10 Best Brake Pads, Rotors and Calipers (for Safety and Performance)

(Updated on November 25, 2019)

At this time, we will share useful information about the best and recommended high performance of car brake pads, brake rotors and calipers. Let’s find the suitable brake pads, rotors and calipers for your car, so that you can improve the braking performance and durability.

Top 10 Best Brake Pads

The disc braking system of an automobile is comprised of brake pads and disc brake rotors. A rotor is the circular component that is attached to a wheel. As the wheel spins, its rotor spins too. The brake pad is the component which presses against the rotor to slow down the wheel.

Each time you step on the brake pedal, the brake pads of your vehicle are pressing against the corresponding brake rotors. This is how the vehicle is able to slow down and stop.

Brake pads are not all made the same. Some are made from different materials than others. In most cases, there are steel backing plates on the brake pads which have friction material.

This friction material is what presses against the rotating disc. The quality of the material will depend on how long it lasts. For this reason, you need to choose the best brake pads for your vehicle’s braking system.

Below are 10 of the best brake pads for cars and trucks. This should help you decide for yourself.

1) Akebono ProACT ACT787 Ultra-Premium Brake Pads

The Akebono ProACT ACT 787 Ultra-Premium brake pads are ceramic pads that are certified by the Department of Transportation. Out of all the OEM brake pads on the market, the Akebono ProAct Ultra-Premium is the best.

Each time you step on the brake pedal, your brakes will work faster, make fewer sounds, and reduce vibrations. In other words, braking will be a smooth experience without all the squealing and delayed reaction time.

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2) Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A

The innovative Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A ceramic brake pads have gained a reputation for not having any copper. The name “ThermoQuiet” was given for a reason. These brake pads reduce the common squealing noises by 35%.

Not only that, their ability to stop the vehicle is improved by 15% as well. Best of all, the brake pads have a long lifespan because they don’t wear down easily. There is installation hardware included with this brake pad set. However, be aware that these brake pads won’t fit on all vehicles.

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3) Akebono ProACT ACT914 Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pads

The Akebono ProACT ACT914 Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pads are designed to be used as soon as you take them out of their packaging. You don’t need to break them in like you would with other brake pads. They will perform superbly as soon as they are installed.

You can use these brake pads with more than 400 different car models. And even though they are durable and won’t wear down so easily, they will also go easy on your rotors as well. This means your rotors will last longer too.

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4) Akebono ACT537 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Pads

The Akebono ACT537 ProACT is an Ultra-Premium set of ceramic brake pads which will give you a great deal of stopping power. These brake pads are also quite versatile, which means they can handle a lot of different road conditions and situations that require you to brake.

In addition, there is reduced dust generated as well as less noise. This means no more annoying vibrations in the cabin and squealing noises from the brakes. Now, braking can be a smooth experience at an affordable price.

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5) Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium

The Bosch BC905 QuietCast is a premium set of brake pads which have “Molded Shim technology” integrated into them. This technology is designed to increase the longevity of the brakes and to keep them stable during their use.

The brake lubricant that comes with this premium set will help ensure that you have a quieter braking experience. The only downside is there are no sensors included.

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6) ACDelco 14D1159CH Advantage

The ALDelco 14D1159CH Advantage are affordable brake pads that are compatible with most cars on the road. Most people purchase these brake pads as OEM brake pad replacements.

They are easy to install as soon as you open their packaging and take them out. Thanks to the simplicity of their shims, you will experience smooth braking and less vibrations and sounds.

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7) Wagner ThermoQuiet QC787

The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC787 brake pad set has a 1-piece patented design with laser-shaped friction technology which allows it to go easy on your brake calipers. Not only does this mean reduced sounds and vibrations, it also means your brake pads will last a long time as well.

Although these are affordable brake pads, they are not the best for hard braking situations. Overall, the ThermoQuiet QC787 is a better alternative to OEM brake pads.

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8) Brembo P83024N Ceramic Disc Brake Pads

The Brembo P83024N Ceramic Disc Brake Pads are extra thick and perform better than a lot of the common semi-metallic pads out there. When you step on the brake pedal, your vehicle will stop quietly and without much dust left behind.

These brake pads might be a bit expensive, but they are easy to install and perform as well as you would want them to.

