Best Winter Wiper Blades: Keep a Clear View During Winter
Get a clear view and stay safe during the winter with these wipers
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BY Austin Fracchia / LAST UPDATED ON September 11, 2019
Driving during winter is rough, and with climate change and all of that, it's going to get even worse. You may not realize the importance of a good winter wiper until you have to navigate a narrow road with snow stuck to your windshield. It affects your visibility and consequences could range from dangerous to fatal. Traditional wipers won't cut it, as their hinges will freeze and they’ll accumulate so much ice, they’ll stop working. That's why you should check out our recommendations for the best winter wipers from this guide.
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Benefits of Winter Wiper Blades
- Greater tensile strength. It's easy to push water from heavy rain or a little dust here and there off your windshield. Ice is heavier, so you need something with a greater force to get it off and that's what these blades do.
- Maintain the hinges. These blades are built for winter, wrapped in high-grade rubber to protect the hinges and prevent the buildup of ice.
- Stay safe. A clean windshield provides you with a good view of the road so you can avoid potential accidents.
- Get a stable frame. Traditional wipers do get bent after some time because heavy ice destroys their levers. This isn't the case with winter wipers.
Types of Winter Wiper Blades
Conventional Blade With Rubber Casing
Winter windshield wiper blades are pretty standard—they all have a blade with a rubber covering. While there may be differences in the quality of material used for the blade or rubber casing, this design is uniform across all brands. It's perfect for harsh winter weather conditions.
Robert Bosch GmbH or “Bosch” was founded in 1886 and is an engineering company headquartered in Germany. The company is involved in the production of automotive parts, power tools, security systems, and general electronics. It runs its auto parts plant in Stuttgart, Germany and sells products in the American, Asian, and European markets. Its Bosch ICON Wiper Blade is one of the best-rated wiper blades.
Aero is a wiper blade company based in the UK that describes itself as a revolutionary of wiper blade technology. The wiper comes with a six-month warranty and is quite easy to install. One of its popular products is the Aero All Season Wiper Blades.
The ANCO group is a subsidiary of the Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a U.S. company headquartered in Michigan that produces wiper blades for different vehicle types and for different seasons. Windshield wiper blades, refills, washer pumps, and wiper arms are some of its automotive products. The Anco 30-Series Wiper Blade is one of its top products.
Rain‑X, a subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works, is an automotive company based in the U.S that produces a range of glass care products. Wiper blades and glass cleaners are some of its products. Founded in 1972, the company has recently been involved in the production of car washes, waxes, and headlight restoration kits. Rain-X 5079275 is one of its popular wiper blades.
Michelin is an automotive manufacturer in France, the second-largest tire manufacturer in the world. It was founded in 1889 by Édouard and André Michelin. Tires are the company's main products and it has expanded in recent years to include products like wiper blades. The Michelin 8522 is one of its top-rated wiper blades. It comes in stealth and cyclone style variants.
Winter Wiper Blade Pricing
- Under $10: You can find a basic wiper blade at this price. Nothing over the ordinary, but you'll get products that come with hinge covers and decent rubber fabric. They're your best bet if you're looking for a budget wiper.
- $10-20: Winter wipers that are a little above decent can be found within this range. Options feature improved wiper technology like blade adjustment and better windshield grip.
- Over $20: Some of the best winter wiper blades are found in this range. High-end materials like water-repellent polymers are used to prevent wipers froming during harsh weather conditions. Aerodynamic designs are very common and manufacturers offer longer warranties with these wipers.
These windshield wiper blades come in different sizes, measured in inches. You can buy a pair if you're installing both driver and passenger side wipers. The driver's wiper has the longer blade and you can confirm the size that will work with your car by looking at the manufacturer's manual or checking for any markings on the blade.
When ice melts, it becomes water in liquid form. If this liquid accumulates, it can open up the attachment between the blade and the rubber that's necessary for wiping. Getting a wiper that automatically drains melted ice is important.
Hinge Joints and Covering
The hinge joints on a wiper influence the strength of its grip. You need a good grip across the length of the blade and that's what the joints provide. Winter is the dominant season for three to four months in a year, so due to more frequent use, the hinge joints loosen. This is usually prevented by the presence of a covering over the joints, which is a good feature to look for.
The curve you should be using on your wiper depends on the curve of your windshield. Most wipers come with adjustable blades, so you can choose a setting that works for your vehicle. If the curve on your windshield is more pronounced, spend more time comparing the curves on different wipers.
The rubber that's used as a blade sheath helps to improve the durability of the blade. It should be heat- and corrosion-resistant as these two features help to provide a streak-free wipe. Generally, the quality of the rubber material used increases with the price of the wiper blade.
- Aerodynamic Design: The shape of the wiper blade determines its movement through the air and if it will be able to overcome air resistance. A wiper with an aerodynamic design is able to reduce drag and move smoothly even in heavy wind.
- Silent Wiping: Winter wipers are designed to deal with snow on your windshield but when they get too much, some wipers can't clean the windshield without getting noisy. The quality of rubber used is a factor, and silicone blades have been proven to be silent wipers.
- Bracketless Blades: Also called beam blades, these wipers have a steel spring incorporated into the rubber. This helps distribute pressure across the length of the blade and not only on the joints. This design also improves the compatibility of the blade with the curvature of the windshield.
Best Winter Wiper Blades Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Replace your wipers at the right time to prevent the appearance of streaks on your windshield. The general rule is that you get new ones at least once a year.
- Test your blades by spilling a little windshield washer fluid and watching how both wipers clean it off. Check for streaks on your windshield and listen for abnormal sounds while wiping.
- Start a regular inspection schedule, perhaps monthly. Wear a thin glove and run your hand through the wiper blade to check for abnormal edges, missing parts, and decreasing smoothness.
- Clean the wipers with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust. Check the important connections to ensure they're tight, and fasten any loose joints.
Q: What are bracketless wiper blades?
A: Also called beam blades, they have fewer moving parts and are aerodynamic, so they resist wind drag. They're curved, smaller, and lighter, and quite different from the traditional flat and heavy blades. The best windshield wipers use beam blades.
Q: Can I buy a wiper with an uncovered framework?
A: If you buy an open wiper, you'll need to clean it before you drive because they can quickly get filled with snow when parked. Covered wipers are the standard, so teflon or silicone wiper blades are common.
Q: What are the key signs of a failing wiper blade?
A: Streaking, screeching, and bouncing are the three signs of a failing wiper blade. These three signs don't have to all be present before you get a new wiper—one is enough. A streaking blade leaves stripes on your windshield, and if the blade is not removed, it can leave a permanent pattern on your windshield. A screeching blade is very noisy while wiping, caused by hardening of the rubber material. A bouncing wiper moves all over the place while wiping, caused by a decrease in the smoothness of the rubber blade.
Q: What are the different types of wiper blade connectors?
A: The J-Hook, Bayonet, and Pin Arm are common types of connectors. The J-Hook is a more recent design and is seen on many of the newer wiper blades.
Our top pick for the best winter wiper blade is the Bosch ICON Wiper Blade. It's durable and very effective during winter.
The Anco 30-Series Wiper Blade is one for budget shoppers and has the basic features you'll need in a winter blade.