moreover, the model comes with premium shims, slots, and chamfers. These work together to help reduce any noise, vibrations, and harshness. These brake pads for ACDelco can be used for a wide range of vehicle applications as they feature ceramic, semi-metallic and organic formulas.

To ensure bond integrity, the friction material is molded to the backing plate for effectiveness. Importantly, installing these brake pads is easy as they come inside a box with everything you need to ensure the work is neat.

Highlighted Features

  • They are made of ceramic which ensures safety and reliability
  • They have been tested by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard and proven to be safe
  • The friction material is molded to the braking plate to ensure bond integrity
  • They feature premium shims, chamfers, and slots to help reduce noise, vibration harshness with brakes
  • The stamped braking plate enhances pad movement to diminish noise and protect against premature wear
  • Easy to install and comes with everything you need for this job

5. Bosch BC1654 QuietCast Brake Pad Set

 

Bosch has been a major player in the braking industry since its first braking system design in the 1930s. Today, their braking components are common among vehicles in Asia, Europe, and North America. The company pioneered the Antilock Braking technology and also introduced electronic stability control systems.

These Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pads are a good example of why this is such a huge brand. Bosch used dedicated engineering to platform-specific premium materials for this pad set which ensures that the pads have exceptional stopping power as well super quiet operation. Besides, it features rubber core multilayer shim which offers increased insulation against noise.

Moreover, they do not produce any dust which ensures that the wheels stay clean. It also features a protective transfer layer which ensures extended pad and rotor life. This model also features molded shim technology that keeps shim attachments secure and enhances stability. Its construction involves OE style multi-layer which offers good strength while also reducing noise.

Another great feature in this pad set is it is compliant with 2025 Copper-free legislation as it uses copper free ceramic and semi-metallic friction formula. The entire set is manufactured and tested in North America which gives an idea of the quality of this product. Finally, it is easy to install the brake pads as the kit has everything you need to do the job. It has a synthetic lubricant which should put everything together with ease.

Highlighted Features

  • It is made by a well-known brand hence reliable
  • Specific premium materials ensure exceptional braking
  • Has multilayer shim to reduce noise and vibration
  • Shim technology enhances stability
  • The ceramic formula is copper-free
  • Comes with all the necessary hardware you need for installation

6. Genuine Toyota 044465-0E010 Brake Pad

 

Toyota is popular for manufacturing original brake pads only specific to Toyota models. The Genuine Toyota O44465 is a complete brake pad kit that’s intended for both the front and rear wheels. This one should technically fit any Toyota brand cars. You should not worry about installing it as anyone can do this, even absolute novices.

In addition, these pads are made with the exact specs as those found in Toyota cars though it has a little bit more durability and superior-build quality. Moreover, it will help prevent squealing and is low noise. In fact, those who like to press hard on breaks will be impressed with this brake pad as it does not vibrate as long as it’s a Toyota car.

As compared to semi-metallic brake pads, the Genuine Toyota Brake Pad produces less dust. As a result, you can travel for extended distances while keeping the wheels clean. These Toyota brake pads are machine backed and will make your car perfect to face further challenges.

Pro tip: These do not include the shims that cover the steel of the pad. As a result, you need to reuse your old shims assuming you have OEM style pads.

Highlighted Features

  • Genuine brake pads made for Toyota models
  • Exact fit for any Toyota brake pad
  • High quality brake pad that should last long
  • Offers quiet operation

7. EBC Brakes DP61799 6000 Rear Brake Pad

 

Upgrade your stopping power with EBC Brakes DP61799 6000 Rear Brake Pad. These are high friction pads boasting GG-rated friction to offer excellent stopping with slotted construction as well as fully shimmed edge chamfered for silent operation. This type is approved for SUV and light truck use.

As compared to OE, these medium dust pads offer an improvement of up to 20% and feature a brake-in surface coating on the surface which conditions rotors and perfect brakes from fast installation. The Greenstuff 6000 series range is a suitable option for you if you prefer a pad that produces less dust. The British made product is designed with a noiseless material, and a piston inserts NUCAP insulator shims.

Featuring NUCAP NRS system hook technology, the brake pads offer 5 times the bond strength on conventional brake pads. The product comes with High volume Vee grooves to enhance dirt and debris removal to help control the cooling of central areas of the pad.

The new carbon granule based material is incredibly rotor friendly and offers a noiseless operation. The UK Company used new eco-friendly technology to make these high pad friction while also preventing street pollution from the break effect.

