The Best Brake Pads

Brake pads are the material that allows you to stop your car or motorcycle. Vehicles come with brake pads, but over time they wear out, so it is important to know when to replace your brake pads. While many people have their brake pads replaced by a mechanic or at a car dealership as part of their routine maintenance, others choose to do the job themselves. If you are planning on replacing your own brake pads, you can order them yourself.

We’ve reviewed dozens of brake pads to bring you the best of the best. Please note that you must enter your vehicle’s make and model into Amazon.com to know whether the recommended pads are appropriate for your car or motorcycle. If a recommended pad is not the right size or material, Amazon will recommend a similar product that is compatible with your vehicle.

Top pick
Power Stop Z23-1650 Z23 Evolution Sport

Carbon-fused ceramic technology for superior braking power

$41.68 USD

The clear winner was the Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport. This brake pad is carbon-fiber fused to ceramic for great braking power. Enjoy nearly silent braking and a long-lasting life with these pads.

The 5 Top-Rated Brake Pads for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallPower Stop Z23-1650 Z23 Evolution Sport4.8
Runner UpACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set4.6
Best Budget BuyV-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad5.0
Best Ceramic Brake PadsBosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set4.3
Best Motorcycle Brake PadsKMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads
4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change 

Our Top Pick: Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport

The Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport came out as our top pick. The Evolution is carbon fiber infused with ceramic for a great combination of materials leading to excellent braking power. The pads will resist rust and corrosion thanks to their powder-coated backing plates.

There are two technologies at play that create the nearly silent braking: The first is the addition of premium rubberized shims, and the second is the fact that the pads are chamfered and slotted. The kit comes with hardware and ceramic brake lubricant.

Power Stop Z23-1650 Evolution Sport Key Features:

  • Powder-coated backing plate
  • Rubberized shims
  • Chamfered and slotted
  • Includes brake lubricant
  • Includes premium hardware kit

Our Runner Up Pick: ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Runner up
ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Safe and reliable for a variety of vehicles

$26.03 USD

The ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set offers ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas to ensure safety and reliability for a wide range of vehicles. Check on Amazon.com to find out whether these will work for your vehicle by entering your car’s make and model.

There is no curing or machining required; these brake pads are able to be installed without any special treatment beforehand. They include basic shims, slots, and chamfers; all of these work together to diminish noise and vibration. You’ll be able to stop on a dime with these brake pads.

ACDelco 14D883CH Advantage Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set Key Features:

  • Ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas
  • Includes basic shims, slots, and chamfers
  • Low noise and vibration
  • Ready to install
  • Includes hardware

Our Budget Pick: V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad

Budget pick
V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad

Extraordinary stopping power at a great price

The V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad offers the ultimate in safety without breaking the bank. Available as an add-on item for a very low price, these brake pads are easy to install and require no modification. They’ll optimize the performance of your vehicle’s braking system and are designed to minimize disc wear.

Keep in mind that you will need to be sure that these brakes will fit your vehicle; there are similar brake pads available for vehicles that are not compatible with these particular brake pads.

V-Trust Top Quality Ceramic Brake Pad Key Features:

  • Top-quality ceramic brake pads
  • 100% OE fitment
  • No modification required
  • Minimum break-in and bedding-in period

Best Ceramic Brake Pads: Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Best ceramic brake pads
Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Quiet operation with low dust

$30.79 USD

The Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set made our top pick for a ceramic brake pad thanks to exceptional stopping power, quiet operation, and low dust. Nobody wants to hear their brakes, and the rubber-core shim makes a great insulation, ensuring a quiet stop.

There is a protective transfer layer installed to extend not only the life of the pad but also the life of the rotor. Included in the set are slots and chamfers, a hardware kit, and a synthetic lubricant. Everything you need is in one convenient package to let you get the job done easily!

Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set Key Features:

  • Rubber core multilayer shim
  • Low dust
  • Made with advanced aerospace alloy
  • Protective transfer layer
  • Includes hardware and lubricant

Best Brake Pads for Motorcycles: KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads

Best for motorcycles
KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads

Non-metallic brakes for your Harley

$48.99 USD

When it comes to brakes for your Harley, you will want to consider non-metallic organic NAO brake pads, and the KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads are our top pick. These fit on both the front and the back and they are made of non-asbestos organic material.

