10 Best Brake Pad Reviews: Semi-metallic and Ceramic Brake Pad

Best Brake Pad

Being able to stop your vehicle as quickly as possible is extremely important when driving a vehicle. This is the work of the brake pad.

Indeed, the brake pad is one of the most important components of your vehicle and it should always be in a tip-top condition so as to ensure your safety as well as the safety of other road users.

Moreover, a good brake pad will allow you to get more performance from your vehicle, improve your mileage, as well as run your vehicle more efficiently.

If you are planning to change your vehicle brake pad and looking for a quality model, we got you covered.

Below you will find a selection of some of the best brake pads for the money. Let’s see how well they perform!

You can also read other product reviews such as ceramic brake pad, brake rotor, trailer brake controller, brake fluid, brake bleeder kit

10 Best Brake Pad Reviews

Image

Product Name

Position

Material

Rating

Current Price

Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Brake Pad

1. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Brake Pad

Rear

Ceramic

4.3

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Brake Pad

2. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Brake Pad

Front

Ceramic

4.5

Akebono ACT1118 ProACT Ceramic Brake Pad

3. Akebono ACT1118 ProACT Ceramic Brake Pad

Front and rear

Ceramic

4.5

ACDelco 14D699MH Semi-Metallic Brake Pad Set

4. ACDelco 14D699MH Semi-Metallic Brake Pad Set

Front

Semi-metallic

5.0

ACDelco 14D1160CH Brake Pad Set with Hardware

5. ACDelco 14D1160CH Brake Pad Set with Hardware

Front

Ceramic

4.3

Power Stop Z36-1414 Truck and Tow Brake Pad

6. Power Stop Z36-1414 Truck and Tow Brake Pad

Front

Ceramic

4.8

ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Brake Pad

7. ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Brake Pad

Rear

N/A

4.1

EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set

8. EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set

Front

Semi-metallic

4.8

Genuine Toyota 04465-0E010 Brake Pad

9. Genuine Toyota 04465-0E010 Brake Pad

Front and rear

Semi-metallic

3.9

Hawk HB453F.585 HPS Brake Pad

10. Hawk HB453F.585 HPS Brake Pad

Front

HPS

3.8

1. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Brake Pad

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Brake Pad
  • Position: Rear
  • Material: Ceramic

In terms of build quality, very few brake pads can compete with the Bosch BC905. Indeed, this is a ceramic brake pad that is heavy-duty, durable and long-lasting.

Moreover, it has installation against noise so that it is silent even if you are heavy on the brake pedal. It uses a multilayer shim made from rubber that dampens vibrations as well as limits noise. Furthermore, it has a protective layer made from a special material that will extend the life of your rotors.

In addition, this ceramic brake pad does not have any copper so it is compliant with the 2025 copper-free legislation law that prohibits the presence of copper metal in brake pads by the year 2025.

All in all, the Bosch BC905 is one of the best brake pads on the market in terms of build quality, durability, and even price. Indeed, it is an extremely affordable brake pad especially considering its high and a build quality and long lifetime.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Comes with a pack of lube for the tabs
  • Compliant with the 2025 copper-free law
  • Can be used as a heavy-duty brake pad

Cons:

  • None

2. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Brake Pad 

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Brake Pad
  • Position: Front
  • Material: Ceramic

The Wagner QC1083 is a pair of front ceramic brake pads that are affordable and easy to install by even beginners. One of the best things about this brake pad is that it promises to be at 35% quieter when compared to other models on the market.

It is able to do so by using a rubber core shim that dampens the noise and helps promote the lifespan of the brake pad. Additionally, you will experience fewer vibrations with this Wagner brake pad.

Moreover, due to a more efficient design, this brake pad also has 15% more stopping power without damaging your rotors. Therefore, if you usually drive your vehicle by pressing hard on the brake pedal, this is an excellent brake pad for the money.

One of the biggest advantages of this model is that the ceramic is heavy-duty and will not produce dust.

Bottom line is, your wheel is cleaner and will run more efficiently. Due to the fact that this brake pad does not produce dust and will leave your wheels clean, we rate it as the best ceramic brake pad in this review.

