Technology is changing the way braking systems operate. The system is computerized with sensors and other integrated components to improve safety when braking. Also, the need for industrial braking systems like crane brakes to withstand the most challenging environment is spurring innovation.

We use the brakes a lot of times when driving the vehicle. It is essential to reduce the speed of the car and make it stop. Car manufacturers can use a combination of drum brakes or disc brakes. They can also use disk brakes on all four wheels. Although both brake types are vital for stopping or slowing down the vehicle, they still differ in their design and structure. Read to know the difference between drum brakes and disc brakes.

Ways Drum Brakes and Disc Brakes Differ

The difference lies in the installation, work, and efficiency. Below are ways the braking systems differ;

The Design

Whenever the wheel of a vehicle rotates, the drum brakes move. Also, it rubs against the drum lines, causing friction when applying the brakes. The action will make the car come to a halt as you press down the peddle. It also has enormous brake shoes that assist in slowing down the vehicle. The drum brakes system also consists of a drum with hydraulic cylinders regulating the brake pads.

On the other hand, disc brakes have pads attached to them, and it will reduce the speed at which the disc rotates, thus making the vehicle stop. The braking pads are smaller than those in drum brakes. However, the disc braking system also consists of a caliper and smaller hydraulic cylinders.


The movement of pistons in the drum braking system is due to the force from the drum. However, the brake oil is the component that triggers the effect as it goes into the highly pressurized drums. In turn, the drum lines will stop rotating as the brake shoes move outwards to initiate contact.

It is different in disc braking systems as brake oil’s movement into the caliper is due to the piston’s force. Brake pads on both sides and the shoes will move to halt the disk’s rotation.

Efficiency and Application

Huge automobiles utilize drum brakes as the friction is less on the rotating disk when you want to slow down or stop the vehicle in motion. They also have an allowance for expansion which is necessary for braking systems for heavy vehicles. However, the disc brakes are highly frictional from the brake pads’ contact with the rotating disk. Their everyday use is for small automobiles and those that go on two wheels.


In the modern world, disc brakes are the standard systems in vehicles. The setup is on all four wheels. However, modern cars combine both drum brakes and disc brakes to make up the system. The former option will be at the back seat while the latter is on the front wheels. On the other hand, braking systems’ evolution makes the procedure much safer and reliable to stop a vehicle.