These use a combination of strong fibers to avoid letting the brakes get too hot. They also reduce abrasion on the rotor, extending its life. They provide excellent stopping power under all riding conditions; you won’t need to worry about them holding up in the rain, snow, extreme heat, or extreme cold. All in all, these are a solid choice.

KMG 2006 Harley FXDLi Dyna Low Rider Brake Pads Key Features:

  • Enhances thermal stability
  • Contain non-asbestos organic material
  • Better than semi-metallic pads for this application
  • Reinforced friction material

Who Should Buy Brake Pads

If you have a car or a motorcycle, you will eventually need to purchase brake pads. You can choose to have the pads changed at a local car dealership or by an auto mechanic. If you do this, you will not need to purchase your own brake pads. If, however, you want to change your own brake pads, you’ll need to buy them yourself.

Some signs that the time has come to buy new brake pads include hearing squealing or clicking sounds when you apply pressure to the brakes, bringing the car to a full stop is taking longer than it used to, or you feel vibrating in the brake pedal when you step on it. If you are noticing these issues, order your brake pads right away or make an appointment with your mechanic to get the pads changed.

We’ve also reviewed the best spark plugs and the best car batteries in separate posts to help you find the parts you need to keep your car (or motorcycle) running like a dream.

Top pick
Power Stop Z23-1650 Z23 Evolution Sport

Carbon-fused ceramic technology for superior braking power

$41.68 USD

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important features that brake pads should have. Here’s what you should consider when making a purchase.

  • Size and shape. Your vehicle will require that you use a certain size and shape of brake pads. Even if you are not experienced in purchasing brake pads, you can type your make and model into the Amazon page that comes up when you look for brake pads, and the internal search engine will provide you with recommendations. Do not purchase brake pads if you aren’t sure that they will fit your car or motorcycle properly.
  • Material. Brake pads come in several different materials, including organic, semi-metallic, metallic, carbon fiber, and ceramic. You should understand the different applications for all of these and choose the brake pads that make sense depending on how you are using your vehicle. For example, organic brake pads often offer a long life but they are not recommended for vehicles that will be towing a trailer. For heavy use like that, ceramic or fully metallic brakes are usually recommended.
  • Cost. While this should not be your primary consideration, you will need to replace your brake pads in a way that matches your budget. Usually, organic brake pads are the cheapest and ceramic are the most expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are brake pads and how do they work?

Brake pads are the part of the braking system that applies the pressure and friction necessary to bring your car or motorcycle to a stop. The way they work is by pressing together against the vehicle’s rotors. As the brake rotor squeezes, it brings the wheel of the vehicle to a stop.

How many different types of brake pads are there?

The main types of brake pads are semi-metallic, non-asbestos organic (NAO), low-metallic NAO, and ceramic. They are used for different applications. For example, semi-metallic brake pads are very durable but might not hold up well in extremely cold temperatures. Ceramic brakes last longer but are more expensive.

Which brake pad material is best?

It depends on the driving conditions and on your budget. If you will be putting a lot of stress on your brakes because you are towing a trailer, for example, you might want to consider ceramic brake pads because they last longer. On the other hand, if you aren’t going to be putting a lot of stress on your brakes and you have a small budget, organic brakes might be fine for what you are looking for.

Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?

No. Ceramic brake pads can handle high brake temperatures and produce less dust, which, in turn, creates less wear on both the pads and the rotors. Ceramic brake pads are a great choice for most applications and they will not damage or wear the rotors faster than the other types of brake pads.

Other Brake Pads We Reviewed

Top pick
Power Stop Z23-1650 Z23 Evolution Sport

Carbon-fused ceramic technology for superior braking power

$41.68 USD

We looked at 20 other brake pads. While they didn’t make our top 5 list, they are still great choices to consider when purchasing brake pads for your car or motorcycle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is with each listings. Do keep in mind that you need to check to see whether a brake pad you’re considering is compatible with your vehicle.

