The 5 Best Hydraulic Handbrakes in 2024

The 5 Best Hydraulic Handbrakes in 2022
Author Alessio Lorandi
Alessio Lorandi
November 15, 2021

The world of sim racing is getting more advanced and detail oriented.

Often regarded as one of the most complex esport, many sim racers like to get very detailed when it comes to setting up a sim racing rig.

The software, followed by some of the most crucial hardware such as the driving wheel and pedals are amongst the most important factors when setting up afully fledged sim racing cockpit.

Unlike those components, a handbrake is something that you can race without when it comes to simulation racing.

Despite not being a necessity, handbrakes can drastically improve your sim racing experience.

In real life racing, handbrakes are crucial in giving the driver extra control when it comes down to rallying and drifting.

For the same reason, using handbrakes for a sim racing will provide you a much more immersive experience than not using one.

When used properly, handbrakes can help you increase your overall performance and achieve a new lap time record.

Hydraulic handbrake vs cable handbrake

In both real life racing and sim racing, there are 2 types of handbrakes that drivers can choose from, the regular cable handbrake and the hydraulic handbrake.

While both types of handbrake serve the same purpose, they are completely different in terms of the working mechanism and each have their own benefits over the other.

The following are some of the main differences you will find between a hydraulic handbrake and a cable handbrake:

  • Working mechanism

As you can tell from the name, both handbrakes has different mechanism when it comes to braking. A cable handbrake utilizes a cable pulling system, which may be a little complicated when it comes to breaking a larger vehicle like a car.

The simpler example can be seen from most modern bikes that utilizes a cable pulling system.

A hydraulic handbrake has a different working mechanism, relying on hydraulic fluid to transmit the brake pedal.

In other words, a vehicle with a hydraulic handbrake will use a braking device (master cylinder) to convert hydraulic pressure, which will send the pressure to a final drum or disc caliper in order to stop or slow the acceleration of the vehicle.

  • Efficiency

Both types of handbrakes are proven to be efficient and reliable for braking, but which one is the more efficient brake?

Analyzing from each handbrake’s working mechanism, we can see that the cable handbrake relies on a simple mechanism to stop the acceleration of the vehicle.

While this means that the mechanism will be simple and reliable, it may not be as efficient and precise when it comes to braking in a high intensity simulation racing.

On the other hand, a hydraulic handbrake relies on fluid, minimizing friction that regular cable handbrakes heavily relies on. Involving less to no friction, the hydraulic fluid is much more efficient in transmitting pressure and pulling at the brakes precisely.

  • Maintenance

First of all, maintenance between handbrakes for a sim racing rig and real handbrakes for a vehicle is completely different.

There is much less to no maintenance needed at all when it comes to handbrakes for a sim racing setup.

Regardless, it is still worth discussing when talking about the main differences of a hydraulic handbrake and a cable handbrake.

The differences are simple, cable handbrakes may be harder to maintain as dirt can get into the braking system, messing up the braking performance and precision.

Meanwhile, a hydraulic handbrake utilizes a sealed fluid, meaning that the braking system will remain untouched to maintain its precision at the highest level.

  • Price

The price difference is quite significant when it comes to a hydraulic brake and a mechanical cable handbrake.

A cable handbrake is usually much cheaper than a hydraulic handbrake.

Depending on which handbrake you decided to get, hydraulic handbrakes can be quite an expensive investment.

With those differences in mind, the hydraulic handbrake seems like the much better option than a mechanical cable handbrake.

If we refer to real life vehicles, using a cable handbrake is highly acceptable, as long as it is maintained regularly.

However, a hydraulic handbrake is the only logical option when it comes to a racing setup.

Whether it is just simulation racing or real life racing, using hydraulic handbrakes will provide a much more precise braking, which in turn will improve your rallying, drifting, and overall racing performance.

There are plenty of hydraulic handbrakes that you can get to improve your sim racing setup.

To make sure you buy only the best hydraulic handbrakes, we have an extensive list on the top 5 best hydraulic handbrakes based on each price, performance, compatibility, and features, stay tuned!

Fanatec Clubsport V1.5

Fanatec Clubsport V1.5Price : $148.752

Compatibility : Pc, Xbox, Playstation

Where to buy:


Fanatec is a household name when it comes to hardware for simulation racing.

