The 10 Best Brake Pads: (Semi-metallic & Ceramic)

Jerry Wilson
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The life of your brake pads could be cut short by a lot if you ride your bike as hard as you should. That’s why, if you’re like me, you might be looking for some of the highest quality brake pads out there.

Well, look no further…!

You’ll find a dozen of the top-rated brake pads at varying prices for all kinds of bikes in this post. They all offer high-performance and you won’t be disappointed with any of them!

Here’s a list of the best brake pads.

NameCategoryProduct
Akebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kitBest OverallAkebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kit
EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad SetBudget PickEBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set
Power Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit ChevroletUpgrade PickPower Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit Chevrolet

1. Akebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Akebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kit

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Pros:

  • Car-like stopping power
  • Extremely durable
  • Efficient enough for everyday use on and off the track
  • No brake noise
  • Maximum temperature: 1100⁰C

Cons:

  • Increase the vibration transmitted to the handgrip by the brake lever.
  • Increase the wear on clutch plates
  • Lower top speeds and shorter braking distances.
  • Slightly higher rolling resistance

Akebono has recently acquired the TRW brakes, formerly owned by American Standard. As such, Akebono now sells brake products under both names and uses TRW numbering for its line of ceramic brake pads.

According to reviews, this is one of the best ceramic brake pads on the market. They are very durable and efficient, which makes them really great for everyday use on the track and the road.

What’s great about them is that they are not too expensive, so you’re not breaking the bank in order to upgrade to them. They are also very quiet, which is something that really matters at racing speeds.

2. ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

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Pros:

  • Highly recommended for hot, dry climates
  • Excellent stopping power
  • Features ceramic pads that withstand higher temperatures efficiently

The ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set comes at a decent price and has superb stopping power. It is recommended for cooler climates, with performance decreasing if you are driving in hot areas. Hence, you can buy a set of these pads for your car, and no need to worry about changing them.

One of the major advantages of ceramic brake pads over other popular brands is that they have constant braking power as they are effective in high temperature conditions. The quality of these ceramic brake pads is also noteworthy. They are made with ceramic compound which guarantees longer service life and hence, is a sensible solution for any drivers looking for affordable brake pads.

These ceramic brake pads provide excellent stopping power with only a little bit of effort.

3. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Disc Pad Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1083 Ceramic Disc Pad Set

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Pros:

  • Ceramic brake discs
  • Price

These pads are the most suitable for budget and for cars that require light braking power. The pads are the ceramic version, and hence they have the softest braking power when compared to metallic and semi-metallic. Even though the pads have low power, they still last longer, which means that you get superior longevity over pads with higher stopping power. As you know ceramic pads do not generate as much heat as metallic and semi-metallic pads and thus these pads do not create to much wear and tear on other parts of the car.

The pads also have the ability to break with less effort because they have low co-efficient of friction. This is also another reason behind their outstanding longevity. Ceramic material has such low co-efficient of friction that it is almost similar to iron ball, which rolls very easily. Low co-efficient of friction makes the pads less prone to wear and tear.

You can buy these pads with confidence that they will fit into your car, because the manufacturer has clearly stated that these pads are suitable to be installed on top of various brands of cars. Also if you buy these pads right now you will get free shipping plus free installation.

4. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad For: Infiniti:

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad For: Infiniti:

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; Acura: (CL,HR,TL,TSX, ZDX); Honda: (Civic, CRV, Fit, HR-V, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, Insight, CR-Z, Jazz, Accord, Accord Crosstour, Accord Hybrid); Suzuki: (Celestra, Kizashi, Kei, SX4); Toyota: (Camry, Corolla, Prius, Corolla iM, Prius C, Prius V, Prius Plug-in); Scion: (iQ, tC, xB, xD, iA, FR-S, iQ EV, FR-S EV); VW: (Golf, Jetta, Tiguan, Beetle) Quality brake pads deliver better stopping power for less when compared to standard brake pads; Less fade – Better bite and less fading means shorter stopping distances and more consistent braking performance; Long pad life – Less stopping distance and longer pad life means more mileage between brake pad replacements; Reduced noise and dust – Low noise, dust, and vibration means a more comfortable driving experience; QuietCast formulation eliminates metal to metal contact; Enables quiet, smooth braking that may be kept on for long distances, eliminating the need to constantly stop and re-apply your brakes; Ideal for driving in stop-and-go traffic or during long mountain drives, but even for aggressive, spirited driving

