Reviews

Best Brake Bleeder Kits: Get on the Pro Level

Your helper’s calves will thank you

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BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021

It's easy to develop something of a love-hate relationship with brake bleeding tools. You may find that they work alright, but they can't quite compare to the old "pump it, hold it" routine. But that’s really a “you” problem as, after all, the pros use brake bleeders every day and seem to make out just fine. And since today's market is absolutely loaded with options, it's easy to wind up with more “useless” junk. To get you onto that pro level and using a brake bleeder properly, we’ve dropped into the murky waters of what’s available to find our favorites and then produce a buying guide to help you find the ultimate brake bleeder for yourself.

Best Overall
OEMTOOLS 25136 One Man Brake Bleeder & Vacuum Pump Test Kit
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Summary
Summary

This simple, yet effective model is perfect for any DIYer. The price is good, the quality is there, and it works with a wide range of applications.

Pros
Pros
  • High-quality construction
  • Attachments cover a wide range of applications 
  • Builds vacuum quickly 
  • Can be used for other specialty work
Cons
Cons
  • May not create a proper seal on select applications
Best Overall
OEMTOOLS 25136 One Man Brake Bleeder & Vacuum Pump Test Kit
Best Value
HTOMT 2 in 1 Brake Bleeder Kit Handheld Vacuum Pump Test Set
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Summary
Summary

You can save money and still get a decent product. This affordable brake bleeder kit is the perfect option for DIYers on a budget.

Pros
Pros
  • Affordable price point 
  • Includes attachments for various projects 
  • Storage case included
Cons
Cons
  • Leaks are often an issue 
  • Limited attachments for bleeder valves
Best Value
HTOMT 2 in 1 Brake Bleeder Kit Handheld Vacuum Pump Test Set
Honorable Mention
Mityvac MV6840 Hydraulic Brake and Clutch Pressure Bleeding System
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Summary
Summary

This master kit comes with everything you need to pressure bleed most applications. The high-quality construction simply ensures it’ll stand the test of time. 

Pros
Pros
  • Pressurizes system to save time while working
  • Continuously adds fresh fluid to the system 
  • Compatible with most applications 
  • Storage case included 
  • High-quality construction
Cons
Cons
  • Premium price point 
  • Setting up and stopping leaks can be time-consuming
Honorable Mention
Mityvac MV6840 Hydraulic Brake and Clutch Pressure Bleeding System
Closeup Of Brake Bleeder Kit
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Brake Bleeder Kit Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
OEMTOOLS 25136 One Man Brake Bleeder & Vacuum Pump Test Kit

The quality, performance, and multipurpose function of this model makes it a great addition to any DIYers collection.


OEM Tools is known for supplying respectable specialty tools the DIYer can depend on to keep them motoring along safely. This is a vacuum brake bleeder that comes with all the attachments you need to hook up to most bleeder valves or use to perform additional specialty tasks. The large, legible gauge tells you how much vacuum you're building and if it's holding, ensuring you won't let any air contaminate your work. We should point out that it's also much more robust than many, cheaper alternatives, and you can count on this pump for years to come. 


On top of that, it also builds approximately one inch of vacuum with each pump, minimizing the amount of work you have to put in. As great as this pump is, there are some weak points. Quality control seems to be an issue as faulty units can show up. Also, it does have fittings that work with most applications, but it does fail to create a seal on some, even with all of the included attachments, and it's worth reading to ensure this will work with your car. 

Specs:
  • Manufacturer: OEM Tools 
  • Part Number: 25136
  • Type: Vacuum 

Pros:

  • High-quality construction
  • Attachments cover a wide range of applications 
  • Builds vacuum quickly 
  • Can be used for other specialty work 

Cons:

  • Quality control issues are somewhat common 
  • May not create a proper seal on select applications
Best Value
HTOMT 2 in 1 Brake Bleeder Kit Handheld Vacuum Pump Test Set

It’s affordable, but still good enough to get the job done and it comes with a case.