Pros:

  • Does not produce dust. Clean wheels
  • Low noise and limits vibrations
  • Durable and long-lasting brake pads
  • Performance does not diminish with high temperatures

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit more competitive

3. Akebono ACT1118 ProACT Ceramic Brake Pad

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Akebono ACT1118 ProACT Ceramic Brake Pad
  • Position: Front and rear
  • Material: Ceramic

In addition, Akebono is not new to the industry and is one of the best brake pad brands on the market. If you need a high-quality brake pad, this is a brand that will not disappoint.

The Akebono ACT1118 is a ceramic brake pad that has an improved design that makes it more efficient. In addition, this model can be used to replace other OEM semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads found in a wide range of vehicles.

One of the distinctive features of this brake pad is its low noise operation and long lifetime. Moreover, due to its efficient design, it has greater stopping power when compared with other ceramic brake pads on the market.

Furthermore, this is one of the few brake pads that does not need a break-in time. You can start using this brake pad right away and it will function at 100%. This is quite rare as most ceramic brake pads require a small breaking time.

Moreover, the design of this brake that is universal so you will be able to fit it on almost any type of vehicles with ease.

Pros:

  • Can be used to replace any OEM semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads
  • Does not require any break-in time
  • Universal design. Will be able to fit on a wide range of vehicles
  • Comes as a set of 4 brake pads for the front and the rear

Cons:

  • Can squeal a little bit in cold temperatures or during reverse

4. ACDelco 14D699MH Semi-Metallic Brake Pad Set

Editor's Rating: (5 / 5)

ACDelco 14D699MH Semi-Metallic Brake Pad Set
  • Position: Front
  • Material: Semi-metallic

ACDelco is another reputable brand. The ACDelco 14D699MH is consistently rated as one of the best semi-metallic brake pads on the market. This model is intended for the front of the vehicles but the company also make one for the rear as well.

In addition, it uses a very simple design that makes it extremely easy to install in almost any type of vehicle where this brake that is compatible. Due to its design, it produces low noise and can be used as a heavy-duty brake pad especially for those who like to press hard on their brake pedal.

Moreover, there is no break-in time with this brake pad and you can start using it right away. But one of the best points about this semi-metallic brake pad is definitely its ultra-affordable price. When compared to other models with almost similar features, the ACDelco 14D699MH is literally unbeatable when it comes to price to performance ratio.

Pros:

  • Good price. Excellent value
  • Does not require any break-in time
  • Will not produce vibrations or squealing orders even if you press hard on the brake pedal

Cons:

  • Not compliant with 2025 copper-free legislation laws

5. ACDelco 14D1160CH Brake Pad Set with Hardware

Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)

ACDelco 14D1160CH Brake Pad Set with Hardware
  • Position: Front
  • Material: Ceramic

Since there are so many brake pad models on the market, it is sometimes difficult to get a quality model that is not only value for money but also durable and long-lasting. Indeed, sometimes manufacturers have to cut corners in making a cheap brake pad.

This is not a problem with the ACDelco 14D1160CH. This brake that is very similar to the ACDelco semi-metallic brake pad found in this brake pad review above. However, this model uses a ceramic material that does not produce any thus and is also extremely durable.

Best of all, this brake that has an excellent resistance to heat so it will not lose any performance even if you drive your vehicle for an extended period of time where the wheels and rotors can get quite hot. We find the same efficient build construction as the previous model and it also has no break-in time.

Moreover, you will not have any problem with vibrations in this model as well. All in all, if you are on a short budget, then this is definitely the best brake pad for the money especially if you are interested in a pair of ceramic pads.                               

Pros:

  • Very affordable. Value for money
  • Does not produce dust. Help keep your wheels clean
  • No need for break-in time

Cons:

  • Can squeal if not installed properly

6. Power Stop Z36-1414 Truck and Tow Brake Pad 

Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)

Power Stop Z36-1414 Truck and Tow Brake Pad
  • Position: Front
  • Material: Ceramic

The Power Stop Z36-1414 was made so as to be a heavy-duty brake pad for big vehicles like SUVs and trucks. This is a ceramic brake pad that has an excellent resistance to heat and will not eat away the rotors even if you press hard on the brake pedal for an extended period of time.

