Introduction to Windshield Wiper Reviews
Windshield wipers are easy to take for granted, at least until they start to go bad! We often forget about them until it is pouring rain and the wipers start to make smudges and streaks that make it nearly impossible to see. During a snowstorm or downpour is definitely NOT the time to discover that you need a new set of windshield wiper blades. An unclean windshield is a safety hazard and can cause accidents if you can’t see properly. With a little planning you can be sure to be safe in any driving condition. All it takes is a little awareness and planning to make sure that you are never caught in a rainstorm with windshield wipers that don’t help at all. The simplest way to check your windshield wipers is to test them when the weather is fine.
Another common way to discover you need new windshield wiper blades is when our vehicle is inspected. Finding ourselves facing a failed inspection because the wiper blades are worn out is not a good scenario. It is easy to become frustrated and to buy any cheap blade offered in order to pass the inspection. If you check your blades regularly, and test them on your windshield in good weather, you can replace them with better quality blades and at a better price than that offered at the inspection station when you have an urgent situation on your hands.
There are many brands and styles of windshield wiper blades and it is easy to get confused by the language used to describe them. Is a basic rubber blade good enough or do you really need all the extra features being marketed to you? Wiper blades range in price from under $10 to $25 or more. They can be an expensive purchase, yet you want to get a good value for your money. When you buy them at the inspection station or a convenience store you are likely to get a lower quality blade at a higher price. Buying blades when you notice they have gone bad allows you to purchase a higher quality blade that will last longer at the lowest price possible.
Here we have researched the most popular windshield wiper blades on the market and have narrowed down the search to the top three blades considering price, quality, and how long they will last. This review provides you with information you need to get a blade that will provide a safe driving environment every day and in every kind of weather. You will be prepared whether you experience spring thunderstorms or winter snow.
Top 10 Windshield Wiper Blades
|Rank||Picture||Windshield Wipers||Material||Multiple Sizes|
|2||Bosch||FX Dual Rubber||Yes|
|5||Aero||Specially Blended Rubber||Yes|
|6||Trico||HighGlide Treated Rubber||Yes|
|8||AutoTex||DuraTex Advanced Rubber||Yes|
Top Pick – Rain-X-5079281-1-Latitude-Wiper-Blade
The Rain-X-5079281-1-Latitude-Wiper-Blade is a top pick because of its high-quality material and design. The wiper is smooth and it grips to the surface of the windshield providing streak free operation. It prevents buildup of both snow and ice by eliminating metal exposure. The blade is made from graphite-coated rubber that is specially blended for a longer lasting blade. This provides operations that do not clatter and are smooth against the window. The rubber is long lasting and flexible which enables it to grip the glass surface. This provides for streak-free wiping no matter what the weather. It will keep your window, and therefore your sight, clear in rain, sleet, snow, or any other poor driving conditions.
The Rain-X-5079281-1-Latitude-Wiper-Blade has 10 different size options ranging from a 16 inch blade to a 28 inch blade. They are available for both driver and passenger sides which are often different sizes. Installation is easy and the instructions are simple to follow. The blade comes with a J hook which will attach to most vehicles. There are also adapters available, such as a large J hook, side pin adapter, bayonet, PTB and I&L wiper blade arms, making it a universal blade that will fit nearly every make and model of vehicle.
These all-weather wipers can be used in the cold winter months but also perform well without cracking in the heat of the summer sun. The rubber is very durable and has a squeegee affect, keeping windows clear in any weather. The shape of the wiper blade is contoured to fit the curved windshield allowing the blade to grip the window and providing a tighter fit. This fit also provides even and continuous pressure to the windshield and eliminates streaking. It also produces better performance at highway speeds.
These wiper blades will last longer than traditional, less expensive blades due to the superior construction and contoured shape. The top-quality rubber is made to withstand the elements so harsh winters and hot summers will no longer leave you with cracked windshield wipers that must be replaced each season. The blade is built to reduce noise and wind lift through its built in spoiler which is also aerodynamic.
Another benefit of the Rain-X-5079281-1-Latitude-Wiper-Blade is that it is reversible. You can remove the blade, turn it around and use it again on the same side of the vehicle. This gives you longer wear for your money, similar to rotating tires. You will also receive adapters which will enable you to use the Rain X Latitude wipers on virtually every vehicle.