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9) EBC Brakes DP31210C RedStuff Ceramic Brake Pad

EBC Brakes DP31210C are ceramic brake pads which have a great design to them. A lot of luxury vehicles tend to use these brake pads, especially those from Europe. This means they can brake very quickly without producing too much dust or noise. They are often recommended for European imported vehicles.

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10) Toyota Genuine Parts Brake Pad

The Toyota Genuine Parts Brake Pad is made for Toyota vehicles, but they are worth mentioning on this list because of their performance quality. If you have a Toyota vehicle and you’re looking for a set of brake pads that were manufactured by Toyota, then this brake pad set is the best around. It will give you smooth braking and performance. The only downside is the higher price.

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Read also: The Minimum and Recommended Brake Pad Thickness in Your Car

Top 10 Best Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are also referred to as brake discs. In any disc braking system, each wheel will have a brake rotor with a brake pad attached to it. The rotor basically looks like a flat circular steel component. The interior of the wheel contains a rod which is attached to the brake rotor. The rod allows the wheel and rotor to be linked together.

When you step on the brake pedal with your foot, this causes the brake pads to press against the spinning rotors of your wheels. The friction generated from this compression will cause the wheels to slow down and eventually stop. You cannot have a working brake system without good quality brake rotors.

Of course, there are many kinds of brake rotors available on the market. Some are better quality than others, so it is important that you choose the right ones for your vehicle. That way, you and the rest of your passengers can remain safe. The last thing you’ll want to happen is to have braking issues while you’re driving on the road.

Below are the top 10 best car brake rotors available today.

1) ACDelco 18A925A Brake Rotor

The ACDelco 18A925A is made to be a front brake rotor in your vehicle. It is comprised of several different alloys which make it resistant to heat. In addition, the alloys give the rotor more smoothness and durability in its operation.

Since it is a thick rotor, it can balance your vehicle just fine without the assistance of any other components. Its thick nature is the reason why it is a front rotor. There are different sizes available to accommodate your specific model car.

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2) DuraGo Brake Rotor

If you normally drive in tough environments with a lot of rain and humidity, the DuraGo Brake Rotor is the best choice for you. This rotor has a special electrophoretic finish that prevents corrosion and rust. The finish is a salt coating which gets sprayed onto the rotor to make it durable and resistant to the environment around it.

There are no unnatural chemicals used in this finish either. Best of all, the brake rotor comes pre-machined which means all you need to do is install the rotor.

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3) ACDelco 18A1705 Disc Brake Rotor

The ACDelco 18A1705 Disc Brake Rotor can be used on either the left or right side of your vehicle. This brake rotor has undergone numerous tests and has been proven to provide superior balance and smoothness in its braking performance.

It is also designed to be quite durable and heat resistant, which means less wear, vibrations, and sounds. This is definitely a reliable rotor that you can trust.

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4) Wagner BD125669E E-Coated Brake Rotor

The Wagner BD125669E features an e-shield coating which gives the brake rotor some extra protection from things like corrosion and rust. If you live in a location which has a lot of rain and nasty weather conditions, this brake rotor model will come in handy.

There is also a vapor corrosion inhibitor bag that reduces the amount of time it takes to install the rotor. The only downside is the expense.

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5) ACDelco 18A876A Brake Rotor

The ACDelco 18A876A is very versatile and can be used in numerous different types of cars and models. You won’t need side weights to balance the car because the rotor is designed to provide this balance already.

You will save plenty of money because of this. And since more airflow can reach the brake rotor, there will be less heat generated. There are certain settings you can make which reduce the sounds too.

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6) ACDelco 18A1585A Brake Rotor

The ACDelco 18A1585A Brake Rotor are made for the front wheels of your car. They contain several alloys which create awesome braking power when you need it. The alloys all serve a different purpose. But they work together to reduce heat and increase durability.

Once again, no side weights are needed for balancing. You won’t have any issues adjusting or fitting the brake rotor either.

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7) Centric 121.61093

The Centric 121.61093 is a brake rotor which has front ventilation and finishing that is not directional. It won’t take long to break in this rotor. This gives your vehicle the proper kind of braking strength it needs to slow down quickly.

The brake rotor is OE approved and includes an instructional manual which explains how to easily install the brake rotor yourself.

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8) Raybestos 56631R Disc Brake Rotor

The Raybestos 56631R is another high-quality brake rotor with non-directional finishing. Its metallurgy technology gives your vehicle more balance and stability on the road. In addition, the brake rotor is designed to be rust resistant and comply with SAE standards.

Overall, the brake rotor is compatible with most light trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars. They should work well on most types of road conditions.

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9) Centric 120.40021 Brake Rotor

The Centric 120.40021 Brake Rotor is comprised of many elements which give it the durability it needs to perform well and last a very long time. In fact, its durability can be largely attributed to the “e-coating” on the brake rotor. This is a special coating which makes the brake rotor resistant to corrosion and rust.

Not only that, it prevents you from having to do a lot of regular maintenance. Best of all, you don’t need weights to balance the vehicle because the rotor does that for you.

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10) Bendix PRT5397 Brake Rotor

The Bendix PRT5397 is an OE brake rotor that can be installed quite easily. It meets SAE standards and has been thoroughly tested on the road. Since it has non-directional finishing, the rotor has great balance, reliability, and strength.

Overall, the performance should be smooth when you step on the brake pedal. However, the durability is not the greatest in comparison to other rotors.

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Top 5 Best Brake Calipers

As you may know, the friction material of the brake pads is what presses against the spinning rotors when you try to slow down the vehicle. The brake caliper is attached in an area which positions it just over the brake rotor. The brake pads are what exist inside of the brake caliper.

Whenever you step on the brake pedal, the brake lines send hydraulic pressure to the caliper. As the pressure enters, the caliper’s pistons will place pressure on the brake pads. This pushes the friction material of the pads against the spinning rotor. You see how all the braking components work together?

Some braking calipers work better than others. You’ll want your brake calipers to be strong enough to last for a very long time. If you use cheap calipers that wear easily, then it will jeopardize the entire braking process.

This can put your life and the lives of other people in danger. It is better to choose high-quality brake pads, even if you need to spend a little more money on them. At least they will last you a long time.

To help you choose the best brake calipers, below are 5 brands of brake calipers we recommend:

1) Wilwood Brake Caliper

Wilwood brake calipers have a gray anodized caliper finish and a rotor thickness of 1 inch. The diameter of the piston is 1.750 inches and fittings are included with the caliper for easy installation. Wilwood is a brand you can trust. The metal of the brake caliper has a grainy structure to it. You should find there are minimal noises and vibrations when you apply the brake with this brake caliper installed.

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2) Cardone Brake Caliper

Cardone brake calipers include copper washers that do a great job of sealing. The bleeder screws do a thorough sealing job too, and bleeding will not be an issue. You will be happy to know that Cardone brake calipers are manufactured in the United States and they include all the installation tools and hardware necessary to do the job yourself.

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3) Power Stop Sports Brake Kit with Calipers

Power Stop brake calipers are perfect for people who drive daily and must make frequent stops. The “Z23 Carbon-Fiber” ceramic material is formulated to be dust resistant whenever you step on the brake pedal.

The shims contain a rubberized coating, which prevents noise whenever you brake too. As the brake calipers work with these various Power Stop components, you will be able to brake quickly when necessary. The calipers are coated with powder to prolong their lifespan.

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4) ACDelco Brake Caliper

ACDelco is a brand of auto components that you can trust. Every one of their brake calipers is manufactured under strict requirements so that they meet industry standards. Once the caliper is manufactured, it is tested to ensure that it outperforms the OEM performance.

That way, customers get a caliper that will fit perfectly in their braking system and perform flawlessly. The ACDelco brake caliper is coated with a special formula that increases its lifespan and stops corrosion.

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5) FTE Brake Caliper

FTE brake calipers do a good job of preventing corrosion and rust because of their chrome plated material. A lot of competing brake calipers fail to prevent corrosion and rust, which causes them to have a limited lifespan. The FTE brake caliper is designed to have a maximum lifespan. Plus, you can purchase a new FTE brake caliper for fairly cheap at most auto shops.

3 thoughts on “10 Best Brake Pads, Rotors and Calipers (for Safety and Performance)”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to save people like me from having to do the leg work ourselves. Most importantly, having specific brands to select from and a narrative full of critical point allows one to be an informed consumer.

  2. Can we have some names of mid-tier brands? What compounds should we look for? I’ll obviously not go for the upper-tier or NRS since I do not track my car


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