Where did you get your brakes done last? I've replaced several sets of pads on Toyotas and Hondas from a muffler franchise that used generic pads that sounded like course sandpaper. I love the Akebono brand pads. A little more expensive but but quiet, low dust and great stopping power.
Hi Hal! I prefer to use Axxis/PBR Deluxe which are the ceramic formulation. I use them on my race car and can usually be installed at a savings over the Akebono brand. Both pads are excellent and are equal in quality and performance.
Yes, I have. If your brakes were replaced at some point, the pads may have hit a "rough" spot, causing a grinding noise. If the shops said your brakes are fine, it's probably true. The rough spot may wear away after a while. If not, replace the pads with something of better quality. We like to use ceramic compound brakes, best combination of noise resistance and wear.
If in fact your brakes still have sufficient friction material (the acutal wearing braking material)left, noise on braking is most likely caused by either: poor surface finish on the brake discs themselves, such as the normal accumulation of wear or from previous damage from completely worn out pads, or as others have already suggested, the quality, or the lack thereof, of the brake pads that are currently installed. The discs should be resurfaced on the car using one of the approved refinishing machines whenever there is out of limit runout, parallelism OR surface irregularities (grooves). A much less common source of noise, but more dangerous, is when any of the caliper mounting bolts are not tight. Typically this would make a clunk, but since you have what you believe is abnormal noise, you should have the basics checked out.