One of their best-selling handbrakes that has been on the market for a long time is the Fanatec Clubsport V1.5, a sturdy handbrake designed to maximize your sim racing performance.

Just like any other handbrakes, it is important for the handbrake to assist the drivers when rallying in the race.

The Fanatec Clubsport V1.5 is made to be versatile, available for horizontal and vertical operation, which makes it easier for new users to adapt the braking system into their game.

Extra features:

  • Analog sensor

Similar to a real car, the analog sensor will help initiate a drift even when your wheels are rotating rapidly

  • Adjustable lever

As mentioned above, the lever can be operated both vertically and horizontally, this makes it much easier for new users to adapt the braking system into their game

  • Full metal construction with foam grip

Allows sturdy and ergonomic handbrake

  • Flexible mounting option

There are several mounting position for you to place the Fanatec Clubsport V1.5 conveniently

Thrustmaster TSSH Sequential Shifter & Handbrake SPARCO


Price: $299.99

Compatibility: Pc, Xbox, Playstation

Where to buy:

Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod (PC)


The Thrustmaster TSSH Sequential Shifter & Handbrake SPARCO is a 2 in 1 product that integrates a handbrake and shifter into one hardware.

What we like from this product by Thrustmaster is that they provide the best from both worlds all in one device.

The handbrake is on progressive mode which allows better control when turning and drifting. Moreover, the shifter is available in a sequential mode for a controlled and responsive gear shifting.

Extra features:

  • H.E.A.R.T. Technology

Stands for HallEffect AccuRate Technology, a technology supporting a contactless magnetic sensor that ensures longevity and ultimate precision

  • 2 handbrake mode

According to your game configuration, you can switch to a horizontal position for GT mode or the vertical position for rally mode

Meca Handbrake


Price: $387

Compatibility: Pc

Where to buy:


Hailing from Czech Republic, Meca is one of the best handbrake manufacturers for sim racing.

Since they are not a large scale manufacturer, their products tend to be relatively more expensive compared to a similar product by producers such as Thrustmaster and Fanatec.

The Meca handbrake is a high quality stainless steel handbrake that is equipped with a 200kg load cell unit, with pinpoint accuracy and precision when it comes to in-game brakes.

Extra features:

  • Adjustable stiffness

  • Perfect grip

Meca has exactly the same hand-sewed grip quality as the ones used in real racing car handbrakes

  • Meca control panel software

Allows you to set your own output curves and dead zones

Akina Handbrake

Akina handbrake to buy

Price: $204.9

Compatibility: Pc only.

Where to buy:


Akina handbrake is an Italian made sim racing handbrake that has been highly popular amongst the sim racing community.

Designed with a built in brushed steel cut and a fiber optic laser, the Akina handbrake has a computerized numerical control machine to guarantee precision at the highest level.

Extra features:

  • Customizable handbrake

Available for vertical and horizontal operation

  • DEF (dual electronic feeling) system

An innovative system that allows you to modify the signal response of the handbrake

  • Handcrafted alcantara-like handles


Simtag Hydraulic Simulator Handbrake

Price: $665

Compatibility: Pc

Where to buy:


For our final option, we have one of the most premium handbrakes that arguably has to be one of the most realistic handbrakes you can find anywhere else.

It is definitely expensive, but it offers the highest accuracy when it comes to drifting and rallying on your simulation racing game.

Extra features:

  • Motorsport componentry

Simulates the real racing car handbrakes

  • Industry quality brake fittings

  • Adjustable stiffness and handbrake lever option

Wrap up

That ends our list of the 5 best hydraulic handbrakes for simulation racing.

While it is true that a handbrake is not a must-have when it comes to simulation racing, having a good handbrake will make simulation racing much more realistic and also increase your overall performance.

We highly suggest you give it a try!

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About the autor

Alessio Lorandi

Alessio has been involved at the highest levels in racing since the age of 5 (2003). He won a CIK-FIA World Championship in 2013 and then raced in F3, F2, and finally GT3s before now dedicating himself to SOLOX. He’s now on a mission to help thousands of sim racers around the world achieve their fullest potential through his ACC setups.






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