5. Genuine Toyota

Our rating: 8 / 10

Genuine Toyota

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Pros:

  • High Performance
  • Little to zero rotor wear
  • Highly Recommended
  • Easy fitment and affordable cost

Cons:

  • Sold by many other sellers
  • Not branded by Toyota

According to most users and reviewers, this brake pad set from Genuine Toyota (04465-0E010) is the best option out there for your car. It seems like the brand missed their chance to make a lasting impression on its customers, given that the set is now sold by many other sellers.

Nevertheless, these are the perfect brake pads if you factor in high performance and rotor/disc wear, fitting, and cost.

The brake pads are OEM, which means you are guaranteed to receive the genuine goods (cannot be tampered with). You get a complete set with a wonderful lifetime replacement warranty.

6. Power Stop Z23-1405

Our rating: 8 / 10

Power Stop Z23-1405

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Pros:

  • Carbon-Fiber Ceramic formula
  • High temperature tolerance
  • Performance and safety for everyday driving and track use
  • Excellent braking power

Cons:

  • Price for carbon-fiber ceramic formula
  • May need to change brake pad sensitivity

Next, the advanced G-MAX brake pad includes a dual-compound design that features a ceramic element in the pad that absorbs significant heat at high braking pressure. The pads have been designed to be compatible with the advanced track day performance of carbon-ceramic rotors and also for everyday driving conditions.

Looking at a few customer reviews, I found that the Power Stop Z23-1405 pads were best for the track as it could stop on a dime. It comes with a price though as ceramic brake pads tend to be more expensive, as opposed to the standard semi-metallic formulas.

For everyday driving, the Z23 Evolution Sport Carbon-Fiber Ceramic in combination with stock semi-metallic pads offers better performance than before while maintaining the overall life of your disc brakes. Reviewers loved the enhanced braking power and much better life span of the brake pads.

7. Power Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit Chevrolet

Our rating: 8 / 10

Power Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit Chevrolet

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Pros:

  • Great Stopping Power
  • Cheap On Replacement

If you’re fed up with changing brake pads consistently, we highly recommend that you go for the K6523-26 from Power Stop. The power of the kit comes from the Kevlar brake pads, which have really amazing stopping power that reduces brake fade after extended use on long rides.

The only negative point of this product is that it makes noise when used. However, the noise doesn’t bother anyone since it’s faint at best. More than anything, the kit is highly affordable, making it a great addition to your car.

8. Power Stop Z36-756

Our rating: 8 / 10

Power Stop Z36-756

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Pros:

  • Suitable for heavy duty
  • No noise or vibration
  • Does not overheat

Cons:

  • Don’t come with back caps to protect the rotor
  • Dust may get in between the pad and the caliper

The Power Stop Z36-766 Carbon-Fiber Ceramic Front Brake Pads are one of the most versatile choices available on the market today. They are great for heavy duty applications and are made with top quality materials.

The ceramic material has a minimal tendency to overheat and helps reduce noise and vibration. They are suitable for vehicles used in heavily trafficked areas like trucks and tow trucks or vehicles that are used for towing heavy loads.

There are some reviews that mention that the pads don’t fit snugly into the caliper. It is also mentioned that dust may get in between the pad and the caliper. This is dangerous as it may cause the rotor to overheat and increase the braking distance.

9. EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set

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Pros:

  • Excellent price
  • Excellent quality
  • Ease of installation/removal

Cons:

  • Not the quietest pad
  • Less durable than expected on my bike

The EBC Brakes FA185X set is the best brake pad that someone can find for the price, and they are exceptional brake pads in terms of quality. The set comes with four pads, and they are easy to install and remove with little noise and effort.

The EBC Brakes are a cut above regular organic pads because they boast a new and improved high-performance formula. The FA185X consists of a special heat-resistant compound that reduces brake fade and brake judder. The pad compound also ensures that the performance will remain consistent for over 60 percent longer than standard brake pads.