Highlighted Features

  • Made in Britain for top quality
  • Noiseless material that features a piston insert NUCAP shims to insulate vibration
  • High Volume Vee to enhance dirt and debris removal
  • Has a fade-free brake material that controls the temperature
  • Has red brake-in surface coating for safe braking right after installation
  • NUCAP NRS system hook technology to enhance the bond strength

8. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Pad

 

In case you are servicing your vehicle, you may be looking for safety components like brake pads from a well-known brand. This set of ThermoQuiet ceramic disc pads meets this threshold. The product is durable with a premium design that improves your vehicle’s safety regardless of weather conditions. Because of its premium design, it can enhance your stopping power by up to 15%.

The good news is you do not require any assistance when installing the ThermoQuiet pads from Wagner. The quick fix designs make it extremely easy to install in both domestic and foreign cars. The quiet pads work great on most wheels including aluminum. ThermoQuiet pad set comes with all the right tools for installation. For instance, the box has premium clips and chamfers unlike with most brake pads where you may need to buy the add-ons separately.

Brake Noise can be a frustrating issue with most vehicles. To solve this, consider replacing your low-grade pads with these from Wagner. They have been made with quality ceramic making them super quiet. The material also produces low dust which is ideal which makes one of the best brake pads on the market. However, make sure it fits your vehicle because some people have complained about compatibility issues.

Highlighted Features

  • Low noise brake pads
  • Has high stopping power performance
  • Include OE-style lubricant to ensure a neat installation
  • They are low copper 2021 compliant ceramic formulation
  • The have application-specific design to reduce noise and vibration

9. StopTech 309.10780 Front Brake Pad

 

There is no doubt that you are in the market looking for great brake pads that are worth the money and this front brake pad by StopTech offers a great value. It boasts of top performance features that make it compete with other brake pads from renowned brands. These brake pads also offer fast stops and have a commendable tolerance to high temperatures. You will find it highly effective even in emergency situations where hard braking is required.

Another great feature of these brake pads is that they don’t fade easily. It will keep working great for a relatively long time. You will also love the excellent actuation that comes with these brake pads as well as their modulation and release. Well, they might be pricey than many other brake pads on this list, but their performance is great, and this justifies their price tag. They are made of para-aramid composites to enable them to deliver a linear response.

If you are looking for ultra-reliable and stable brake pads that will offer you superior stopping power, then StopTech brakes may be the best product for you. Designed for light-duty and streetcars, these quality car brake pads produce little amount of dust even during emergency situations.

As for installation, you will find it an easier process as it comes with all you need for quick installation.

Highlighted Features

  • They are designed for light duty trucks and streetcars
  • Made from high-temperature compound to enable them to perform consistently in different weather condition
  • Have a great braking power making them ideal for driving along busy streets
  • They are easy to install and comes with all the needed tools for this task
  • They are made of Para-Aramid composites to deliver a linear response

10. Bosch BC905 Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

 

For a long time, Bosch has remained relevant thanks to the quality products they have continued to produce. And this time, they have made one of the best brake pads for towing that also works great for different cars. These brake pads are made of high-quality materials that ensure they deliver quiet operation and great stopping power while producing very little dust.

What’s more, it comes with a rubber core that has a multilayer shim to increase insulation against noise and provide more strength.

Bosch uses a premium aerospace alloy which involves the use of semi-metallic friction formula and free ceramic. This ensures your brake pads deliver great performance even during emergency situations.

The protective transfer layer works great to prolong the lifespan of the pad and rotor. To make it even better, it has an easy installation process since its packaging comes with everything you need for this task. The manufacturer also offers a synthetic lubricant to make everything come together easily.

Highlighted Features

  • It offers a quiet operation thanks to rubber core multilayer shim
  • Its advanced aerospace alloy build enables it last longer
  • It is made from premium materials which ensure exceptional stopping power as well as quiet operation with low dust levels
  • These brake pads are fitted with a protective transfer layer that extends rotor and pad life
  • It comes with everything needed for installation work

Well, those are the best products in the field of brake pads. Now, here is our buyer’s guide to help you just in case you are torn between two or three choices. The tips we will discuss below will help you make a better choice.

Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying Brake Pads

There are several things you need to keep in mind when buying brake pads to ensure you buy the best ones for your car;

  • Vibration, Noise, and Harshness Levels

No one wants to have a braking system that makes a lot of vibration and noise and one that is stiff. These should be your top consideration to ensure you end up with a noise-free and smooth braking experience. The worst experience you want to avoid is ending up with squealing brakes. Harsh brakes will irritate you most of the times. Therefore, take your time and go through customer reviews to see what other users are saying about their experience with the brakes you are interested in.

  • Material

There are different types of brake pad, and each of them exhibits different characteristics. There are brakes made from non-metallic materials which are normally synthetic substances. These are light on the rotors but have a shorter lifespan. They produce a fair amount of dust.