Ceramic Brake Pads

ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

ACDelco Professional Ceramic Brake Pads

These ceramic front disc brake pads allow for proper pad movement, are protected against premature wear, and offer safety and reliability for a variety of applications.

Key Features:

  • Tested for assurance of braking effectiveness, noise, and durability
  • Molded friction material bonded to backing plate
  • Premium shims, slots and chamfers diminish noise and vibration.

Cost: $40

Akebono EUR918 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set

Akebono EUR918 EURO Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set

These brake pads are the ultimate upgrade if you currently have semi-metallic, low-metallic, or organic pads. The Ultra Quiet system controls noise and vibration.

Key Features:

  • Very rotor friendly
  • Designed for European vehicles
  • European braking performance

Cost: $75

Centric 105.034 Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pad with Shims

Centric 105.034 Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pad with Shims

The process used to compress the friction material of these posi-quiet ceramic brake pads is the most advanced process available today, resulting in excellent fit and superior noise control.

Key Features:

  • Precision cut backing plates ensure proper fit
  • Stable performance across wide temperature range
  • Mechanically attached, application-specific shims for better noise control

Cost: $25

KFE Ultra Quiet Advanced KFE1212-104 Premium Ceramic Rear Brake Pad Set

KFE Ultra Quiet Advanced KFE1212-104 Premium Ceramic Rear Brake Pad Set

These ceramic pads offer the advantages of low noise, less break-in time than other brake pads, a long life, and a no-hassle limited warranty.

Key Features:

  • Dual-rubber wolverine shims reduce vibration and noise
  • Thermo-scorched manufacturing process reduces the break-in time
  • Slots and chamfers extend the brake pad life

Cost: $20

Magneti Marelli by Mopar 2AMV3369AA Brake Pad Set, 2 Pack

Magneti Marelli by Mopar 2AMV3369AA Brake Pad Set, 2 Pack

This two-pack of ceramic brake pads gives users less noise, vibration, and harshness than other pads. The shims are 100% factory-installed, insuring quiet braking with no messy spray.

Key Features:

  • No squeal
  • High-temp lube lasts the whole brake pad life
  • Exclusive friction formula prevents dust

Cost: $60

Power Stop Z26-1405 Z26 Extreme Performance Carbon-Ceramic Brake Pad

Power Stop Z26-1405 Z26 Extreme Performance Carbon-Ceramic Brake Pad

These ceramic brakes are carbon fiber-infused to resist fade up to a very hot 1,500 degrees. The brake torque on these pads is consistently higher than OE pads.

Key Features:

  • New formulation includes carbon fibers
  • Suited for cars with high horsepower
  • Quiet, low-dust formula

Cost: $70

TRW TPC0918 Premium Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

TRW TPC0918 Premium Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

  • Optimum application specific friction material and formulation
  • All applicable hardware accessories included for a professional and safe installation
  • TRW brake pads are slotted and chamfered for superior braking performance
  • Bonded nitrile rubber coated steel shim construction proven more effective at noise damping
  • Designed with an emphasis on dust reduction

Wagner QuickStop ZD1432 Ceramic Disc Pad Set

Wagner QuickStop ZD1432 Ceramic Disc Pad Set

Enjoy optimal stopping performance with little to no noise-causing vibration. These ceramic disc pads include a low-copper formula and lubricant.

Key Features:

  • Low noise
  • Designed for consistent braking and a long life
  • Includes lubricant

Cost: $85

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

ACDelco 14D652M Advantage Semi-Metallic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

ACDelco 14D652M Advantage Semi-Metallic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

The semi-metallic formula on these brake pads provide safety, reliability, and the ability to be installed right out of the box without any curing or machining required.

Key Features: 

  • Basic shims, slots and chamfers for less noise and vibration
  • No braking harshness
  • Wear sensors included

Cost: $20

Bosch BP1108 QuietCast Premium Semi-Metallic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

Bosch BP1108 QuietCast Premium Semi-Metallic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set

The Bosch QuietCast brake pads live up to their name with a rubber core multi-layer shim designed to provide insulation against noise.

