What Are The Best Brake Pads? Cheap vs Expensive Tested!

  • Published: 06 November 2019
  • Why You Shouldn't Buy The Cheapest Brake Pads For Your Car
    5 Different Brake Pads, ranging from $20 to OE, undergo four tests.
    Sponsored By NRS Brakes - nrsbrakes.com/ee

    What are the best brake pads? Are expensive brake pads better than cheaper brake pads? Are cheap brake pads dangerous? In this video, we'll compare brake pads ranging from $20 to $90, all for the front brake pads on the exact same vehicle. Performance testing will compare how the brake pads do when they experience high temperatures. Corrosion testing will determine how well the pads resist rust in harsh winter conditions. Shear testing will see how well the friction material is attached the the backing plate. Finally, noise testing will determine which brake pads are the quietest.

    When you walk into a parts store, you'll often see different tiers of brake pad prices. This video's goal is to determine if you get what you're paying for with those different brake pads. Five different pads will be tested. $20, $40, $60, NRS, and original equipment pads for the same car will all undergo the same tests described above, using industry standardized tests. Watch the video to see how differently priced brake pads perform!

    Use the code "EE20" for 20% off brakes purchased at NRSBrakes.com!

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  • Auto Auto

Comments • 2 031

  • Engineering Explained
    Engineering Explained   1 months back

    **Important Note** Lots of questions about the materials for each pad! It's honestly a very difficult thing to determine, which is why I left it out. Regulations allow for such a wide variety of materials that unless you do some sort of chemical analysis, I'm not sure there's much meaning behind it. For what it's worth, the cheapest pads were "semi-metallic" (again, vague, but that's all they tell you), while the other four pads are "ceramic." There's a wide variety of what can be included in pads, regardless of the material stated. Also, material alone doesn't show a strong correlation with all tests (both ceramic/metallic can do poorly in sound, corrosion, shear, etc), so it's difficult to determine what's the cause for doing well/poorly based purely on material.

    • Rat King
      Rat King  4 days back

      2:00 Step 1 watch the driveshaft self clear against the pad mount

    • 7071t6
      7071t6  1 weeks back

      what a crock of BS when you buy the pads used for the test the manufacturer would have done their own tests to make sure they are valid based on materials used to make them, also SAE testing for pads is also important and is this test based on ABS type cars or no ABS, after all the ABS pressures are different depending on which type of ABS used in a car and what those pressures are, thus you will not have to push hard down on the brake pedal, like you would on those without ABS ?

    • Travis Terrell
      Travis Terrell  2 weeks back

      That's what I was thinking. Materials is an extremely important factor. FWIW, the factory pads on my Audi definitely stop better than the ceramic replacements, but I'll gladly take the 90% lower brake dust over stopping slightly shorter.

    • Krystian Rzepka
      Krystian Rzepka  3 weeks back

      Hey Jason, could you provide info about manufacturer of the pads used in the test?

    • Dean Kay
      Dean Kay  4 weeks back

      @Oblithian It is printed on the box. Otherwise, illegal "Advertising". Or ask.
      Have you ever bought brake pads?

  • Daniel Johansson
    Daniel Johansson  14 hours back

    Thanks for not showing any testing while given the amazingly rare chance to do so. What a waste.

    • Michael Carr
      Michael Carr  15 hours back

      7:43....um, isn't the difference between budget and mid wear only around 4% using the formula of change (V1-V2)/((V1+V2)/2))x100?

      • GundamZeroSeven
        GundamZeroSeven  22 hours back

        So never buy low or high end? Buy OE or, if you don't care about noise, mid tier?

        • bradley goode
          bradley goode  1 days back

          these test have a big flaw, new brake pads take around 200miles of city driving to seat in to the surface of the brake rotors. until this happens you will have higher brake pad temps and longer stopping distances.

          • Darren
            Darren  2 days back

            OE pads and all that carbon black ???
            What’s with that

            • boopha
              boopha  2 days back

              I would like to know about rotor wear and dust.

              • anand panjwani
                anand panjwani  2 days back

                Excellent video. Thanks.

                • A N
                  A N  3 days back

                  Too many people brake too hard & often, zooming up to stop signs & lights instead of coasting in. Then they accelerate too fast and repeat the process. Chronic waste of fuel and brake materials.

                  • Cummins MAN
                    Cummins MAN  4 days back

                    I hav ALWAYS bought $20 pads 51 y old and haven’t died yet? And alway cheapest Gas 2 ...

                    • Paw Paw
                      Paw Paw  4 days back

                      I have Brembo OE brakes so I only use the OE pads since they were specifically engineered for my car. No guess work involved.

                      • enoch powellsghost
                        enoch powellsghost  4 days back

                        $20 brake pads replace more often it dont take long and will outlast the more expensive ones!

                        • 4x4Scout
                          4x4Scout  4 days back

                          I would love to have tested my choice of pads. The pads I used actually seem to grab harder when they warm up. I consistantly have to lift my foot when stopping because the pads start grabbing harder when they warm up.

                          • 4x4Scout
                            4x4Scout  4 days back

                            I love these kinds of videos but I have to say I'm a tad disappointed. Without knowing the DOT codes and the actual manufacturer of the various levels of pads makes this test absolutely worthless.
                            I choose pads based on DOT codes and am aware that there can easily be other criteria I should or could be paying attention to but just don't have that information. The parts house hates me when I come looking for brake pads. I do not use price to choose but tell them to bring me a box of each tier and brand. I then inspect them and choose and they have to restock the ones I don't choose.
                            FYI that shear test is basically the least important test. In all my years of working on cars, I have never seen a pad sheared off. Even the cheapest of pads I have seen used has never shown even partial shearing.

