If your car needs new brakes, you can’t go wrong with these brake pads

We can all agree that there is an undeniable correlation between horsepower and stopping power. What goes fast needs to be able to stop fast. A component often neglected are the brake pads. They are an important component of a car’s brakes since they transform kinetic energy into thermal through friction. Because of this, eventually, they eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Since the aftermarket is vast for such parts, both in terms of brands and types, finding the ideal option for you might be difficult. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the best brake pads on the market.

Brembo Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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When it comes to brakes, few brands have a reputation like the one of Brembo. This goes especially for their more performance-oriented products. Brembo’s brake pads are designed for optimal braking power, even in more extreme driving conditions. Because of this, you can expect reduced braking distance, coupled with consistent performance and quiet work. Many of the company’s products feature Brembo’s multi-layer ESE (elastomer – steel – elastomer) signature red shim, so you know you’re getting a Brembo product. This shim also helps dampen the noise and minimizes vibrations.

The majority of products offered by Brembo are ceramic brake pads, created through an Original Equipment Direct Molding Pressing Process. This allows for accurate and proper fitment for your vehicle. This process uses extreme pressure to compress friction materials, providing a balanced bonding to the backing plate. Afterward, Brembo puts their pads through a thermal scorching process to lessen running-in and fading.

  • Leave it
    • Can be expensive
    • A good amount of brake dust

NRS Brakes Galvanized Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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Galvanized steel is a rarity in the brake pad world, and this is exactly why these NRS Galvanized Brake Pads are on the list. The brand has a very long history of supplying manufacturers with high-grade products. Nowadays, those products are available to the public as well. This means that NRS Brakes pads are available in various sizes, for various vehicles. Moreover, the pads are galvanized, which means the entire steel is covered with zinc which fights off corrosion. NRS Brakes’ galvanized steel ensures that the steel does not deteriorate. This means, the NRS brake pads the longest-lasting currently on the market. They also use the patented SHARK-Metal technology instead of a simple adhesive, to mechanically attach the friction pad to the plate. In addition, NRS tests their brake pads beyond the standard OEM requirements.

  • Leave it
    • Can be expensive

Wagner QuickStop Ceramic Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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From Wagner comes an offer you might be interested in if you are looking for good brake pads on a budget. Wagner’s QuickStop brake pads feature an application-specific design to help reduce noise-causing vibration. Moreover, being ceramic brake pads, they offer great performance, for the price. They also feature low quantities of copper, making them compliant with the latest requirements regarding copper content.

All Wagner products from the QuickStop line feature a 100% post-cured process. Essentially, you get even friction throughout the life of the brake pad. With every package comes an OE-style lubricant for installation. Whether it’s front or rear brake pads, Wagner brake pads not only offer some of the best bang for the buck but are also some of the best ceramic pads on the market.

  • Leave it
    • Some complaints of brake dust
    • Odd smell during the break-in period

Bosch QuietCast Premium Ceramic Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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Bosch is another big name associated with the automotive industry. Their large portfolio also includes brake pads. The Bosch QuietCast are premium ceramic brake pads. They are an exceptional choice, especially if you are about to change your rear brake pads. Bosch has a proven record with regards to quality, across their entire portfolio and supplies a lot of manufacturers with various components. These pads are engineered with great stopping power in mind. In addition, they are quiet and produce little brake dust.

A heated and pressure-cured shim further contributes to the low noise levels, while increasing strength and resistance against corrosion. The performance aspect of the pads is enhanced by the use of aluminum-based alloy used in aerospace engineering. This also makes them the best brake pads for towing, out of all our entries. Moreover, the low copper content, the pads are already compliant with the 2025 Copper Free legislation.

  • Leave it
    • Some complaints of squealing

Centric Posi Quiet Ceramic Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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Another entry featuring ceramic brake pads, this time from Posi. From Centric is these Posi. Precision cut and shaved plates result in reduced noise and vibration. The friction material is compressed using extreme pressure, resulting in more consistent wear through greater material density. Mechanically attached shims, which are application-specific, are included in every kit. Moreover, through a scorching process, any impurities are forced out of the friction material.

  • Leave it
    • No instructions wear sensor installation process

Power Stop Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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When it comes to pure stopping power, performance brake pads are often considered to be the best type of brake pads you can possibly get. With this in mind, Power Stop Z23 Evolution is one of the best offers out there, especially if you need to replace the front brake pads of your vehicle. With a carbon-fiber-infused ceramic formula, power-coated backing plate, and rubberized shims, these pads offer superior performance, extended life, and low noise levels. In addition, these performance brake pads have greater temperature tolerance and have much greater fade resistance than their normal counterparts. Each kit includes a ceramic brake lubricant.

  • Leave it
    • Slightly expensive than normal ceramic brake pads

Bosch Blue Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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Our second entry from the Bosch brand, the Blue Brake Pads feature an advanced NAO ceramic and semi-metallic formula for its friction material for optimal performance. Superior noise-dampening is achieved thanks to OE-style multi-layer shims. Moreover, a protective coating protects from rust. The kit also includes a synthetic lubricant. This entry is great for an everyday driver, as it offers good performance at an affordable price. Moreover, you have Bosch’s products backed up by rigorous testing and optimization.

  • Leave it
    • Tight fit on some applications
    • Low amounts of lubricant

KFE Ultra Quiet Advanced Premium Ceramic Brake Pads

Best Brake Pads
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These ceramic brake pads from KFE come with a no-hassle limited warranty while delivering solid performance and very low noise levels. Dual-rubberized shims reduce vibration noise to a minimum, while chamfered edges and long-life slots enhance the pad’s longevity and further reduces noise levels. They also offer a solid brake bite and need less break-in time. Moreover, KFE’s ceramic brake pads are a 100% asbestos-free and meet the 2021 national standard material safety standards. Overall, KFE’s entry is another good all-rounder.

  • Leave it
    • Limited application
    • More brake dust than some other entries

Q & A

Who makes the best brake pads?

Out of our entries, Brembo, NRS, and Bosch are among the most consistent and recognized names in the industry, boasting an impressive portfolio with proven quality.

What are the best brake pads?

It largely depends on the purpose. When it comes to pure performance Brembo are second to none. It’s no surprise, many car manufacturers use them as a supplier for their brake systems. That said, other viable alternatives exist.

What type of brake pads are best?

Galvanized semi-metallic brake pads are the best, in terms of performance and longevity. They can also withstand the most amount of punishment.

Are expensive brake pads worth it?

Yes. Manufacturers spend a lot of resources on the development and refinement of their products, and although you still pay for the brand, in most cases you also get the corresponding quality.

What’s the difference between expensive and cheap brake pads?

Generally, the more expensive pads consist of better materials, better protective coating, or advanced technology that is not mainstream down the line. However, mid-tier brake pads do a good enough job for most everyday drivers.

What are brake pads made of?

There are three main types of brake pads. Organic brake pads have no more than 20% metal in them. The second type is ceramic brake pads, and the last – semi-metallic pads, which comprise of metal and sometimes feature a protective coating against rust.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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