Customers love this high quality wiper blade. They love that it lasts longer than most blades on the market because this saves money and the hassle of constantly having to change blades every season. The blades are simple to install and can be put on most vehicles in just a few minutes. They are curved and fit smoothly against the glass of the windshield. This fit provides a very clean stoke with no streaking. The blades are also long enough to clean the entire window which gives drivers a better and clearer view which is very important in bad weather.
2nd Place – Bosch-26A-ICON-Wiper-Blade
The Bosch-26A-ICON-Wiper-Blade is a top pick because it lasts longer than some of the high-performance blades on the market. The high end FX dual rubber material is built to last around 40% longer than other premium blades on the market. It is also built to resist deterioration in all weather conditions. This blade will perform in the very coldest winter weather and will not dry or crack during the swealtering summer heat of the south.
The beam design is patented and built to provide high visibility even during extreme weather. The blade is asymmetrical yet distributes weight evenly across the entire blade. This, combined with the contoured design, allows even pressure on the windshield across the full blade rather than just in the center or along a few points. This feature gives you a clean and streak-free performance every time. The tension across the arc of the blade provides a custom fit across most model vehicles and provides a universal fit for nearly every car on the road.
The Bosch-26A-ICON-Wiper-Blade comes in 12 different sizes and will fit most passenger and drivers side windshields on the market. The sizes range from 13 inches to 28 inches which provides the sizes needed for both front and back windows. The blades are easy to install and adapters are included to help fit them to most makes and models. The blades do not have brackets or hinges. This design provides less noise and chatter from the blade while driving, even at high speeds.
The blade is an all-season blade and is not damaged by snow and ice or high levels of heat. With the uniform pressure across the full length of the blade, the design is built to last much longer than conventional blades. There is also an integrated spoiler which increases the pressure on the window thus eliminating lift off at high speeds. This blade will give high levels of performance over several seasons saving you money in blade replacement as well as provide better performance. The Bosch blades are factory standard for many high end vehicles such as Lexus and BMW.
Customers love the high performance of these blades. The blade covers the full length of the windshield and with the even pressure it provides, it cleans and provides a clear view during poor weather conditions. The ability to have a clean and clear window during heavy rains, snow and ice have customers raving about this brand. They are also easy to install and the instructions are clear – even for those changing blades for the first time. Instead of replacing windshield wipers every season, Bosch owners are able to enjoy clear driving for several years.
3rd Place – ANCO-31–31-24-Wiper-Blade
The ANCO-31–31-24-Wiper-Blade is a top pick because it provides an economical solution for top-quality, all-weather windshield wiper blades. These blades are made with DuraKlear rubber which provides clean and clear operation during poor weather conditions. The blade is universal and comes with adapters which enable the blades to be used on most vehicles. They are easy to install and an inexpensive option for windshield wipers.
The ANCO-31–31-24-Wiper-Bladecomes in 16 different sizes allowing you to find the correct size for both driver side, passenger side, and rear windshield wiper blades. Blade sizes range from 10 inches to 28 inches. This style has a bridge that is vented and flexible which provides a tight fit onto the windshield. Included with the blade is a KwikConnect kit for installation. This provides the needed adapters that fit most makes and models of vehicles making this a universal blade that is very simple to install. This installation system is the easiest system on the market. There is an audible “click” when the blade is installed correctly.
The 31 series provides an aerodynamic design that works effectively even at high speeds. It will clear your windshield without leaving any streaks even in poor weather conditions. The company recommends that blades be changed every six months for the best performance. They also recommend cleaning the actual blades each time you clean your windshield. Debris and road grime adhere to the blade and can cause them to wear out more quickly. During the winter months it is best to use an ice scraper and clear the windshield before using your wiper blades. If you use the wiper blades to clear the window, the ice will crack the blades and they’ll need to be replaced sooner.
Customers love the economical price of this basic windshield wiper that gets the job done. While it does not have all of the bells and whistles of more expensive blades, and does not last through multiple seasons, it is a reliable blade at a very economical cost. The blade is easy to install and comes in enough sizes to fit the majority of vehicles on the road.
Top Rated Windshield Wiper Summary
All three of the above recommended windshield wiper blades offer a universal fit with appropriate adapters for easy installation. The Rain-X and Bosch brands offer J hooks and multiple pin adapters so that most vehicles can be accommodated. The ANCO uses the KwikConnect adapter to ensure the blades will fit easily on most vehicles.
ANCO offers the most blade sizes ranging from 10 inches to 28 inches with 16 different sizes to choose from. Bosch offers 12 different sizes ranging from 13 inches to 28 inches. The Rain-X brand offers 10 different size options ranging from 16 inches to 28 inches.
