How to Bevel Brake Pads

Written by francis walsh
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How to Bevel Brake Pads
Eliminate brake noise with bevelled brake pads. (brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

Disc brakes can begin to make strange noises after new brake pads have been installed. New brake pads emit loud squealing and squeaky noises before they are properly bedded to the rotor. One way to eliminate this noise is to bevel brake pads so the leading edge of the pad cannot scrape over the rotor, which can cause this loud brake pad noise.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Brake pads
  • Rag
  • Files (smooth, second cut, first (bastard) cut)
  • Vice
  • Protractor (45 degree angle)

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  1. 1

    Remove new brake pads from the box and wipe them free of excess dust or grease with a rag. Set each one on a counter near your vice. Orientate each pad so that you know which edge of the brake pad material is the leading edge after installation. You need to know where the leading edge of each pad is before you bevel brake pads.

  2. 2

    Place one of the brake pads into a vice and secure it at its metal backing with the leading edge of the pad accessible for bevelling. Bring a first cut file and a protractor to the pad and position the protractor so you can find and maintain a 45 degree cut on the leading edge of the brake pad. Check the angle a few times during the bevelling to maintain the correct cutting angle.

  3. 3

    File the brake pad with a first cut file until the cut surface equals about 1/8-inch wide. Check the cutting angle before you begin with the second cut file. File another 1/8-inch of brake pad using the second file. Now the bevelled edge should be about 1/4-inch wide.

  4. 4

    Finish the bevel cut using the smooth cut file to deburr all the bevelled edges of the brake pad. Repeat on each new brake pad until all have a 1/4-inch wide edge, bevelled at 45 degrees the leading edge.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not bevel the entire outside edge of the brake pad. This will remove too much surface area needed for stopping power. This procedure is intended for the leading edge of new brake pads and the leading edge only. Make sure to orientate each new shoe correctly to prevent ruining new brake pads by bevelling the wrong edges.

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