Hydraulic vs Mechanical Disc Brakes: Your Questions Answered

Brakes come in many varieties and sizes, each with its own purpose. Out of the two most common brake types, hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes, which one is best? What is the difference between the two, and what purpose do they serve?

If you’ve come to this article seeking answers to these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. All of these questions (and more) are answered in the below.

Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Disc Brakes

In this section, you’ll find out the difference between hydraulic and mechanical brakes. Read on to find out more.

What’s the Difference?

Hydraulic brakes are better at coming to a complete stop than mechanical brakes, are cheaper, and save more space than other brake types.

Efficiency means that hydraulic discs dissipate heat well. This translates into a long life span for hydraulic brakes. When all of this comes together, it means that hydraulic brakes end up being safer than other brakes.

Hydraulic brakes are easy to repair because of readily available parts and because of their sealed-off closed system. This means that hydraulic brakes only lose brake fluid when the brake is malfunctioning.

Hydraulic brakes are also easier to inspect than mechanical brakes because there is no need to remove the wheels.

Mechanical brakes are significantly less durable than hydraulic brakes because they rely on fiction alone to stop vehicles. The durability of mechanical brakes depends on the strength of the friction-like material used in the pad or shoe of the brake.

Hydraulic brakes may be easy to fix, but that doesn’t mean that mechanical brakes aren’t easy to fix as well. Mechanical brakes are easier to set up and maintain and are more cost-effective than hydraulic brakes.

Also known as drum brakes, these brakes are known to brake fade, which is when you lose braking power due to the heating up of the brake system. Modern vehicles still utilize this older braking system, although they are (for the most part) found in the rear wheels.

Which Brake is Better?

Each brake serves its purpose in the real world.

Hydraulic brakes are most commonly found in vehicles, which often require a specific fluid to allow them to run correctly. High-pressure breaking is where hydraulic brakes excel, assuming the hydraulic system that powers them is operating correctly.

Mechanical brakes, on the other hand, do not require a power supply or system to run. A simple lever is usually what powers a mechanical brake, meaning they are quite basic. Parking brakes are an excellent example of a mechanical brake.

You Decide…

Hydraulic vs. mechanical disc brakes may sound complicated, but hopefully, this article has made it easier to understand what they are and what they do.

If you’d like a one-stop place for all the industrial solutions that you or your company require, then make sure to check us out.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.