The Bosch and Rain-X brands are both built with a contoured design that will grip to the windshield more effectively offering a clearer operation. They are also more expensive than the ANCO brand. ANCO offers a durable DuraKlear rubber in the blade, whereas Rain-X uses a graphite coated blade design. Bosch produced an exclusive FX dual rubber design that is built for longer life in adverse weather conditions. Each of these materials strengthens the traditional rubber blades ensuring you will receive the best performance possible.
The most economical blade is the ANCO brand but this blade will need to be replaced more frequently than the Rain-X and Bosch blades which are designed to last longer but are initially more expensive.
Windshield Wiper Buyers Guide
What is a Windshield Wiper?
Windshield wiper blades are a safety feature on your vehicle that keeps your windshield clear and should be maintained in good working order. Blades that become worn or cracked will not be able to provide a clean windshield when it is snowing or raining. While the basic design of a wiper blade appears simple, the ability to keep your windshield clean during inclement weather is important and can prevent an accident.
What are Windshield Wiper Blades Made Of?
Rubber Blades. Traditional blades are made with rubber. It is easy to form and is inexpensive to make. The rubber is flexible and can attach to the steel housing yet is strong enough to keep the windshield clear. The downside to rubber is that it tends to become dry and crack after a season of weather and does not last long when exposed to strong elements. For this reason, traditional rubber blades should be changed around every 6 months.
Silicone Blades. Silicone blades are the newest material on the market and they hold up to harsh weather better than rubber blades. They are made with a similar design and offer the same level of flexibility as rubber blades but are less prone to cracking and are also less sensitive to harsh weather conditions. These blades will typically last longer unless used in extreme conditions like off-roading. Another advantage to silicone is that is leaves traces of oil on your windshield. This helps the water bead on the windshield which makes it easier to clear with the wiper blade. They also last longer than traditional rubber blades. These blades are mostly used for high performance vehicles such as 4X4s that need off road protection from dirt and mud. They are available at higher end markets and are also used on sports cars.
Coated Blades. Today, high performance blades are often made with enhanced rubber properties to increase performance and extend the life of the blade. Graphite and Teflon coated blades are the most popular of this type. Coated blades have protective material on the rubber that touches the windshield. This provides a longer lasting blade that will not wear out as quickly and provides a cleaner, streak-free performance.
Framed Versus Bracketless Windshield Wipers
Framed Blades are designed with a steel frame and are the traditional design of windshield wiper blade. The arcs provide pressure on places along the blade length. This helps the blade sit tightly on the windshield. One disadvantage to this design is that there is not constant pressure along the arc of the blade, only at certain points. This can create streaks or uneven pressure when the wipers are on.
Bracketless Blades are a newer design which has a beam that creates pressure at the arc. The force is applied at the midpoint of the blade where it attaches to the arm. The biggest advantage to these is that snow and ice cannot build up on the blade making it better in colder climates. This blade has no moving parts.
Hybrid options use technologies from both framed and bracketless designs. This creates pressure at the midpoint as well as along the blade. This design evens the pressure along the length of the blade and provides a cleaner and more consistent stroke on the windshield.
Each vehicle has different sizes or recommended blades due to the size of its windshield. Blade sizes can be found in the owner’s manual or at the store where you purchase the blade. You can enter the make and model of your vehicle at the website or store to help you determine which size blades fit your vehicle. Using a different size may result in poor results because the blade may be too long or too short. Too long and it could interfere with the other blade on the windshield. Too short and you will not have good coverage.
When one side shows wear it is best to change both blades since both have been exposed to the same amount of weather. You will have more consistent results if you change both blades at the same time. If you have a rear windshield wiper it should be changed as well. Even though it is not used as frequently, the rubber will still wear out and crack due to being exposed to the elements.
Always change both blades at the same time, even if only one is showing wear. This keeps the windshield wiper blades working the same and on the same change schedule. Only changing one at a time can get confusing and you may find that you’re changing one or the other all the time. Your back window wiper blade will also need to be changed, if your vehicle has one, so don’t forget this one as well.
All-Weather versus Winter Blades
While both winter and summer seasons are hard on windshield wiper blades, the snow and ice can be particularly hard. Windshield wiper blades that are designed specifically for the winter months are made to be more flexible and reduce ice and snow from sticking to the blades. Some brands cover the frame with a protective coating which blocks snow and ice from attaching to the moving parts of the blade. Using bracketless blades is also an option as they do not have any moving parts on the wiper itself. The blades are generally designed from a softer rubber which prevents the material from becoming stiff during cold harsh winters.
