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What are The Best Brake Pads?

The evolution of brake pads

Organic brake pads


  • Soft, quiet, easy on brake rotors
  • Don’t require much heat to generate good friction
  • Produce less dust than metallic pads/li>
  • Low manufacturing cost
  • Suitable for normal driving/commuting across many environments
  • Perfect for every day vehicles and drivers


  • Only operate well within a relatively limited temperature range
  • Wear out quickly compared to other types of brake pads
  • High compressibility – can cause “mushy” brake pedal-feel
  • Will quickly lose their coefficient of friction when overheated
  • Not at all suitable for performance driving

Semi-metallic brake pads


  • Dramatically increased braking performance over organic pads
  • Have a much higher thermal threshold due to metallic content
  • Still provide good cold bite
  • Have a much wider operating range (temperature)
  • Low compressibility — will provide a firmer brake pedal feel
  • Much more resistant to brake fade than organic pads
  • Numerous compounds available — suitable for anything, from daily street-driving to extreme track use


  • Tend to be noisier than organic or ceramic pads
  • Produce more brake dust
  • More abrasive than other types of pads — will wear brake rotors more quickly
  • More expensive than organic pads (but generally cheaper than ceramic)
  • Require careful and proper bedding-in for best performance

Ceramic brake pads


  • Quieter than semi-metallic pads, they emit noises that are above the range of human hearing
  • Produce finer, lighter-colored brake dust which does not stick to wheels
  • Longer lifespan than organic or semi-metallic
  • Stable under a wide range of temperatures for consistent performance


  • Typically, the most expensive type of brake pad
  • Do not produce as much cold bite as semi-metallic pads — may not be ideal in extremely cold climates
  • Do not absorb heat as well as semi-metallic pads, which can increase brake system temperatures
  • Good all-around braking characteristics, but were never designed as heavy-duty or racing brake pads

Braking is a compromise

Daily Driver Brake Pads

Good Good SHOP NOW Wagner Brake Pads "Pads are so close to oem but a fraction of oem cost, Overall a good value"
Better Better SHOP NOW TruXP Ceramic Brake Pads "Brake pads work as advertised. Good pads for a daily driver. Good stopping performance."
Best Best SHOP NOW Posi Quiet Ceramic Pads "These pads are really worth the money, fast shipping, great price and a great product."

Performance Driving Brake Pads

Good Good SHOP NOW StopTech Street Pads "They fit as described, don't make a sound and stop on a dime"
Better Better SHOP NOW Power Stop Z36 Pads "Power Stop pads great for all vehicles on wet, dry,snow or icy roads."
Best Best SHOP NOW EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads "High Performance but low price compared with other brands"

Heavy Duty / Towing Brake Pads

Good Good SHOP NOW Hawk Superduty Brake Pads "I was looking for a solid set of pads to put on my truck. These seem to fit the bill."
Better Better SHOP NOW Power Stop Truck & Tow "With this pad, my tundra has no brake fade and stops quicker pulling a 26' travel trailer."
Best Best SHOP NOW EBC Yellow Stuff Pads "Great quality. Smooth breaking. Shorter stops. Very high quality."