The semi-metallic braking system is made from a mixture of synthetic materials and some flaked metals. They are more fade resistant and last longer than non-metallic materials. However, they wear out the rotor faster and need more torque for them to slow down your car.

Brakes that are fully metallic are often used in racing cars and need a lot of force to work effectively. They last for a long time.

Ceramic brakes are often used in supercars. They have copper and porcelain flakes making them more fade resistant and heat resistant than semi-metallic brakes. These are not ideal for older car models. They offer great braking performance and are relatively affordable as compared to non-metallic and semi-metallic brakes.

  • Dust Levels

Another thing you will need to consider when buying brake pads should be the dust levels. This is the amount of brake dust that is generated every time you apply the braking system. Having too much dust makes your wheel darker than normal. If you want shinning rims, you need to get yourself quality brakes that generate less amount of dust.

  • Your Car Requirement

It is important to check if your vehicle can accommodate the type of brake pads you intend to buy. For instance, not all cars can run on ceramic brake pads. In addition to materials, different cars have varying pressure requirements. This means that what might be light on one vehicle will be too soft for another car.

Make sure to check your car manual to see if the pads you are interested in buying will suit your car. For everyday driving, ceramic or semi-metal brake pads will suit you. A ceramic pad will be more efficient and do not fade as fast as semi-metal brake pads.

  • All-Weather Performance

Another factor to keep in mind is the performance of brake pads in different weather conditions. This is because you may find yourself driving in wet, dry, cold, or hot environment. The best brake pads should perform equally well in all weather conditions.

  • Operating Temperature

You will need to consider operating temperature especially if you are used to traveling long distances. Having high-temperature brake pads means that you can easily operate them in high temperatures. Check the temperature tolerance range of the brake pad in question to know if it will suit your truck. Checking good maximum operating temperature is a must-consideration if you want to land suitable brake pads for your car.

  • Friction Profile

In most cases, the friction rating dictates the maximum temperature your braking pads can tolerate. This also affects the amount of force you will need to exert on your car’s pedal so as to maintain the friction level during different braking conditions.

  • Lifespan

Most manufacturers provide information about the life span your brake pad will have. This will help you know how long you will have to use them before they need a replacement. Although this should not be at the top of your list, going for a brake pad that offers relatively longer lifespan will save you the cost of having to replace them now and then.

Types of Car Brake Pads

Depending on the type of car you have and the performance you are looking to achieve, there is a range of brake pads to choose from.

Here are the four main types of brake pads;

  1. Semi-metallic brake pads

These are widely used for the “average” car owner and are made from a mixture of graphite, steel wire, friction modifiers, and copper. Their benefit, other than them being affordable, include effectiveness at transferring heat, and durability. However, on the downside, they are quite noisy and wear down your rotors faster. They are not as effective in cold weather.

  1. Non-Asbestos brake pads

Often referred to as NAO (Non-Asbestos Organic) pads, these brake pads are made from fiber, resins, and other filler materials. For people looking for a quiet brake pad system, NAO pads are the best. Other benefits of these brake pads include the fact that they are relatively softer and this helps to avoid rotor wear. However, on the downside, they wear down at a faster rate and produce more brake pad dust.

  1. Low metallic NAO brake pads

These brake pads are a blend of the above two types. They are made of organic materials and 10-30% metal depending on the manufacturer.  These pads are slightly pricier as compared to the other two types we have discussed above but bear the benefits of the two brake pads.

  1. Performance-based ceramic pads

These are the most expensive and the best in terms of performance. They produce a low amount of dust and noise and thus do not damage your rotors. They are made from ceramic fibers, filler materials, and bonding agents. They are mostly designed for sports cars or high-performance vehicles.

When Should One Replace Brake Pads

It is hard to tell the right time your brake pads will require replacing. But you can tell from the following signs;

  • Warning lights

Modern cars are fitted with brake pad warning systems. The integrated computerized system in your car will notify you when your car’s brake pads need a change. When the brake pads wear out to a certain level, the sensor gets activated to let you know the right time to change them. The downside to this is that not all vehicles come with this system. Older cars and budget-friendly new car models are not fitted with brake pad sensors.

  • Pulsating brake pedal

Warped or worn out brake pads will cause a pulsating sensation when you try to press the brake pedal. This will include vibrations on the pedal.

  • Car pulling to one side

When you apply brakes and see your car pulling to one side, this indicates that the brake pads are uneven. However, this can also indicate other issues with your car. When doing brake pads replacement, always do so in pairs.