All-weather blades are designed to stand up to both the hot summer and the cold winter weather.
Most after-market blades have adapters that can be used to install their wipers on your vehicle. The most common attachments include the J hook (which comes in a large and small size), large and small pins, side locks (which are also referred to as a pin and hook), and a top lock.
Common Adapter Systems
With little coordination between manufacturers, there are many ways in which blades can be installed. As a result, there is also a range of systems that help consumers adapt their current windshield wiper blade to fit after-market blades. Some of the most common adapter systems include the following:
- KwikConnect System
- Multi-Clip or Quick Clip Adapters
- Universal Quick Lock
- SWIFT Adapter
- EZSNAP Connectors
Caring For Windshield Wiper Blades
With proper care your windshield wiper blades will last longer and perform better. Wash the blades when you wash your car. Lifting the blades and wiping them down will remove dirt and grime that accumulates on your wipers. Your windshield wipers wipe away insects and dirt from your window and there is often a layer that remains on the wiper blade. Cleaning the blade each time you clean your windshield will produce better performance along with providing a longer life for the blade.
During the winter do not use your blades to clear the window. This is the surest way to crack and tear the wipers. They are not built to run over snow or ice that has frozen to the window. Clean your car windows with an ice scraper first and do not run the wipers until the entire windshield has been cleared.
When Should Wiper Blades Be Replaced?
There are three ways to tell if the blades need to be replaced. If they begin to squeak when they are turned on or if they leave streaks on your windshield are two of the ways. Lastly, you can visually look at the blades and if they look worn or cracked it is time for new ones. In general a brand new set of windshield wiper blades will last about 6 months. If you have purchased a high performance set of blades, you can sometimes get as long as a year or more out of them and if you have chosen a lesser quality set, you may have to change them sooner than 6 months.
There are many factors that determine how often the blades need to be replaced.
- Climate. If you are in an area with extreme hot or cold weather, then your blades will need to be changed more frequently. Long winters and long summers are very hard on wiper blades made of rubber.
- Conditions. If you drive around town on good, clean roads, the blades will not get as much use. Driving on dirt roads and off-roading is harder on blades which results in faster wear.
- Use. How often the blades are used will also impact their condition and how long they will last. Snow and ice are harder on blades than spring and fall when temperatures are milder.
Costs of Wiper Blades
Cost does not always guarantee a higher quality wiper blade. However, many of the expensive blades have features that enable the actual blade to last longer and provide a better fit to the windshield. Consumers of both inexpensive and premium blades have raved about how the blade performs.
Windshield wiper blades perform a very important, yet basic, task. They keep water, snow and the elements off your windshield so that you can drive safely even when the weather is poor. For some consumers, if this task is accomplished they are happy and replacing the blades more frequently is not an issue. For others that are hard on vehicles, drive a lot of highway miles, and so forth, a premium blade that can withstand higher wind force and will last longer is worth the higher price.
With the price of blades ranging from roughly $8 to $20, they are not a very expensive item and many people choose to upgrade their vehicles to the higher end blades.
What You Need To Know Before You Purchase Blades
Wiper Blade Size Vehicles offer different size wiper blades that are designed to fit your specific make and model. The blade size is mostly determined by the size of your windshield. The size can be determined by the owner’s handbook or by asking at the store where you purchase the blades.
Driver side and passenger side blades are generally different sizes. This is to allow the blades to work in tandem without hitting each other. If you have a rear window blade it will be a smaller wiper blade than that needed for the front window.
What is The Current Blade on the Car?
Is it a beam style or bracket style blade? What kind of attachment does it have? Knowing this information can ensure that the blade you purchase will fit your current set up and be easy to install. The hook-style adapters are the most common. If you have another style of attachment you need to be sure that the windshield wiper blade you select has an adapter than will enable you to install the new blade with ease.
Warranty on Wiper Blades
Wiper blades generally do not come with a warranty regardless of the model or manufacturer. Therefore it is important to check your blades at regular intervals and replace then as they become worn. While more expensive blades offer properties that will enable the blades to last longer, all blades must be replaced as they wear out.
Windshield wiper blades are an important safety feature on your vehicle. Taking care of these blades and replacing them as soon as they show wear is the best way to provide safe driving in all road conditions. Waiting until the last minute to find they need replaced will result in unsafe driving or require you to pay convenient store prices to replace them on the spot. With a little observation and a few minutes of online searching, you can have new blades on your doorstep right when you need them.