One of the most important components found on modern vehicles is the brake pad. Although braking systems are complex and require several different components to come together correctly, it’s brake pads that are often the determining factor as to how well the car actually stops. Therefore, replacing spent pads with fresh ones can ensure that vehicles can stop when it needs to stop.

If a vehicle is making a screeching sound, sounds like metal grinding or the ability of the vehicle to stop is degrading, then it’s extremely important to change those pads as soon as possible. To help our readers replace their pads quickly and restore the safety of their cars, we’ve listed the ten best brake pads currently available in the list below.

Best Brake Pads – Reviews & Buying Guide

10EBC Brakes Double-H Pad Change Kit

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This kit contains everything needed for performing a brake change on a number of Harley Davidson FLHX Stree Glide models. Some of the models it’s designed for include FLHX 2008 to 2013 Street Glides and FLHX 2014 street glides. They deliver very good performance and have been tested and approved for safety. These pads are high-friction HH-rated pads that provide better performance than standard Double-H Sintered brake pads. Another thing to really like about these pads is that they are made in the U.S, at a plant based in Ohio. Therefore, consumers can rest assured that they are made from high-quality components and to exacting safety and performance standards.

Pros:

  • Fits a number of Harley Davidson Street Glide models
  • Pads are safety-tested

Cons:

  • These are motorcycle brake pads

9Power Stop Extreme Performance Pads

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Designed exclusively for muscle cars, these brake pads are designed to provide some great stopping power and do it without producing a ton of dust in the process. Although we did like the amount of stopping power produced by these pads, we’ve found that they were really only suitable for street use, as they don’t provide the ultra-fine stopping power that racing requires. The pads are made with a carbon-fiber ceramic that all but eliminates brake dust and quiets some nice, quiet braking. And this material also helps to resist brake fade, even up to 1,500-degrees, so it is also suitable for high-horsepower cars.

Pros:

  • Provides decent stopping power
  • Doesn’t produce dust like inferior brake pads do

Cons:

  • Good for road use but not so much for use on race courses

8Wagner Thermo Quiet Ceramic Disc Pads

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Although these brake pads are supposed to be 35% quieter than comparable pads when properly installed, we found that they weren’t quite that silent. Sure, these pads are a little bit quieter than most other pads, but we’re not sure it’s a full 35% quieter. Having said that, however, there are a few things to like about these pads. For example, they seem to last longer than other brands, they do provide 15% more stopping power than comparable pads, and they come with all of the hardware to install them. All of which makes these some nice pads to consider.

Pros:

  • Provides increased stopping power
  • The pads come with all appropriate hardware

Cons:

  • They aren’t as quiet they should be

7KFE Ultra Quiet Advanced Ceramic Pads

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These high-quality pads not only provide an OEM fit, but they also come with a limited warranty and are inexpensive to boot. These pads are free of vibration noise that seems to plague other brands of brake pads and are designed to be low-noise, although they do occasionally squeak from time to time. However, these pads don’t require a long break-in period, are designed to have an extended lifespan and provide the stopping power that people expect out of their vehicles.

Pros:

  • Are inexpensive pads
  • Provide great stopping power
  • Don’t produce a whole lot of dust

Cons:

  • These pads have a tendency of squeaking

6Akebono Pro Act Ultra-Premium Pad Set

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These brake pads are designed to be a direct replacement for compatible vehicles with low-metallic or semi-metallic pads. They’re specifically designed to provide the utmost in performance and do it without needing a long break-in period. Although they’re designed to also be low-noise, we do feel that they become a bit noisy when they’re wet. Even so, these quality pads seem to provide a great ability to stop and do it without producing much brake dust at all.

Pros:

  • They don’t require a break-in period
  • They provide excellent braking power
  • They are virtually dust-free

Cons:

  • They are really noisy in wet conditions

5Motorcraft BR1258B Pads

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Anyone who has owned a Lincoln, Ford or Mercury Grand Marquis are quite familiar with Motorcraft brake pads because they’re the original equipment manufacturer for pads for these types of vehicles and many other types as well. As such, these pads are high-quality, produce great stopping power and conform to all safety standards. They also don’t produce a lot of noise. Their only drawback is they tend to be a bit more expensive than comparable pads, but many consumers feel they’re worth it.

Pros:

  • They are OEM replacements for many vehicles
  • provide good stopping power
  • They don’t produce a whole lot of noise

Cons:

  • They tend to be a bit expensive

4Genuine Toyota Brake Pad Kit

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As most readers probably already know, these Genuine Toyota brake parts are an OEM product, so they’re a great pad to replace the brake pad on a compatible Toyota vehicle. They’re a good quality product that doesn’t produce a whole lot of noise or dust and provide good stopping power. They’re also easy to install, although it should be noted that consumers will have to reuse their original shims because these pads don’t come with shims. Having said that, however, we feel these are good pads destined to provide the quality a Toyota owner requires.

