Mechanical vs. Hydraulic Brakes: Everything You Need to Know

Confused how to choose between mechanical vs. hydraulic brakes? When you’re trying to decide which type of disc brake is best for your particular application whether it be utility, material handling, agricultural, defense, trailer, forestry, or construction brakes, it’s important to know the differences between hydraulic brakes vs. mechanical brakes. The types of brakes available for industrial equipment and on- and off-road braking applications differ significantly.

Hydraulic brakes and mechanical brakes are becoming more advanced and creating room for the more hard-hitting roads and benefits that people are after. With these advancements comes greater momentum. When deciding between mechanical vs. hydraulic brakes for long-term use, you’ll want to make sure you can rely on brakes you can trust.


The hydraulic braking system has been around on most car models since the early 1930s, with combination brake systems added to cars in the mid-1960s. Combination systems combine drum brakes with hydraulic brakes to offer backup braking support in case the vehicle’s hydraulic system fails. Many modern vehicles feature solely hydraulic disc brakes because of their proven effectiveness in safety testing.

A hydraulic brake system has advantages over traditional brakes. Hydraulic brakes are more efficient than most brakes when coming to a complete stop. Hydraulics also offer better cost economically and space compared to other types of brakes.


Hydraulic disc brakes dissipate heat thoroughly and distribute heat more evenly than traditional mechanical brakes, which means that hydraulic brakes are more likely to last longer. This cause is due to brake fluid that resists heat and compression in a hydraulic brake system. The final results increase safety in vehicles with hydraulic disc braking systems.

Hydraulic brakes are also one of the most accessible systems to repair due to the readily available disc brake parts. Hydraulic brakes are regarded as sealed off closed systems because they do not lose fluid when functioning correctly. Therefore, you should only see leaks when the brake system is damaged.


Mechanical brakes absorb energy and act by generating frictional forces. The stopping power of a mechanical brake largely depends on the surface area of frictional surfaces as well as on the actuation force that’s applied. The wear and friction caused by the working surface areas are quite severe. Thus, the longevity of a mechanical braking system between maintenance depends heavily on the type of material used to line the pad or shoe.


What is important to keep in mind when discussing mechanical vs. hydraulic brakes is that both systems are going to bring the vehicle to a stop; mechanical brakes just do it more efficiently. With mechanical brakes, a tensioned steel cable activates pistons that make the brake pads compress against the rotor.

Several Advantages of Mechanical Brakes:

· More straightforward to set up and maintain mechanically

· Less expensive than hydraulic disc brakes

-Gravity Ebikes 


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