Since the birth of the modern automobile (patented by German inventor Carl Benz in 1886), inventors and entrepreneurs have profited from upgrades, modifications, and the production of items that are needed through general wear. In 1903 Mary Anderson realized the need for a “window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window.” After riding a streetcar on a visit to New York City Mary noticed that the driver could hardly see through his sleet-encrusted front windshield. Although Anderson never profited from the invention, mechanical windshield wipers became standard equipment in passenger cars.
Although it is not a particularly exciting upgrade to your automobile, there is still a lot to consider when buying new wipers. Whose technology is the best? What company makes them affordable? Do they require a master mechanic to install? You can find the answers to these questions and more as 10 best windshield wipers are reviewed below.
10. Rain-X Latitude
For forty years Rain-X has provided drivers with “the original windshield treatment”, the water beading technology that claimed there was not a need for wipers along with the use of the product. Ironically, the company now brings the Rain-X Latitude to the windshield wiper market. Rain-X prevents snow and ice buildup by eliminating exposed metal components that snow and ice stick to in the cold winter weather. Graphite coated rubber blades send the wiper smoothly over the windshield, clearing snow and rain in a chatter and streak free stroke. If the Latitude’s technology makes it sound like you will need an engineering degree to install it, think again. One of the higher priced blades on the list, the Latitude is easy to install for anyone.
9. Bosch ICON
Bosch is a multinational engineering and electronics company that produces a number of quality products worldwide, and the Bosch ICON is a great upgrade for any vehicle. You will be able to immediately tell the difference with its patented natural rubber design and spring arching technology. Where a number of cheaper blades can miss areas on the windshield, the ICON curves to your windshield, leaving the wipe path moisture precipitation free. Understanding the importance of airflow on your wipers, the German company also adds aerodynamic technology into their design. The blades are built with a spoiler that distributes downward force, improving the blades cleaning action at high speeds. The second highest priced blade on the list, you get a lot of engineering for the money.
8. Valeo 900 Series
The global automotive supplier Valeo brings you the Valeo 900 Series. In the midrange on price the Valeo's blades rubber technology (Tec3) is long lasting and squeegees your window clean. The blade's pressure on the windshield is due to the 900 Series’ integrated flexors that give the blade an even pressure throughout the wiping cycle using springs rather than airflow like the Bosch product above. Valeo's blades also feature one of the most aerodynamic low-profile designs on the market for superior wind resistance. The blades are easy to install and do not need an adapter.
7. ANCO 31 Series
One of the oldest companies in the windshield wiper blade market the ANCO 31 Series is the least expensive on our list making it an affordable conventional blade replacement. Their look and fit makes them a popular choice among classic car owners. Like most companies, ANCO has a clever name for their patented rubber compound: "DuraKlear" rubber 'to give you a consistent streak-free wipe'. The wiper blades are designed with a vented bridge andhigh-performancee polymer to ensure an original OE fit. Easier on your wallet than some of the other options, the 31 Series proves that a wiper blade does not have to be high priced to be effective.
6. RainEater G3
Relatively new to the windshield wiper game, Erie Automotive Aftermarket Holdings', RainEater G3 makes the list as a universal "all-in-one" blade. Engineered for the aerospace industry they fit most vehicles and their all-season performance eliminates the need for winter blades. The blade is a streamlined single piece of metal with rubber infused over the frame to deter snow and ice buildup. The Rain Eater G3 is a great blade at a reasonable price but you may have problems with fitting it to every vehicle model.
5. Michelin Stealth Hybrid
4. Trico Force Robust
Trico, an American company that specializes in windshield wipers (and claims to have invented the the first), was known as Tri-Continental Corporation at the time of the blade's development in 1917. The Trico Force Robust provides you with what they deem the superstructure for durable all-weather performance. An aerofoil converts wind force for maximum windshield contact similar to the Bosch model and includes a HighGlide treated rubber element for a smoother, quieter wipe. Their easy connection adapter technology makes them simple to install. Compatible with a range of vehicles, they are on the lower end of the price spectrum which make them a good buy for a number of consumers.
3. PIAA Super Silicone
Established in 1963 PIAA is know for their lighting products, as well as wipers and accessories. Their PIAA Super Silicone comes in at the highest priced wiper blade on the list, but has some reputation to back that high price up. The PIAA wipers will last around two times longer than other wiper blades, making the price a little more reasonable. Like many blades on the list, an aerodynamic frame gives equal pressure points for quiet and streak free wiping. In line with Rain-X's water repellent product, each wipe of the PIAA blades coats the windshield with a Water-Repellent silicone. Water beading then reduces the wipe frequency needed to keep an unobstructed view while driving. Although high priced, the PIAA Super Silicone is one of the best purchases you can make on the windshield wiper blade market.
2. ACDelco Metal
Owned by GM, ACDelco offers a basic replacement blade at a decent price. The ACDelco Metal blades feature an all-metal blade construction and are precisely fitted with wiper elements to provide a smooth and quiet operation. While the economical price is the main factor with the ACDelco Metal blade they still have the ability to give your windshield a clean swipe with every wipe allowing you to safely travel in any weather condition. Overall, the ACDelco Metal is a good wiper blade that you can buy for less than the price of a few sodas and snacks at a quick stop and it will get the job done.