Saving money doesn't mean you need to get ripped off. This set from HTOMT is an excellent example of what we're talking about as it includes the vacuum brake bleeder, along with a decent combination of attachments that allows you to hook up to various bleeder valves and use the tool for other special purposes. As if that weren't enough, it also comes with a nice storage case to help you keep track of all the parts. The various tube lengths included also give you the means to work under the wheel of virtually any application without worrying about snags or the line being too short to work properly. 


As affordable as this kit is, you can expect some drawbacks. In this case, durability is a concern. While it will last a respectably long time, a little more money will get you a tool that'll stick around for a lot longer. Leaks can be a real nightmare, and it is relatively limited when it comes to the number of attachments included for bleeding brakes. 

Specs:
  • Manufacturer: HTOMT
  • Part Number: Htomt-brake
  • Type: Vacuum 

Pros:

  • Affordable price point 
  • Includes attachments for various projects 
  • Storage case included 

Cons:

  • Relatively low durability 
  • Leaks are often an issue 
  • Limited attachments for bleeder valves
Best Premium
Mityvac MV6840 Hydraulic Brake and Clutch Pressure Bleeding System

This kit comes with everything you need to pressure bleed brakes on most applications, the quality being better than most is just a cherry on top.


While there's a lot of good about vacuum-type bleeders, they aren't your only option. In fact, applying pressure rather than a vacuum can make your life a lot easier. Here we have an excellent option from Mityvac as it taps into the master cylinder to pressurize it, allowing you to quickly move from wheel to wheel to remove air from the lines. It is extremely easy to use, and the range of attachments included allows you to hook up to many different applications. On top of that, you also fill the reservoir with fluid, meaning you don't need to continuously return to the master cylinder to ensure you're not bleeding the system dry. 


Also, coming from Mityvac, you can count on the quality beyond cheap competitors. Is this for everyone though? Yes and no. While it does cover a wide range of applications, it's priced a  little too high for many. So, unless you're working with many different vehicles, this kit hardly seems worth it. Also, there are more moving parts and connections on this type of bleeder, meaning setting up and chasing down leaks can be more time-consuming. 

Specs:
  • Manufacturer: Mityvac
  • Part Number: MV6480
  • Type: Pressure 

Pros:

  • Pressurizes system to save time while working
  • Continuously adds fresh fluid to the system 
  • Compatible with most applications 
  • Storage case included 
  • High-quality construction 

Cons:

  • Premium price point 
  • One may not have use for all attachments 
  • Setting up and stopping leaks can be time-consuming
Best Pneumatic
Four Uncles 2L Vacuum Brake Bleeder Air Brake Bleeder Kit

Good tools eliminate as much work as possible and that’s exactly what this kit does.


Looking for the easiest way to bleed your brakes? Then you need to eliminate as much manual labor as possible and that's exactly what this kit from Four Uncles does. Instead of you having to build a vacuum by hand, this system relies on an air compressor to do the work for you. Not only does that cut down on work for you, but it also speeds the process up quite a bit. Don't worry, the included reservoir helps you to eliminate the risk of sucking the system dry. 


To make things even better, the quality of this system is surprisingly good for the price, and Four Uncles even throws in the air fittings you'll need to get up and running in no time at all. While this is a great choice for those with an air compressor, it's utterly useless to those without. We should also point out that the number of bleeder fittings it comes with is rather limited, keeping this entry from sitting any higher on our list. 

Specs:
  • Manufacturer: Four Uncles 
  • Part Number: AIR-001
  • Type: Pneumatic 

Pros:

  • Eliminates manual input 
  • Relatively affordable price point 
  • High-quality construction 
  • Air fittings included 

Cons:

  • Relies on air compressor to function 
  • Limited bleeder valve connections included
Honorable Mention
Motive Products 0250 Brake System Power Bleeder

Competitive pricing, wide application compatibility range, keeps life simple.


If you have a classic car or truck, this is the kit you need. It's a pressure bleeder from Motive Products, so you know it's built to get the job done. This kit does away with everything you'd need to work with modern vehicles, helping to keep the price relatively low. On top of that, the included parts will fit on a wide range of master cylinders from the heyday of Ford, Chrysler, GM, but it does include an attachment for some newer style master cylinder reservoirs, meaning you may be able to use it on your daily commuter. 