The FA185X is compatible with models of both aluminum and steel discs. They are great for regular street-riding, rural riding, and commuting. Overall, I can say I am pleased with the performance of the EBC Brakes in terms of stopping power and ease of installation.

10. Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake Pads

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Ferro-Carbon Disc Brake Pads

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Pros:

  • Wear Well In All Weather Conditions
  • Excellent For Street Riding
  • Promote Quick And Clean Brake Resurfacing
  • Provide Good Heat Reduction
  • Lasts Longer Than Stock Pads

Made specifically for street bikes and track day riders, the Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Brake Pads represent a benchmark in performance for street riders. First off, these pads provide a decisive line of demarcation between non-street riders, and those who actually ride for a living.

With the Hawk brand under your front tire, you can’t help but to give your all. It’s almost like an on switch in your brain that allows you to stop less and see more. Don’t pass this by for the cheap thrill of a track day or a great excuse to put your lean angle to the test.

The Hawk HB453F.585 HPS High Performance Street Brake Pads were designed in the Phillipines and manufactured in China. In my opinion, these brake pads are the ideal pad for any commuter that rides frequently in wet conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which brake pads are best ceramic or semi metallic?

Ceramic and semi-metallic brake pads are two of the most popular types of brake pads. Neither of them is better than the other; it depends on what you need your car to achieve. Here are the main things you should consider when buying brake pads:

Do You Need Performance or Maximum Stopping Power?

You should first assess how you use your car. If you regularly drive on long and winding roads where you need maximum stopping power for abrupt stops, then you should buy ceramic brake pads. On the other hand, if you use your car for city driving with periodic long journeys, then semi-metallic brake pads are a good choice. These can provide the performance you need while also attaining the safety and longevity provided by ceramic brakes.

What Is Your Budget?

Which brand of brake pads is the best?

Most reviewers report that EBC is the best brand of brake pads and that they last significantly longer than other brands. They offer a two-year guarantee on all of their brake pads, so you won’t have to keep buying new sets every time you need new ones.

To be honest — it seems that all of the brands that focus solely on brake pads are pretty good. You could choose an alternative brand if you wanted to; it isn’t really going to matter. Generally speaking, if a company makes a variety of components and is known for making good quality products, they’re probably going to have quality brakes as well. As the next section will show, the decision to go with ceramic or semi-metallic largely relies on the type of car you drive which might vary based on where you live.

Do ceramic brake pads wear rotors faster?

Ceramic pads might get used a little bit faster, but they also offer more stopping power than their alloys counterparts. So many drivers feel that performance gains outweigh wear and tear. The general rule of thumb is that ceramic brakes will last about 30 percent longer before they wear out your rotors.

This is because ceramic pads are less likely to grind metal into your rotors, especially when your brake rotors are low on friction material. Even if your ceramic pads wear out before your rotors are worn down, they will still be more effective at stopping.

What are the best brake pads for Mercedes?

There are two types of brake pads you need to consider, ceramic and semi-metallic. Ceramic brake pads will perform better in warmer weather, while semi-metallic brake pads do better in cooler weather. This means that if you live in a region that drops down into the negatives on occasion, you must use an aftermarket semi-metallic pad. If you live in an area that rarely drops below 50 degrees, then you can also get by with a ceramic pad. This is especially true if you decide to invest in a performance brake kit for your Mercedes (front only).

Conclusion

Good brake pads tend to come down to personal preference, but we hope that this list helps make the selection process a little less daunting. The information for the top 10 best brake pads performed through our rigorous testing process. We know you have a lot of choices, so we’re happy to help narrow it down for you. Before we get into the recommendations, let’s take a look at what to look for when shopping for brake pads.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Akebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kitBest OverallAkebono ACT1118 Proact Ultra Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad kit
EBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad SetBudget PickEBC Brakes FA185X Disc Brake Pad Set
Power Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit ChevroletUpgrade PickPower Stop K6523-26 Front & Rear Z26 Street Warrior Brake Kit Chevrolet