Brake lines are a crucial component in your vehicle brake system. They are what allows the brake fluid to flow into the brakes, indicating how much pressure you’ve applied on the brake pedal. The best brake line material resists punctures, corrosion, and wear, limiting the chance of leaks that could prevent your brakes from working properly.
You can repair brake line problems by knowing how to fix rusted brake lines. Having said that, in many cases, replacing them is the best option. DIY installation of brake lines is relatively easy, though you will need some specialized equipment, including brake line flaring tools, brake bleeder, and a brake line bending tools.
We’ve rounded up 9 of the best brake lines and reviewed them below. Check them out before you start your next brake line repair project so you can make sure you get the best brake line material for your vehicle.
Our Top 3 Brake Line Materials
Best Brake Lines: Full Product Reviews
If you’re replacing the brake lines on an entire vehicle, getting a coil of wire is an affordable way to go. With this 25-foot coil, you’ll get enough tubing for an entire passenger vehicle. The kit also includes all the flare nuts you need for all-in-one convenience.
The copper-nickel alloy used in this wire is the best brake line material if you’re looking for both longevity and ease of installation. It won’t rust or corrode as easily as steel and is easier to bend and flare, too.
The only disadvantage of the copper-nickel alloy is that it’s not as resistant to punctures as steel. This won’t be a problem if you drive mostly in the city, but it’s not as great an option for off-roading vehicles. Barring punctures, though, this long-lasting brake line is durable enough. You may never need to replace it again.
If you’re looking for the most affordable way to install hard brake lines on your car, check out this roll of copper-nickel alloy coil from Hikotor. You can get the fittings and line you need for an entire car for less than twenty bucks.
This copper-nickel brake tube is also very easy to install. It’s easy to bend, even compared to other copper wires. You can bend it by hand if you want to, which also saves you the expense of buying a specialized tool. Flaring the ends is equally simple.
You’ll love this brake line if you live in areas that use a lot of road salt in the winter. The anti-corrosion treatment prevents most wear, and since it’s a copper-nickel alloy, it won’t rust. Having said that, the same thing that makes it easy to bend makes it more likely to take puncture damage. It’s definitely a better option for city-dwellers than off-roaders.
Let’s look at one last option for copper-nickel tubing. This 25-foot roll of tubing is sufficient for outfitting a whole car, similar to the two products above. The main difference is that it doesn’t come with any fittings. That saves you some money if you already have what you need, but does add a step compared to getting a complete kit.
The brake line is very similar to the first product from The Stop Shop. The line is copper-nickel alloy throughout, with a consistent diameter for even pressure. Home mechanics will love how easily they can bend and flare this tubing.
We’d recommend this tubing primarily for use on cars that drive mainly in city and suburban environments. For rougher roads, the softness of the copper can be a disadvantage. In the right conditions, though, this tubing will last as long as the car you install it on.
Let’s move on to a different brake line material. This 25-foot brake line coil is made of double-walled galvanized steel. While it comes with fittings for a car brake system, this A-Team Performance steel tube is extremely versatile. It would work just as well on motorcycles, off-road vehicles, or even other vehicle systems.
Galvanized steel is susceptible to rust. This A-Team Performance brake line is treated with zinc, reducing the damage it takes from moisture and road salt. This treatment helps, but it still may develop rust over time, especially in humid environments.
This A-Team Performance brake line uses a copper-brazing process that makes it easier to bend and flare than many galvanized steel tubes. It’s the best choice if you’re looking for value when upgrading or replacing the brake lines on any style of vehicle.
The PVF-Coated lines from 4LIFETIMELINES have the best corrosion resistance of any steel brake lines. It’s the perfect brake line material if you often drive in snow or ice, and has the best protection against damage from road debris of any brake line on this list.
Given its high level of performance, it’s surprising that the 4LIFETIMELINES PVF-coated Steel Brake Line costs less than twenty bucks. It’s an exceptional value, in our book, and lasts longer than most steel brake lines because of the plastic coating.
You can bend this 4LIFETIMELINES brake line pretty far without kinking, and it’s relatively easy to bend for a steel tube. It can be a bit tricky to flare, especially if you’re not experienced with car repairs. With the right tools, though, this can be the ideal brake line for any car, truck, or off-road vehicle.
The most time-consuming thing about installing hard brake lines is cutting, bending, and flaring them. With these Rough Country Extended Stainless Brake Lines, the installation is easy. They’re pre-cut with fasteners attached. The inner Teflon tube and braided stainless steel exterior are easy to bend, without the need for specialized tools.
The downside of this convenience is limited versatility. These Rough Country brake lines are sized to fit Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees with 4-6 inches of suspension lift. It’s also more expensive than other brake line options. You’ll pay more for two brake lines than an entire car’s worth bought by the roll.
If your time or skills are limited, Rough Country Extended Stainless Brake Lines are a great option. You’ll get a durable, corrosion-resistant brake system without the need for specialized tools. Just make sure to double-check that they’ll fit in your vehicle before you buy them.