Of course, a universal benefit to this type of bleeder is that it cuts down the amount of time you spend bleeding each wheel and the constant introduction of fresh fluid keeps you from bleeding the system dry. Something to note about using the universal attachments for older vehicles is that setting up can be difficult. You have to make sure a perfect seal is made on the master cylinder, or it will push fluid out all over the engine bay. On top of that, the wing nuts can be somewhat uncomfortable during setup, which can already be rather time-consuming. 

Specs:
  • Manufacturer: Motive Products 
  • Part Number: 250 
  • Type: Pressure 

Pros:

  • Competitive pricing 
  • Fits most classic vehicles and some newer 
  • Pressure makes it easy to move between wheels 
  • Constantly introduces fresh fluid to the system

Cons:

  • Setup can be difficult and time-consuming 
  • Wing nuts may cause discomfort

How We Selected The Products 

Research is important, but there's no better way to learn about what works and what doesn't than to go out and turn some wrenches. After having countless blunders and a few success stories, we'd like to think we know a thing or two about brake bleeders. In fact, a few of our recommendations are based on what we actually own and use. 

Let's also not dance around the fact that bleeding brakes can be dangerous. If you don't do the job right, or the tool fails to work properly, your brakes aren't going to do their job. That's why we took the time to really read into anything we haven't had the opportunity to use ourselves. To put it simply, we wouldn't recommend anything we don't feel safe using on our own cars. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.”

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

You're wise to question everything you're told. Even if we stand behind our picks, it's only right to explain how we decided on what to include and what to leave out. That's why we set you up with this buying guide. We are giving you the tools you need to make a decision as well as a little insight into what makes our top picks stand out from the pack. 

What to Consider When Buying Brake Bleeder Kits

Types of Brake Bleeder Kits

As you can see in your search results, not all brake bleeders are the same and there's quite a variety available. What works best depends on personal preference and what equipment you've already got to work with. That's why we want to help you better understand the different types. 

Vacuum

Vacuum brake bleeders work on a simple concept. You apply a vacuum to the brake bleeder valve, open it up, and let the vacuum pull the fluid through. As it pulls the fluid, you watch for bubbles. Once the bubbles stop and you have a continuous fluid flow, you know that you have no air in the system. 

Building a vacuum is typically achieved by squeezing a trigger once a hose has been attached to the valve. The OEMTOOLS 25136 One Man Brake Bleeder & Vacuum Pump Test Kit is an example of a vacuum brake bleeder. It is simple, affordable, and generally very reliable. The only issue with this type of product is that you need to continuously check the reservoir to ensure no air is pulled into the system. 

Pressure 

What's the opposite of a vacuum? Pressure. Pressure brake bleeders work by pressurizing the system to push fluid through rather than pull it. They hook up to the master cylinder, and pressure is built with a manual pump attached to its own reservoir. The reservoir is partially filled with brake fluid, and the pump builds air pressure to push it through the system. Once pressurized, you simply crack the bleeders, so fluid can flow through.

The Mityvac MV6840 Hydraulic Brake and Clutch Pressure Bleeding System is an example of a pressure brake bleeder. They tend to be costlier but require much less manual input than vacuum alternatives. However, containing the fluid from each bleeder is on you. We recommend leading a short hose to an old bottle. 

Pneumatic 

If you have an air compressor at your disposal, it's worth considering a pneumatic brake bleeder. They take pressurized air from the compressor and use it to create a vacuum, allowing them to pull brake fluid through the bleeder valves. As you can expect, this requires the least amount of manual input of all types of brake bleeders. 

The Four Uncles 2L Vacuum Brake Bleeder Air Brake Bleeder Kit is an example of a pneumatic offering. These kits also typically have a reservoir that prevents you from bleeding the system dry and can also be used to flush the entire system with ease. The only problem is that without an air compressor, they are completely useless, and it's hard to justify starting from scratch as the other options are far more affordable. 

Brake Bleeder Kit Key Features


After you decide what type of brake bleeder you want, you'll find that there are quite a few options available. Next, we need to take a look at some key features so that you can hone in on the perfect bleeder for your needs. 