Best of all, this brake pad does not chip away or produce dust which will help in keeping your wheels clean. The stopping power of this brake pad is truly incredible and when installed correctly, it will not produce any squealing noise at all.

Moreover, it has stainless steel shims that dampen vibrations and make this brake pad very quiet. The only caveat we have with this model is that the price could have been a little bit more competitive.

But other than this, it is one of the best brake pads for trucks, especially if you’re looking to replace the OEM brake pad of your truck or SUV.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel shims. Low noise and no vibrations
  • Does not produce dust due to a dust-free formula
  • Performance is not affected by high-temperature

Cons:

  • Works only on trucks and SUVs

7. ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Brake Pad 

Editor's Rating: (4.1 / 5)

ACDelco 171-0999 GM Original Brake Pad
  • Position: Rear
  • Material: N/A

If you own any vehicles made by GM, the ACDelco 171-0999 is a top-rated brake pad. This model works only with GM vehicles and it is extremely beginner friendly to install. The compound used in this brake pad offers excellent friction and will provide excellent performance for any GM vehicle.

Moreover, due to an efficient design, this brake pad by ACDelco is very durable, heavy-duty, and will not produce any noise or vibrations even if you press hard on the brake.

In addition, it comes with all installation accessories that will allow you to get started right away. One of the best things about this model is that it has the same build quality as the original GM brake pads. Which means that they are extremely high-quality and should serve you well.

Pros:

  • High-quality build construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Very easy to install by beginners
  • Diminishes vibrations and very quiet operation

Cons:

  • Works only on GM vehicles
  • The price could have been cheaper

8. EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set 

Editor's Rating: (4.8 / 5)

EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set
  • Position: Front
  • Material: Semi-metallic

The EBC Brakes FA185X is a budget-friendly brake pad made with a semi-metallic material compound. This brake pad has been designed in such a way that it does not produce dust and will help keep your wheels clean even if you drive for an extended period of time.

Moreover, the platform for this brake pad is made from a high-pressure die-cast aluminum which means that it is lightweight as well as very durable. It will not corrode or rust over time. This means that it is long-lasting brake pad.

In addition, you get shoe springs with this brake pad so that you can install it the proper way and will be able to replace any OEM brake pad quite easily.

The only caveat we have with this model that is that there is no mention of the 2025 copper-free law.

Pros:

  • Aluminum platform. Durable and long-lasting
  • Does not produce dust. Will help keep your wheels clean
  • Comes with shoe springs

Cons:

  • No mention of 2025 copper-free law

9. Genuine Toyota 04465-0E010 Brake Pad 

Editor's Rating: (3.9 / 5)

Genuine Toyota 04465-0E010 Brake Pad
  • Position: Front and rear
  • Material: Semi-metallic

This brake pad is a complete brake pad kit intended for both the front and rear wheels. It is a genuine Toyota brake pad that should technically fit any Toyota brand cars. It should be an exact fit and anyone can install it, even absolute beginners.

Moreover, it is made to the same specs as the original brake pad found in Toyota cars and it even has a little bit superior-build quality as well as durability.

In addition, this brake pad will help prevent squealing and is low noise. For those who like to press hard on their brakes, the design of this brake pad will also help diminish vibrations as long as you use it in a Toyota car.

Pros:

  • Not OEM. This is a genuine Toyota brake pad
  • High quality. Durable and long-lasting
  • Exact fit. It will perfectly replace any Toyota brake pad

Cons:

  • The price could have been more competitive

10. Hawk HB453F.585 HPS Brake Pad 

Editor's Rating: (3.8 / 5)

Hawk HB453F.585 HPS Brake Pad
  • Position: Front
  • Material: HPS

For years, this Hawk model has been one of the best brake pads on the market. This is because it uses a high-performance street brake compound or HPS that ensures that it has excellent friction as well as low wear and tear.