Admittedly, The Stop Shop’s Stainless Brake Line Protector isn’t a full brake line. However, it is an option worth considering if you want more durability from factory rubber brake lines without the need to replace them.
This stainless brake line protector is basically a wide stainless steel spring you can wrap around your existing brake line. While you can add it to any 3/16” tube, it’s typically used to protect rubber brake lines from punctures and other damage.
A brake line protector like this one can be a good middle-ground if you’re not quite ready to fully replace factory brake lines but want them to last longer than they otherwise would. Since it’s stainless, it also resists damage caused by the elements.
Another great option if you don’t want to worry about bending and flaring your own brake lines is this Dorman Brake Hydraulic Line Kit. All the lines are pre-measured and pre-bent to give you a drop-in installation without specialized tools.
Like other pre-cut lines, you’ll want to verify that these Dorman brake lines fit your vehicle before purchasing. They’re sized to fit many vehicles from Chevrolet and GMC, but you’ll still want to double-check for your specific make and model year.
As far as build quality goes, these Dorman brake lines are top-notch. Stainless steel is the suitable brake line material for long-term durability, resisting damage from both moisture and road debris equally. While it costs more than other brake line kits, it’s also likely the last set of brake lines you’ll need for your vehicle.
You can get stainless steel brake line in coil form, as well. This roll from The Stop Shop gives you 16 feet of high-quality tubing that you can cut and bend to whatever specifications you require.
Stainless steel is the best brake line material for high-performance vehicles and extreme conditions. While you’ll pay more per foot with this coil than others, it’s worth it if you need the strongest brake lines available.
One thing to keep in mind is that stainless steel is more difficult to bend and flare. You’ll want to use high-quality tools when working with this tubing. That same hardness ensures they’ll never take damage from road debris, however, so the time investment will pay off in the brake tube’s lifespan.
This stainless brake line from The Stop Shop has a beautiful gleam that you’ll love for exposed brake lines on motorcycles, sports cars, and other vehicles. For high and long-lasting performance, The Stop Shop stainless brake line is among the best.
NICOPP or Steel Brake Line YouTube Video:
Brake lines Materials FAQ
Q: What material are brake lines made of?
Ans: There are many different types of brake lines. Many cars have rubber brake lines installed in the factory. Rubber brake lines are the cheapest, but are also most susceptible to damage and wear.
Many drivers choose to have metal brake lines, or “hard brake lines,” installed in their vehicles. Common materials used for these include galvanized steel, stainless steel, and nickel-copper alloy. The best brake line material is considered to be stainless steel because they resist both punctures and rust.
Q: Is copper good for brake lines?
Ans: That depends on the type of copper. Soft copper tubing is unsuitable for brake lines because it’s prone to cracking or bursting under pressure. This is why some nations have made copper brake lines illegal at various points, including Canada and the United States.
Copper does have high corrosion resistance, and that’s something you want in a brake line. The use of copper-nickel alloys for brake lines started in the 1970s. Incorporating nickel with the copper increases its crack resistance, making copper-nickel alloys safer. Conifer brake lines are one popular version of this brake line material.
Q: Do stainless steel brake lines make a difference?
Ans: Stainless steel brake lines are the most durable option. They resist rust and corrosion and are very difficult to puncture. This makes them an excellent option for motorcycles and off-road vehicles.
Q: How long do brake lines last?
Ans: That depends on the material used in the brake lines. Rubber brake lines can last up to 6 years in normal conditions, barring punctures and other unexpected damage. Galvanized steel brake lines have a typical lifespan of about 10 years.
The most durable brake line options are stainless steel and copper-nickel alloy. Unless they take damage, both of these styles can last 20 years or more.
Q: Can you replace steel brake lines with copper?
Ans: If you’re using copper-nickel alloy brake lines, yes, however, you should not replace steel brake lines with other kinds of copper tubing.
Q: Should I replace all brake lines?
Ans: If you’re changing the material being used in the brake lines, replacing all of them is a good idea. This maintains a consistent pressure throughout your fuel system, limiting the chance of problems down the line.
Replacing all brake lines also makes it easier to keep track of your vehicle’s maintenance. It’ll be easier to remember when it’s time to change your brake lines if they’ve all been on the vehicle the same length of time, and are made out of the same material.
Should you need to replace a brake line because of damage or wear, you may or may not want to replace all of them. Inspect the other brake lines for similar damage, especially if it’s a problem with rust. The age of the brake lines is a factor, as well. If they’re relatively new, the other lines may not need to be replaced.
When you’re making repairs to your brake lines, it’s a great opportunity to do some other regular maintenance on the system. Take the time to inspect the brake pads and other key components, and as well as clean brake dust that’s accumulated in the wheel wells.
If you’re not experienced with automotive repairs, you may want to buy pre-flared brake lines. While you can get tools to do this at home, this saves you a step and helps prevent hazardous mistakes.
With the best brake line material, your brake lines can last as long as your car. We hope the reviews and tips above will help you keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently!