(Updated on December 27, 2021)
Shock absorbers are devices found on virtually all vehicles that help to absorb vibrations and jolts as you drive. They will also work to keep your tires in direct contact with the ground at all times as they control the movement of your suspension. Despite what some people may think, their purpose does not include a support system for the weight of the vehicle.
Most shock absorbers will continue to operate well for 100,000 miles or more depending on the manufacturer. If you need to replace or want to upgrade them, then these are the best brands to consider using.
The following are what we believe to be the best shock absorber brands on the market today. While there are many models for each brand, we link out to one of the top selling vehicle applications for each brand as an example.
Top 10 Best Shock Absorbers
This manufacturer is one of the most respected brands in the commercial vehicle and automotive industry today. The company celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2016, providing quality shocks and struts for automobiles across a wide variety of makes and models.
This brand is a globally-recognized leader for its ability to offer a controlled ride with unparalleled consistency.
Example: Monroe 58620 load adjust shock absorbers.
Offering what they call “world-class” shocks and struts, this manufacturer began as Kayaba Research Center in Japan in 1919. They initially manufactured hydraulic dampers until growing into the world’s largest supplier of aftermarket products in this category.
This brand also provides products to today’s leading automakers. 25% of the cars on the roads today have shock absorbers from KYB produced in either Europe, Japan, or the United States.
Example: KYB 554384 Gas-a-Just Shocks.
If you enjoy off-roading in your car, then this brand is the one to choose. This company also began in the late 19th century, eventually moving toward the manufacture of automotive accessories in 1928.
Their first innovative product was the world’s first usable side jack, but now they are an OEM supplier to many of the world’s top brands in the auto industry. Every suspension goes through the organization’s own test circuit before being approved for sale.
Example: Bilstein 5100 Series Shock Absorber.
4) Fox Racing
This manufacturer is another top producer of off-road shocks and trucks. As a company, they made a name for themselves by creating world-class products for snowmobiles, mountain bikes, and ATVs.
The coil-over design they offer, along with external or internal bypass designs, can provide you with one of the most comfortable rides in almost any set of conditions. Although they have only 30 years of experience in the industry, your truck or Jeep will go practically anywhere with their products equipped.
Example: Fox Racing 98524029 Shock Absorber.
As a leading aftermarket supplier of shock absorbers, you can find this product in most stores today. Their company began in 1900 when their founder created a new automotive horn. In just 7 years, the “Snubber” began production, creating one of the world’s first direct-acting shocks.
Their independent attitude led to the invention of the first hydraulic shocks, the first adjustable ones, and position-sensitive technologies. You can always expect something on the cutting edge when you choose this brand.
Example: Gabriel 43167 Shocks.
Billed as a premier manufacturer of adjustable and performance shocks for vehicles of all types, you will find higher tolerances available with this brand when compared to the competition. Each product is specifically created to fit your vehicle.
They work to adapt to individual applications so that the performance of your car is always supportive. Any issues you may have had with handling disappear once they go on your automobile. It is such a consistent result that even F1 racecars use this technology.
Example: Koni 8741-1494SPORT Shock.
Rancho began in the 1950s in Long Beach, CA, as a Jeep supply agency. Over the next 30 years, the company would grow to become one of the top off-road and performance suspension manufacturers in the world.
Their RS5000 shock absorber is still one of their best-selling products of all time. When you choose this brand, then you will equip a fully-engineered item built specifically for the environment you have.
It delivers a rugged performance whether you’re at work, having fun off-roading, or taking a road trip.
Example: Rancho RS5000X Gas Shocks
You will find a wide variety of shock absorbers available from this manufacturer to handle almost any driving need you may have. With their MAX shock absorbers, you will not experience any lagging or fade so that your performance is constant. It features 180-degree directional mounting with custom tuning for each vehicle to ensure the results are what you want.
Other models offer vehicle-specific multi-stage valving and foam-cell technologies. Every product from this manufacturer also comes with a limited lifetime warranty to ensure that your long-lasting shocks provide a smooth ride at any speed.
This manufacturer might not have the same depth of product variety in their portfolio as their competition, but their shocks and struts will work on almost all vehicles built today – including those in Asia. Every DTA (Drive Tech America) product that comes from this producer is designed, engineered, and produced using the current best practices of the industry to ensure that ISO-9002 certification always occurs.
Several buying groups represent this brand throughout the United States, so you may need to ask about these parts through your local store representative to see if they would work on your vehicle.
Example: DTA 70090X Shocks
This brand got its start in 1983 with the idea that they could lower the suspension on a Chevy pickup to improve its performance. Before they started to provide products to the local community, vehicle owners were using shocks that weren’t meant for their vehicles, making it almost impossible to be roadworthy.
By creating the drop spindle where the wheels are higher, but the rest of the geometry stays the same, Belltech creates a sport-truck craze in the United States that is still going on today. You will find their shocks on many of the best-selling models from Ford and Dodge to ensure that your ride stays smooth.
The best shock absorber brands will offer a high-quality product for your vehicle to offer you a comfortable and safe driving experience. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the options above but always make sure the shocks will fit your specific make, model, and year of vehicle.