This results in a very durable brake pad that also delivers a high performance when necessary. The stopping power of this brake pad is truly astounding, mostly because of the material used in its construction as well as its efficient design.

One of the best things about this brake pad is that the compound will not damage the rotors even if you like to press hard on the brakes. In addition, you will not experience noises like squealing or vibrations using this model.

All in all, even if the price of this Hawk brake pad is quite steep, it is still a good brake pad considering its efficiency, durability and high performance.

Pros:

  • Very durable and long-lasting due to the HPS material used in the construction
  • High-performance. Excellent stopping power
  • Does not damage the rotors
  • No noise and vibrations

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive brake pad

How to Buy a Brake Pad

#1. Types of Brake Pads

There are 2 types of brake pads on the market. The semi-metallic brake pad and the ceramic brake pad. Both have its advantages and disadvantages.

Semi-metallic brake pad: As its name suggests, the semi-metallic brake pad is a combination of metals and nonmetals. In general terms, it has 30% metals like copper, iron and even steel. While the rest contain a mixture of nonmetals.

The main advantage of the semi-metallic brake pad is that it can withstand a lot of heat and is very durable. Thus, this makes it an ideal type of brake pad for those who are heavy on the brakes. Particularly for activities like sports or for the braking system of trucks and over heavy vehicles.

Ceramic brake pad: The ceramic brake pad is a more recent type of brake pad that contains a thick and dense layer of ceramic over the brake pad. While the main advantage of the ceramic brake pad is that it does not produce a lot of dust during braking and will not wear the rotors over time.

However, it is not as heavy duty as a semi-metallic brake pad and therefore, the ceramic brake pad is an excellent type of brake pad for city use or casual driving.

#2. HPS - High-Performance Street Brake Compound

HPS or high-performance street brake compound is a new type of material that has been extensively used in car brake pads mostly because of its low wear and tear and high friction. It is much more efficient than copper used in many semi-metallic brake pads and does not wear the rotors as well.

We recommend that you keep an eye out for this type of compound whenever you purchased a brake pad online as HPS is a superior material compound.

#3. Noise

Due to their design, some brake pads are more efficient than others. If you do not want any type of squealing while pressing on the brake pedal then it is important to go with a model that has an efficient design. Look for terms like “low noise “or “noise-free” to make sure that you are getting a model that produces no noise.

#4. Compatibility

Of course, before purchasing a brake pad, you must ensure that it is compatible with your vehicle. Not all brake pads with fit every vehicle at this is not a universal accessory. Additionally, you should choose an appropriate type of brake paddle based on the type of driving that you do.

For example, if you are usually heavy on the brakes then it is best to go with a semi-metallic brake pad rather than a ceramic brake pad. On the other hand, for casual driving, the ceramic brake that is more affordable and the best brake pad for the money.

#5. Easy to install

Even if the brake pad looks intimidating, it is not very difficult to install. It can take an hour or 2 for the absolute beginner, but it is achievable as long as you have the necessary tools to dismount your braking system.

Pay attention if the manufacturer makes any mention of how easy it is to install the brake pad.

#6. Brand

Since the brake pad is directly responsible for the security of the driver and the security of others, it is important that you go with the best brake pad brand that you can buy. This is because reputable manufacturers put a lot of effort, expertise and use high-quality materials in the construction of their brake pads.

This makes a branded brake pad more heavy-duty, durable and long-lasting when compared to a no-name brake pad. Look for brands like Wagner, EBC, Akebono, ACDelco, amongst others, as they are reputable manufacturers of brake pads.

#7. Price

Even if the brake pad is not a very expensive vehicle component, prices can still quickly get out of hand.

Therefore, we recommend that you make a budget before purchasing the brake pad and try to stick to it. In general terms, you should be able to get a good brake pad between $50 and $100.

How to Install the Brake Pad

How to Install the Brake Pad

At first, installing the brake pad looks intimidating. However, as long as you have the right tool for the job, it is easier than it looks. Here is a stepwise manner on how any beginner can change or install a brake pad in their vehicles.

