In the early years of horseless carriage transportation there were no windshield wipers. A New York City inventor had a hand crank version approved for patent in 1903. The idea, however, did not catch on and it wasn’t until the 1920’s that wipers became the integral part of our motor vehicles that they are today. There are many different brands including Bosch, Rain-X, Anco, Valeo and PIAA to name just few more information. Wipers, like headlight and signal bulbs need to be changed on a regular basis. It’s a fact any car owner just has to live with and accept.
An online search to find what is the best wiper blade brand yields varied results. An overview of several different ‘best of’ lists reveals a lack of consensus among the reviewers and review analysts. Several brands, most notably Bosch, Rain X and PIAA are represented on multiple lists. One fact that stands out is the lack of correlation between price and performance (especially for conventional style blades). So don’t think you have to sacrifice longevity or efficiency if you need to be budget conscious.
Style, Not Brand, Seems to Be A More Important Factor.
Conventional, or frame style windshield wiper blades were all that were available up until the early years of the current century. Beam style wiper blades have been around for more than a decade now. The importance of wiper blades contacting as much of the windshield as possible through its whole range of motion and the increased curvature of those windshields in many modern vehicles are two primary factors that might lead to someone purchasing beam style wiper blades. Beam style wiper blades have no metal frame and are curved, almost u-shaped, so they maintain pressure across the whole windshield to a much greater degree than conventional frame style wipers. The result is a significant reduction in water streaks left where the wiper blade wasn’t contacting the windshield sufficiently.
Frame and beam are the primary types of wiper blade. There are, however, a couple design innovations that are noteworthy. First of all people who live in snow country have the option of buying winter blades. This style of blade is encased completely in a strong rubber type material. The reason for this, however, is not, as one might think, to better remove the dense snow and ice, but, rather, to protect any metal or plastic parts of the wiper blade from breaking down prematurely and necessitating earlier wiper blade replacement.
One recent interesting innovation in wiper blade design is seen in the PIAA SI-Tech Silicone blades. These beam style wipers add an additional measure of cleaning power by coating the windshield with a thin coat of silicone as they wipe. Silicone is a clear rubber material that allows even greater visibility than glass. Users report great visibility and a longer life for these blades which offsets a hefty price tag. Silicone refills are also available.