Drum Brake VS Disc Brake, Which Is Better?

Brakes are a vital vehicle component because they function to stop or reduce speed. There are several brakes, but the most common and often used in non-commercial vehicles are drums and discs. This time, we will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both. So here an explanation of drum brake VS disc brake.

Drum Brake

The drum type consists of main parts such as brake drums, brake shoes, and wheel cylinders as a unit to reduce vehicle speed.

drum brake workflow

Usually, the type of drum brakes on the vehicle’s front and rear wheels are not the same. The reason is the difference in power received by the front and rear wheels.

For more details, the following is a picture of parts of drum brakes.

How the drum brake works

Once you know the drum brake components, you should also know how it works.



Braking Process

When the brake lever is pulled, or the brake pedal is pressed, there will be movement in the drum brake component system, which results in friction between the drum and the brake pad. 
Furthermore, the piston will compress the brake pad and cause a strong friction force to stop the drum rotation. Also, the return spring will stretch to the maximum.

After Braking Process

In case the brake lever is released, the return spring will set the brake pad to its initial position. Thus the friction between the pad and drum brake will not occur, and the vehicle drove back to normal.

Pros and Cons of Drum Brake

The advantage of drum brakes is working optimally when the vehicle is supporting heavy transport loads. 
Therefore, drum brakes remain the choice for small and medium-class commercial vehicles. For example, it is used on pickup cars, transport cars, minibusses, etc.
The drawback is using a closed braking system that causes residual particles and dirt accumulation due to friction in the drum chamber. 
Also, less practical because you need to disassemble the house from drum brakes to clean the components or replace the pad.

Disc brakes

Disc brakes have a more modern mechanism and maximum traction than the drum.
The braking process occurs when a caliper clamps the disc. 

Also, there is a pad that is moved by the piston. Disc brake components are numerous, such as the disc brake caliper, pad, rotor, piston, brake fluid, and brake hose.

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Disc brake workflow


How the disc brake works

The following is the working mechanism of the disc brake.

Disc brake

Braking process

In case the brake pedal is stepped on, the brake fluid pressure will push the piston into the brake beam. Then the brake pad will clamp discs that blend with the axle and follow the vehicle’s wheel rotation.

After Braking Process

When the brake pedal is released, the two pistons are automatically returned to their original position by the brake beam’s oil.

Pros and Cons of Disc Brake

The advantage of disc brakes is the maximum braking process and even heat circulation because it has many holes as air circulation to prevent overheating. 

While the lack of disc brakes is the open design, dust, and small dirt particles more easily enter and stick. So, routine maintenance is essential to avoid trouble.


Thus the explanation of disc brakes with drum brakes. Both do not have different functions.  The disc brakes will be superior to drum brakes because it is more efficient and has better air circulation. Therefore most of today’s modern cars use a disc braking system on the front or rear wheels.

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