Step 1 - Gather your tools

You will need a few dedicated tools in order to change your brake pad. Some of the most common tools are:

  • 3/8” ratchet
  • 3/8” breaker bar
  • 1/2” ratchet
  • Hydraulic jack
  • WD-40
  • Hammer

Step 2 - Lift your vehicle

Loosen your wheel lugs so that it is easier to remove your wheel. Note that you may need to use WD-40 to be able to loosen your lugs.

Then, using the hydraulic jack, proceed to lift your vehicle such that the wheels containing the brake pads are in the air. When you have done so, remove your wheels so that you can gain access to the braking system underneath.

Step 3 - Loosen the calipers

Now that you have access to the braking system, you will find a pair of 12 mm or 14 mm bolt securing the caliper to the braking system. You will need to remove the caliper first before replacing the brake pad.

Once you have removed the bolts, the caliper should slide out sideways. If you have difficulty removing the caliper, you can use a hammer to lightly tap on it.

Moreover, you will find another pair of 17 mm or 19 mm (depending on your vehicle) bolts at the rear of the caliper carrier. You will need to remove those bolts in a similar way as you have already done with the caliper.

Step 4 - Remove your old brake pad

Once you have removed your caliper and caliper carrier, you should find your old brake pads exposed. Remove the brake pad from the rotor and inspect it.

Moreover, since the rotor or brake disc is now exposed, it is a good time to remove any rust if present on the rotor. You can use a metallic brush to scrape away the rust. Don’t apply oil or any WD-40 on the rotor.

Step 5 - Install the new brake pad

In a similar way that you have removed your old brake pad, backtrack and replace it with your brand-new brake pad. Additionally, if your brake disc is in bad condition, now is a good time to replace it as well. Once you have installed your new brake pad, tighten the caliper and caliper carrier bolts again.

Then proceed to place your wheels again, tighten the lugs and then descend the vehicles from the hydraulic lift.

Step 6 - Press on the brake pedal

Now that you have installed a new brake pad, switch on your vehicle and put it in neutral.

Then, press a couple times on your brake pedal to align your brake pad to your brake disc correctly.

Moreover, drive the vehicle for a few minutes while pressing on the brake pedal often to ensure that there are no squealing noises and that the brake pads are functioning correctly. 

When to Replace the Brake Pad 

Since the brake pad presses against the brake disc every time you apply the brakes, it suffers from a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, you should replace the brake pad quite often. But when do you replace it, exactly?

  • Regular maintenance: Every time you perform maintenance on your car, you should check your braking system and ensure that your brake pads are in good condition. We recommend that you perform a car maintenance and brake pad checkup every 5000 miles just to be safe.
  • Squealing noises: If you sometimes hear squealing noises when applying the brakes then there is a high possibility that your brake pads shims have worn down. Moreover, debris and dust may also get between your brake pad and brake disc thus closing this squealing noise. In any case, you should open your brake system to check and replace the brake pad if necessary.
  • Noisy and jittery braking: A noisy breaking system is generally caused by the brake pad. Moreover, if you press on the brake pedal and it becomes jittery then this also indicates a problem with the brake pad. Either the brake pads have thinned down or they are misaligned.
  • Thin brake pads: If you notice that your brake pads are thin then you should replace it immediately. Driving a car with a thin brake pad is a hazard and very dangerous.
  • Warning indicator lights: Modern cars have an ECU system that constantly monitors the status of your car and alert you whenever it detects a problem. It monitors the braking system as well. If you notice a warning light on your car dashboard concerning your brakes, then you need to open your brake system immediately and check your brake pads.

Conclusion

As we have seen, the brake pad is a vital component of your vehicle. You should always buy the highest quality brake pad for your vehicle as your safety and the safety of others will depend on it.

Sure, you can always ask a workshop or a professional mechanic to do it for you. However, changing the brake pads in your car is an interesting DIY project and is simpler than it looks as long as you have the necessary tools.

Finally, our brake pad review above contains some high-quality models that you may want to consider. If you’re still not sure which model of brake pad to go with, we recommend you read it again.

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