Hawk Brake Pads vs OEM Brake Pads

Is it time to change your brake pads? The first decision you have to make is which replacement brake pads to get. Should you go with OE brake pads, or should you get an aftermarket set?

OEM brakes

The answer is simple:

  • OE brake pads are designed for “average” use in “average” conditions. If your brakes are in need of replacement, then anything is better then what is on there now, so the brakes will go from “below average” back to “average”. OE brake pads are also premium priced, so you’ll pay more for average brake quality.
  • Aftermarket brake pads offer a range of choices so you can tailor your braking performance for your driving style, vehicle usage, stopping power, and pedal feel at prices that are a better value than OE. The spectrum includes OE equivalent, street performance, truck and towing, severe duty, high performance, and racing.

Hawk brake pads are a great choice for performance driving. How do they stack up against OE brake pads? Let’s find out. We’ll list the most popular Hawk brake pad lines for performance driving. Next, we’ll compare and contrast them with OE brake pads.

A Little Bit About Hawk Brake Pads


Hawk Performance Brakes is a leading brand of performance brake pads. The brand has a variety of brake pad formulations for many different types of vehicles, including (but not limited to):

  • Race cars
    • There are highly engineered Hawk brake pad friction formulations for almost every type of racing
  • Daily drivers
  • Heavy duty trucks and SUVs
    • Hawk brake pads make hauling and towing safe and easy
  • Light trucks and SUVs

Hawk brake pads are designed to provide more stopping power and better performance than OE brake pads. In fact, Hawk is the official brake pad brand for a variety of organizations, including the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Hawk brake pads lines for performance driving:

1. Hawk Performance Ceramic Brake Pads

OE brake pads provide good stopping power, but they’re really designed to provide long life in mild braking situations. For performance braking, you need something that provides more bite. Hawk’s line of performance ceramic brake pads fit the bill. Hawk designed this brake line to:

  • Offer up to 32% more stopping power than OE brake pads
  • Create ultra-low dust compared to other performance brake pads and OEM brake pads
  • Offer an extended pad life and rotor life
  • Reduce noise, vibration, and harshness during braking

2. Hawk Performance LTS

If you have a light truck or SUV, then these performance brake pads may be what you need. The OEM brake pads for light trucks and SUVs work just fine for daily driving. But if you tow or haul heavy loads, you’ll benefit from something better. That’s where Hawk Performance LTS brake pads come in.

Hawk designed this brake pad line just for light trucks and SUVs. Many truck and SUV owners are pleased to see the following improvements over stock pads:

  • An extra 400*-500* of operational temperature
    • This enables extra pad bite at high temperatures
  • Good fade resistance
  • Better pad and rotor life
  • Less noise
  • 21% more stopping power over stock brakes

3. Hawk Performance HPS

HPS stands for High Performance Street. If you have a sports car and love to drive it, you’ll appreciate the extra bite these pads give. In fact, these pads offer up to 40% more stopping power than stock pads. You’ll also see much less brake dust. These pads also come with higher resistance to brake fade. That means you’ll enjoy:

  • Better pedal feel
  • More consistent performance
  • Longer lasting pads
  • Less dust

We Carry Many Different Hawk Brake Pads

At BuyBrakes.com, we have an extensive line of Hawk brake pads in our inventory. We even have a few former Hawk employees and engineers on our staff. Their invaluable knowledge has made us experts on the Hawk brand.

Take a look at our catalog of Hawk brake pads and see which ones are available for your vehicle!