Pros:

  • They provide good stopping power
  • They’re an OEM product

Cons:

  • They don’t ship with shims

3Wagner Quick Stop Ceramic Disc Pads

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These brake pads from Wagner are named Quick Stop for a reason and that reason is that they really provide some of the best overall stopping performance we’ve seen. These pads are easy to install, don’t cost a whole lot, and are virtually dust-free. They’re also extremely quiet, even when they’re used in wet conditions. All things considered, these are great pads that should make a lot of people happy. They’re also pads that come with all the installation hardware required to install them.

Pros:

  • Provides good stopping power
  • Is a low dust pad
  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise

Cons:

  • Instructions could’ve been better

2AC Delco Professional Ceramic Pads

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These professional brake pads from AC Delco are not only designed to exacting standards but they’re made to provide the stopping power that people need their vehicles to have. They are tested to SAE standards for braking effectiveness and are also thoroughly tested for their durability. They use premium shims to help dampen noise levels, although they’re still a bit noisy in the rain. Overall, they’re great pads that should last a long time and provide good stopping power.

Pros:

  • These pads fit very well
  • Provide great stopping power
  • They have a nice long lifespan

Cons:

  • A little bit sqeaky in wet conditions

1Bosch Quiet Cast Premium Pads

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These quality brake pads are engineered using the best materials available, so the vehicle they’re installed on stops right on a dime. These pads are designed to be quiet, dust-free and very effective and they do quite well for all three of those metrics. That’s probably because they’re made using a specialized formula that provides extra friction and still preserves their lifespan. And they come with a complete hardware kit that makes them easy to install every single time.

Pros:

  • They’re quiet
  • They stop very well
  • They don’t produce a lot of brake dust
  • They aren’t very expensive

Cons:

  • None

More products also worth checking out:

Brake Pads Guide

You can’t put a price on your safety on the road so buying a quality set of brake pads is an important task. The best way of protecting yourself from a faulty product is by knowing what to expect from the better brake pads on the market. This is easier said than done so to ensure you get hard-wearing pads that are made from quality materials, we have created the following guide.

By the end of it, you will know why the quality brands make such good products and can keep you and your family safe when you need your brakes the most.

What To Consider In Brake Pads

Fit

If you don’t check that the brake pads you like are going to fit your vehicle then you could end up with a useless product. Brake pads come in different sizes for a reason so this should be one of the first things you check online before buying.

Some brake pads are designed for the front wheels and others for the back so be sure that you know which ones you are replacing.

Brake Pad Type

You will find a variety of brake pads types that are suitable to different vehicles and vary in performance. Although the most common are semi-metallic and ceramic, they aren’t the only types. Check our overview in the next section.

Value

Because brake pads differ in size, shape, materials and a lot more, it can be hard to find a well-priced set. Although the price isn’t always an indication of quality, it is often a good start point, especially when it comes to something so important.

Thickness

This is a big factor that determines how well your brake pads will perform and last. The thicker the brake pad, the longer you can expect it to last but only when quality materials are used. Start with around 12mm as an average thickness and don’t go for anything less.

Installation

Certain brands are known for being easy to install compared to others. Also, you will need the right equipment for installing them so find yourself an all in one kit. If you are new to replacing brake pads then this is something you should consider or buy the pads yourself and pay a mechanic to install them.

Different Types of Brake Pads

Semi-Metallic

A mix of soft metals with friction materials within the pad. Semi-metallic tend to be more affordable and wear reasonably well although you might find them to be a little noisy in comparison to other types. The greater the number of metals the more reliable the brake pads can be.

Ceramic

When it comes to ceramic brake pads, they are known for being among the very best and are quick to stop your car in an emergency. You can expect less brake dust than other types and a bigger price tag for the privilege. They can withstand high temperatures and plenty of friction.

Low Metallic

A good option for those on a budget although they do not wear so well. It might not be long before you notice a lot of noise and dust but in terms of stopping your vehicle, they can perform well.

Organic

It’s hard to say what materials will be used as it varies brand by brand and covers a wide range. They aren’t particularly expensive but you can often get better value in other types of brake pads as they don’t last as long.

When Should I Change My Brake Pads?

Speak to most mechanics and they will tell you that you should change your brake pads as a matter of urgency when they get to 4mm thick. If you neglect them at this stage they can soon expose the brakes rotor which will lead to an expensive repair job.

Not to mention the fact that they will not work as well – putting you and your passengers at risk.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads Vs Ceramic Brake Pads

Although both of these will serve your car well and help it to prevent an accident, they have distinct differences.

Depending on the brand, you can still get a decent amount of metal in these pads which contributes to their durability. You will find that when you buy a quality semi-metallic brake pad, it lasts longer than ceramic types.

Expect them to be a little rougher on rotors and noisier than most types of brake pads.

Ceramic brake pads, on the other hand, are known for their quality. They might not last as long but provide reliable and consistent braking that is sharper than semi-metallic products. Expect a bigger price tag as a result but less brake dust.

Conclusion

There are a few important factors to consider when looking for the best brake pads but the main thing to do is stick to reputable brands and ensure you buy the right materials for your budget. If this doesn’t stretch to a ceramic set then a semi-metallic brake pad with the right thickness should last a long time and perform well.