Quality Construction 

It's easy to say that you can avoid cheap junk by spending a little more on tools. Unfortunately, there are a lot of overpriced gimmicky tools out there, and that's especially true in the world of specialty tools. 

When it comes to brake bleeders, there are a few components you need to keep your eye on. Obviously, the big things like the pump or vacuum mechanism are going to soak up a lot of your attention. However, the lines and fittings in between are just as important. We recommend that you take a few minutes to read reviews and check that users don't complain about excessive leaks or broken seals. 

Compatibility 

Brake bleeders may seem to be a universal tool, but they aren't. Vacuum brake bleeders need to have fittings that will work with your bleeder valves. Pressure bleeders need to be compatible with your master cylinder. If they aren't, they won't create a perfect seal, and you'll never successfully bleed your brakes. 

Take the time to do a little homework to make sure a kit will work for you. If reviews mention the exact make and model you have to work with, stick to what the users have to say. If not, take the time to see what fittings or attachments the kit comes with and verify that they will work with your car. 

Ample Fluid Capacity 

All brake bleeders have some sort of reservoir on them. In the case of vacuum brake bleeders, the reservoir is typically there to catch fluid pulled from the system, and you don't have to worry much about how big it is. 

However, any time there's a reservoir keeping the master cylinder from running dry, size is everything. If it's too small, you can easily pull air into the system, and you'll have to start from scratch. Still, it's important to keep an eye on fluid levels, in any case, to make sure you don't run into any issues. 

Brake Bleeder Kit Tips and Tricks

Just like that, you're a pro on brake bleeders. They're amazing tools, but they really are pretty simple. Before we wrap things up, though, we want to give you a few tips to make sure you don't run into any issues. 

Be Patient 

Take your time when bleeding your brakes; it's not a race. If you rush, you might miss a few bubbles or accidentally bleed the system dry. Doing either can let your hard work go in vain and may even be dangerous. 

Clean Fluid is Key

If you see that the fluid in your brake system is a burned, brown, or the reservoir is dirty, you need to clean the system. If you leave dirty or old fluid in there, the brakes will never work like they're supposed to. To clean the system, you need to flush out all of the old fluid and replace it. 

Minimize Fluid Contact 

Don't take brake fluid lightly as this stuff is nasty, and it will tear up your hands and paint like no other. Always make sure to wear protective gloves and contain the fluid so that it doesn't come in contact with other parts of the vehicle. 

FAQs 

What? We didn't cover everything? We know you still have questions. Unfortunately, we can't shoot the breeze with you in person. If we take the time to answer some of the frequently asked questions about brake bleeders, it just might feel like we did, though. 

Q: Do brake bleeders work?

Brake bleeders work as long as there's a tight seal and there aren't leaks in the system. They do a fantastic job of bleeding brakes. It is very important that the kit you use works with your car, though. Otherwise, the seal on the bleeder valve or master cylinder might let air into the system. 

Q: Do I need to bleed all four brakes?

You don't always need to bleed all four brakes. If a brake line you're replacing only connects to one wheel or you replace just one caliper, you should only need to bleed the appropriate corner. It's good practice to bleed the others as it's the best way to ensure there is no air in the system. 

Q: How often should I bleed my brakes? 

Many people overlook the importance of bleeding their brakes, even if it's recommended to do so every couple of years. However, it's a good idea to bleed your brakes whenever you service the pads. We should also mention that you should flush the system every 30,000 miles. 

Q: Will air in brake lines go away?

Air cannot escape your brake lines because the system is sealed. Therefore, you need to bleed your brakes to remove any air. If you can't afford a tool or don't have time to wait for one, you can bleed your brakes with the help of a friend and nothing more than a wrench to open the bleeders.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, the balance of price and quality puts the OEMTOOLS 25136 One Man Brake Bleeder & Vacuum Pump Test Kit on top of our list. However, the HTOMT 2 in 1 Brake Bleeder Kit Handheld Vacuum Pump Test Set is an excellent option for folks who need to save a few bucks. What are your thoughts? We'd love to know what brake bleeder you'll be using on your next project! 

Why Trust Us

The Drive seeks to be the internet’s premier destination for news, features, reviews, and guides about modern automotive culture.

Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.