How to choose best windshield wiper blades?

The end of winter marked the beginning of the wet season, and many, having torn their brushes on the ice crust on the windshield during the winter months, began to think about replacing the wipers. Today we are dealing with a simple question of what kind of wipers are in general, and by what parameters to choose them.

What parameters should be observed when choosing windshield wiper blades?

By and large, there are three parameters that may differ when choosing new windshield wiper blades. Wipers should be selected according to the following criteria:

Measure the length: New windshield wiper blades should be the same length as the ones available and recommended for your model;

It must comply with the recommendations of the car manufacturer. A brush that is too short will reduce the glass cleaning area, which in turn will impair visibility. The long one will be less pressed against the glass and will not be able to completely remove the film of water from it in one pass. This will also reduce visibility.

Our Pick
Rain-X 830126 Silicone Endura Wiper Blades

Silicone, Plastic, Steel

Rain-X 820145 WeatherBeater All-Season
Rain-X 820145 WeatherBeater All-Season

Natural Rubber, Steel

Rain-X 880005 Fusion Wiper Blade

Synthetic Rubber

In order not to be mistaken with the size, measure the length of the installed brushes with a tape measure or remove one of them and use it as a sample when buying. Brush sizes are usually specified in millimeters and inches. Everything is clear with millimeters, but to convert to inches, you need to divide the length in centimeters by 2.54. For example, 55 cm / 2.54 = 22 inches.

In principle, you can buy windshield wiper blades a little longer than regular ones, but it is important not to overdo it here. It is better to try them on the spot, otherwise, after installation, it will turn out that the wipers will cling to each other or touch the body.

Specify the type of fastening: choosing windshield wiper blades is the type of latch with which they are attached to the wiper arms. The most common option is an ordinary hook. Due to the lack of standardization, different latches are used on different cars, therefore, in addition to the hook, about a dozen other mounts are in use.

The good news is that wiper manufacturer almost always include several adapters in the kit, allowing you to install wipers on leashes with different types of attachments. When buying, make sure that the selected brushes have the appropriate adapter, as some of them are designed for a specific model and are not equipped with additional adapters.

Owners of station wagons, hatchbacks, and other cars with a wiper on the rear window need to separately check the type of attachment of the rear wiper blades. Often it differs from the latches that are used on the windshield.

> Take a look at the gap between the brushes in the rest position and the area being cleaned by each of them – if the gap is large, and the cleaning area does not reach the edges of the windshield, you can try on a brush a few centimeters longer.

The main thing here is that the brushes do not touch each other during operation: this will cause unnecessary wear on the trapezium of the wipers and the mechanism as a whole.

1Our Pick
TRICO Gold Windshield Wiper Blades

Material – Steel

VTOGOI Premium All-Season Auto Windshield Wiper

AA Grade Natural Rubber, Memory Steel

What are the designs of wipers?

This is exactly the third item from the previous list, which is not critical but depends on your preferences and budget. Note that we will not take into account exotic options like heated wipers, but consider ordinary mass brushes, which make up 99% of the market.

In general, modern wipers are divided into three types :

Frame; Frameless; Hybrid.

Frame wipers are those that have been familiar to everyone for a long time: they have a metal or plastic frame with rocker arms, and the glass is cleaned by a polymer brush fixed to two metal guides. Their advantages stem from their age and design: they are the cheapest, and the design provides maximum adhesion to the glass even in the bend area. Cons – from the same place: the more mechanical parts in the design, the more it is subject to wear, and in winter the frame of the wipers is covered with ice, ceasing to fulfill its direct duties of “fitting” the glass.

Model advantages:

  • Excellent transverse rigidity
  • Tightly adhere to the glass surface
  • Precise connection of frame elements


  • If the plastic is of poor quality, then there is a high risk of destruction of its structure under the influence of external weather conditions: the appearance of cracks, shells
  • Risk of large backlashes in connections
  • Creaks at work
  • Freeze propensity

Frameless wipers are the same two metal guides holding the cleaning element, but not on the frame, but in a plastic case. Such a janitor keeps its shape precisely due to the bending of the metal insert, and it will no longer bend more than it is. Therefore, on strongly convex glasses there is a risk of getting uncleaned corners. But there is no mechanics here: it is a one-piece element, and only the directly cleaning surface wears out. Accordingly, the frosting of the brush is minimal, and the one-piece design also has a positive effect on the noise background – usually frameless brushes are given an aerodynamically favorable shape. That’s just to pay for a frameless janitor will need more than for the “ancient” frame.


  • More resistant to icing and wear (compared to frame)
  • Absence of a large number of rubbing elements: hinges, axles, bushings
  • Silent when cleaning
  • Long service life


  • Not universal (the curvature of the glass must match the bending parameters of the wiper)
  • Mounting brackets are not uniform among different manufacturers

Hybrid wipers are a combination of the best qualities from the first and second types. They have a frame with rocker arms, which ensures a good fit of the cleaning strip to the glass, and they also have a developed plastic casing that covers this frame. The brush turns out to be efficient, heavy and solid, and thanks to the same aerodynamic shape, it presses even harder against the glass at high speeds. But you have to pay for all this splendor, almost like for a pair of frame and frameless janitor separately.

The main signs of good wipers

  • Flat edge and lack of rounding of the working edge of the tape
  • Uniform texture and color of the tape
  • No burrs or scratches on rubber brushes
  • No jamming of the tape movement in the clamps when the frame is bent (for frame models)
  • The brush blade must be made of elastic rubber (+silicone)
  • Properly selected wiper length

So-called “winter” wipers can also be considered a subspecies of hybrid brushes. This is also a frame structure, but completely hidden in a sealed casing that prevents the ingress of water and snow and the accompanying freezing. Of the benefits – softer cleaning elements, designed for low temperatures, and a decent service life. Of the minuses – the size is even larger than that of hybrid brushes, the need to replace brushes seasonally and pay for them as for a “specialized” thing.

When should you change your wiper blades?

This question is much simpler than it might seem: you yourself will see and feel that it’s time for the brushes to be in the trash. It is worth remembering corny that wipers are consumables, and their service life rarely exceeds a couple of seasons. If the wipers do not remove water and dirt after one or two strokes, smearing stains on the glass, there is nothing to explain. Another unpleasant feature of poor-quality or worn-out brushes can be a water film that remains after the cleaning element passes through the glass: in the rain at night, this film “smeares” the headlights of oncoming cars, critically worsening visibility. Of course, the wiper can’t keep the water dry, but if you feel a distinct lack of visibility and you’re blinded by every oncoming car, this may be an excuse to stop by the store for a new pair of brushes.

How to replace brushes yourself

Usually the brushes are changed once a year – in autumn or spring, when it rains and the roads are slushy. The procedure itself is quite simple and is performed without any auxiliary tools. It will not cause trouble if the right wipers are bought.

First of all, familiarize yourself with the design of the latch that is used on your machine, so as not to break anything inadvertently. Carefully inspect the wipers, refer to the instructions on the packaging of the brushes. If you can’t figure it out, look for videos on the Internet.

As a rule, to remove the brushes, you need to lift the cover by squeezing it or pressing the button, and then turn the wiper and remove it from the leash. If there is an additional plastic retainer, you must drown it before removing it. Installation takes place in the reverse order. Here’s how it’s done on hook-and-loop leashes.

When removing the brush, be extremely careful: the metal leash can accidentally fall on the glass and leave a chip on it. For safety, place a box of wipers across the leash or cover the glass with a soft cloth.

If your car has wipers with a rare type of attachment and you don’t know how to open it, watch the video from this playlist. Here, in great detail and step by step, the removal of all the main latches is shown.

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