  • Grinding Noise

If you hear or feel metal on metal noise, you know it’s time to replace the brake pads or brake calipers. The metal on metal grinding noise indicates worn out brakes, and this will affect stopping distance significantly.

  • Visual checks

If your car is not fitted with braking warning lights signal, you will need to go the old-school way and manually check if your brake pads are in good shape. You can do this directly through the spokes of your car wheels. Here, you will see the outside padding that is pressed against the rotor. This will give you a clearer picture of the state of your brakes.

It can be difficult to know the extent to which your brake pads have worn out, but if you don’t see the padded area, know that you definitely need to change the brake pads as soon as possible. To guide you, if you see up to 3mm or less of the pad, know that it’s high time to replace the brake pads.

How to Install Brake Pads

You are ready to put your gloves on and grab all the tools needed for installing your new brake pads. Brake pads need brake grease, and since it is harmful to your skin, you will need to wear protective gear. Smear grease on the back side of the pads. Be careful not to smear the front part of the pads. You will have to do this for both sets of pads.

Check to see how the old brake pads look like. If the clips have been pre-installed, then count yourself lucky since the replacement process will be easy. However, if they are not there, you will need to add them yourself. If the new brakes are thicker than the older ones, you will need to enlarge the caliper assembly since the old measurement will not accommodate your new pads.

You will need to insert the old brake pads inside the caliper assembly, then use a brake tool to fasten it until it fits perfectly in the caliper’s clamps. Now the new brake pads should fit perfectly in the whole assembly.

Tighten the nuts back using a wrench and fit the tire back in place. Secure the tire and then lift the car jack to remove the jack stands. Lower the jack and remove it. Enjoy your new brake pads.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Brake Pads

Q-1: How can I make my brake pads last longer?

One obvious way to make disc brakes last longer is to reduce your braking frequency. However, this is something you have no control off since every day, you encounter different road experiences and city limits.

However, if you have a car that doesn’t make a lot of horsepowers, avoid drilled or slotted disc brakes; instead stay with your standard disc brakes. This will ensure your brakes last longer.

Also, there are a few driving tips you can follow to ensure your brake pads last longer, irrespective of the brand you go for;

  • Anticipating when to brake and slowing down before intersections to avoid hard braking
  • Avoid driving at high speeds, and this will result in braking in most instances
  • Anticipating stops and traffic ahead will also help you to reduce braking instances
  • Avoid carrying a lot of weight in the car as this weight increases pressure on the brake pads

However, despite you looking to get the longest lifespan from your brake pads, it is important to note that safety should be your paramount goal. You want to stay safe while driving on the road and keep others safe. This is why you should not wait till your brakes get to their minimum thickness for you to change them. In most cases, it is worth not to try to save money on brake pads. Once you feel they are not working as you desire, change them immediately.

Q-2: Can I replace my brake pads myself?

In addition to changing your battery or oil, replacing brake discs and pads is very simple, and you can do it on yourself. However, make sure to have the right tools and some knowledge of what to do. Remember that your brakes are what stops your car and thus you should be careful when installing them to avoid messing up and putting your life and that of others in danger.

Q-3: How do brake pads work?

Brake pads work hand in hand with disc braking system. The braking system consists of a brake caliper that has two pads and brake rotor attached to them. The rotor is flat and round, and its edges come into contact with the middle area of the brake caliper. The pads on the caliper squeeze up against the revolving rotor when the brake pedal is pressed. A car comes to a stop when the squeezing action is enough to tighten the brake rotor.

Q-4: What is the ideal lifespan of new brake pads?

Before buying your best brake pads, you might need to inquire about the duration they will last or the mileage to expect. However, there is no real answer to this since brake pads are different and their longevity depends on your driving style. If your car has braking warning lights, it will notify you of the right time to replace your brake pads. If your car lacks the brake pads sensors, you will need to observe some of the signs of worn-out brake pads such as noise while braking or manually checking the pads from time to time. Make it a routine to check brake pads.

Q-5: How many sets of brake pads are there on a car?

The normal answer to this question would be 2 sets; that is if you have disc brakes on the front and rear wheels of your car. A set, in this case, is a pair of dual pads for your car’s front wheels and another set for back wheels. However, there are exceptions since cars are different. For instance, trucks have different sets of brake pads.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best brake pads and rotors for your car, cost-cutting should not be on your list. Opting for cheaper brake pads that do not match OEM standards can result in more noise, more brake dust, and poor performance.

However, you may not have a bigger budget to spend on performance brake pads, and that is understandable. All of our recommendations here cover a wide range of budgets along with different performance capabilities. You will not go wrong by choosing any of the above best brake pads for cars.

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