Key Features:

  • Low dust formula
  • Advanced aerospace alloy
  • Includes synthetic lubricant

Cost: $30

Motorcraft BRSD1012 Rear Semi Metallic Pad

Motorcraft BRSD1012 Rear Semi Metallic Pad

These brake pads go on without hassle and provide a smooth braking experience. They fit well and they include the stainless steel hardware and springs needed for installation.

Key Features:

  • Includes hardware
  • Easy to install
  • Outstanding fit and finish

Cost: $40

Raybestos PGD1231M Professional Grade Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pad Set

Raybestos PGD1231M Professional Grade Semi-Metallic Disc Brake Pad Set

These professional grade semi-metallic brake pads have been specifically engineered to provide premium performance for everyday driving conditions.

Key Features:

  • Shim materials for less noise and vibration
  • Consistent fit, form, and function
  • Clips and wear sensors included (where applicable)

Cost: $45

Wagner Severe Duty SX1094 Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set

Wagner Severe Duty SX1094 Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set

If you drive in extreme heat, carry heavy loads, or stop frequently, these brake pads are made for severe duty. They feature exceptional pad strength for a long life.

Key Features:

  • Meets or surpasses industry testing
  • Made for heavy duty use
  • Easy to install

Cost: $40

Wagner ThermoQuiet MX1405 Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set

Wagner ThermoQuiet MX1405 Semi-Metallic Disc Pad Set

These semi-metallic disc pads offer quiet performance, superior stopping power, and a long pad life. Check your vehicle; they are compatible with many domestic and foreign vehicles.

Key Features:

  • Available for many different vehicles
  • Extended pad life
  • Reduced noise and vibration

Cost: $45

Motorcycle and ATV Brake Pads

AHL Semi-metallic Front Brake Pads Set

AHL Semi-metallic Front Brake Pads Set

These motorcycle semi-metallic front brake pads deliver a great pedal feel and stand up to high temperatures and various weather conditions.

Key Features:

  • Exceptional stopping power
  • Quality assurance guarantee
  • Pollution free

Cost: $12

EBC Brakes FA196HH Sintered Copper Alloy Disc Brake Pad

EBC Brakes FA196HH Sintered Copper Alloy Disc Brake Pad

For maximum stopping power for your motorcycle, these asbestos-free disc brake pads will stand up to the job. They are designed for a long life.

Key Features:

  • Stainless steel heat radiator plates
  • Unique double segment vented design
  • Great for hot or cold weather

Cost: $28

GOOFIT Rear Disc Brake Pad

GOOFIT Rear Disc Brake Pad

These pads are for ATVs, go-karts, quads, and other recreational vehicles with a 50cc to 125cc horizontal engine. Good stopping power at a value price.

Key Features:

  • Single side brake pad
  • Fits a variety of vehicles; enter your specifics to be sure it will fit yours
  • Good stopping power

Cost $9

Kevlar Carbon Fiber Brake Pads

Kevlar Carbon Fiber Brake Pads

These are replacement front and rear braking pads for certain Honda motorcycles. They offer fingertip control and strong, predictable brake response.

Key Features:

  • Great stopping power
  • No noise or rotor galling
  • Good for all riding conditions

Cost: $28

Polaris New OEM ATV Front Brake Pad Kit

Polaris New OEM ATV Front Brake Pad Kit

If you have a Polaris ATV, motorcycle, snowmobile, or watercraft, this is a great factory part that will result in easy installation and a sure fit.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with certain Polaris vehicles
  • Factory parts; check the part number
  • 30-day warranty

Cost: $60

X-PRO Disc Brake Pad

X-PRO Disc Brake Pad

These brake pads are made for many Chinese 50cc-125cc ATVs and go-karts. These are excellent quality and will provide good stopping power.

Key Features:

  • Top quality guaranteed
  • Universal for most Chinese ATVs and go-karts
  • Mounting hold spacing is 2.7″

Cost: $7

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