                            • Rat King
                              Rat King  4 days back

                              Fire is GOOD don't stop

                              • Airmanmx1
                                Airmanmx1  4 days back

                                Wagner brakes are top tier and have lifetime....that’s LIFETIME with O’Reilly Auto Parts so I’ll stay with Wagner tyvm

                                • valpanig
                                  valpanig  2 days back

                                  switched to Wagner semi metallic from Akebono ceramic, way better braking performance for daily driver car.

                              • TheStevoh1
                                TheStevoh1  4 days back

                                Id Like to know who made those OE pads?

                                • Mike Castellon
                                  Mike Castellon  5 days back

                                  I buy my brake pads at dollar tree

                                  • Mark Alibozek
                                    Mark Alibozek  6 days back

                                    This was ok. Would like to see a video comparing semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, and premium metallic.

                                    • BennyWise
                                      BennyWise  6 days back


                                      • Dcc357
                                        Dcc357  3 days back

                                        OEM pads. They don't rust as easily, they don't need more brake pressure as they heat up, they are quieter and don't wear out as fast.

                                    • John Doe
                                      John Doe  6 days back

                                      jesus. 15:00 for summary.

                                      • Jay Bojorquez
                                        Jay Bojorquez  6 days back

                                        You and Chris Fix need to do a video together

                                        • Dil Ritzy
                                          Dil Ritzy  6 days back

                                          Can you give us the brand name of that mid range pads? That would be great.

                                          • Davey
                                            Davey  6 days back

                                            For my 2014 F150 the NRS pads are $140 O_o

                                            • Glenn Hutchinson
                                              Glenn Hutchinson  6 days back

                                              Does NRS publish a coefficient of friction vs temp chart for their pads? What are the DOT rating for their pads?

                                              • Anakin s
                                                Anakin s  6 days back

                                                I have 168,000 miles on my original 2015 toyota prius pads.

                                                • tam hewitt-baker
                                                  tam hewitt-baker  7 days back

                                                  How does regenerative breaking impact these results do you think?

                                                  • The Keen Mechanic
                                                    The Keen Mechanic  1 weeks back

                                                    Great video and very informative

                                                    • Voss Li
                                                      Voss Li  1 weeks back

                                                      My brakes be like:- Press a little: Nothing. Press a bit more: Nah fams. Press all the way down: Ok here we go

                                                      • RedGuard128
                                                        RedGuard128  6 days back

                                                        That's exactly how my brakes were. Changed the pads and rotors with some from TRW and braking the car now is pure bliss. The car came with Brembo from the factory.

                                                    • JohnnyBlaze6954
                                                      JohnnyBlaze6954  1 weeks back

                                                      super cool test, love your videos, keep up the amazing work and channel! been a subscriber for years!

                                                      • Jose Zaragoza
                                                        Jose Zaragoza  1 weeks back

                                                        Are these pads brake check proof.

                                                        • Midhun Raveendran
                                                          Midhun Raveendran  1 weeks back

                                                          Motorcraft ..where you at..

                                                          • Noah Nadi
                                                            Noah Nadi  1 weeks back

                                                            How much money did they pay you though...

                                                            • Amal Rasyid
                                                              Amal Rasyid  1 weeks back

                                                              Si bgst bacot doang..ajg

                                                              • CaptainDangeax
                                                                CaptainDangeax  1 weeks back

                                                                On my previous motorbike, changing from stock Tokico pads to EBC HH pads was more efficient in brake improvement than changing all tubes for aviation-class ones.

                                                                • flyonbyya
                                                                  flyonbyya  1 weeks back

                                                                  What data would be produced if a carbon ceramic rotor was used ?

                                                                  • Ray S
                                                                    Ray S  1 weeks back

                                                                    I always buy OE if available

                                                                    • DrFillyBlunt
                                                                      DrFillyBlunt  1 weeks back

                                                                      Brakes are overrated. If the $20 pads don't stop me, a tree or utility pole will. It seems to me people pay more money to be able to stop faster. If that's the case, save your money and hit something hard for free. Overpass pillar will stop you faster than any brake pad on the market.

                                                                      • Nebosvod gonzalez
                                                                        Nebosvod gonzalez  1 weeks back

                                                                        What about Toxic Metals Creating Toxic Fumes Like abestos brake Pads.

                                                                        • Mike Sokolow
                                                                          Mike Sokolow  1 weeks back

                                                                          I just buy cheap auto zone life long pads and calipers. 135000 miles later, they just keep handing me new warranty replacement parts. I love it.

                                                                          • mrthunderbird5
                                                                            mrthunderbird5  1 weeks back

                                                                            Thank you 🙏 for that . I’m always looking to upgrade my vehicles .

                                                                            • 0Myles0
                                                                              0Myles0  1 weeks back

                                                                              Including the approximate price of OE and NRS pads would make sense.

                                                                              • Samerr Abbas
                                                                                Samerr Abbas  1 weeks back

                                                                                swear to god i understood nothing

                                                                                • Aldo
                                                                                  Aldo  1 weeks back

                                                                                  So what OEM brakes do I get for Audi?

                                                                                  • Nibelung Valesti
                                                                                    Nibelung Valesti  1 weeks back

                                                                                    I'm gay.

                                                                                    • PrimeSuperboy
                                                                                      PrimeSuperboy  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Did ChrisFix put you in touch with this company? He made a video of their manufacturing process and they performed the same tests you did.

                                                                                      • Gerry R
                                                                                        Gerry R  1 weeks back

                                                                                        What about brake dust? The worst part about "cheap" pads is the orange film they coat your rims with.

                                                                                        • Nyrr Alberca
                                                                                          Nyrr Alberca  1 weeks back

                                                                                          You can test ...brakepad from taiwan brake tech...is the best by japanese technology