Which wiper blades are the best?

By Sean May 08, 2020

The short answer is it’s not who made them, but what they’re made of.
The long answer? Read on.

Chances are you’ve encountered your fair share of crummy wiper blades during your driving lifetime. We all have, thanks to crappy factory sets and lacklustre dealership defaults. And yes, it’s frustrating forking out for a new car only to be let down by quickly worn out wiper blades. But the fact that you’re reading this post means you’re one step closer to taking back control and enjoying a smoother, more seamless journey, free from squeaks and smears.

Which has no doubt brought you to now wondering, which wiper blades are best?

Annoyingly, the options are endless

A simple problem like worn wiper blades should have a simple solution right? Wrong. The second you even consider a DIY replacement, you’re inundated with options: aero, Teflon, natural rubber, silicone, beam blade, traditional metal, conventional, flat, hybrid, euro, frameless…the list goes on.

We don’t blame you for being tempted to drop your car with a local mechanic and be done with it. However, you can take control of your vehicle’s windscreen and enjoy clear vision, allowing you to drive with confidence each and every time. In fact, you can save time and money doing it yourself by following these three simple steps.

Here’s how to pick the best wiper blades

1. Look for a beam blade frame

Generally speaking, there are three main types of wiper blade frame structures to choose from – traditional metal, hybrid and beam blade.

That being said, if you’ve recently treated yourself to a new set of wheels (specifically a European or Japanese car) there’s a good chance it came with a beam blade or ‘aero’ style as standard, which means it won’t suit any other type of frame (spoiler alert: you wouldn’t want any other type anyway).

But if you find yourself with the luxury of choice – and because we’re not in the business of making baseless claims – we’ve summarised the pros and cons of each type below.

Traditional Metal (aka Conventional)

Don’t be fooled by the name. While traditional metal frames were the norm over fifteen years ago, they pale in comparison to the standard set by today’s wiper frame tech. If anything, their inability to manage high speeds and long lifespans make them unconventional.

You’ll find this old school design on most pre-2005 vehicles or the odd budget new car. This is because they’re cheap and technically speaking they’ll do the job (but make no promises about doing it well). And as the cherry on top of an already stale dessert, these blades are made from exposed metal, which means they also tend to be susceptible to rust and corrosion.

As far as wiper blade frames go, traditional metal frames are your cheapest option. But unless you’re unphased by poor quality or just enjoy manually swapping out wiper blade refills, we recommend you steer well clear.

Traditional Metal Wiper Blade

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Pros

  • Cheap
  • Allow manual refill swaps

Cons

  • Outdated (pre-2005)
  • Can’t handle high speeds
  • Susceptible to rust and corrosion
Traditional metal wiper blade frames deliver on affordability... but that’s about it.
Hybrid

You’ll find hybrid wiper blades on most 2005-2016 Japanese vehicles. These are essentially a traditional wiper frame with the addition of an outer plastic casing. The shaped outer casing goes some way towards reducing rust and corrosion, as well as making high speeds more manageable.

However, as is the case with traditional metal wiper frames, the hybrid alternative doesn’t quite stack up to modern design standards. While they do the job well when fitted as new, refills are hard to locate outside of dealerships and are generally quite expensive as a result.

Hybrid Wiper Blade

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Pros

  • Manage high speeds (just)

Cons

  • Hard to find aftermarket
  • Expensive
  • Dealership exclusive refills
Hybrid wiper blade frames can handle the highway (only if you can handle the price).
Beam Blade (aka Aero, Euro, Frameless, Flat)

As far as reliable, durable and good value for money wipers go, beam blades wipe away the competition.

Their modern design incorporates a pretensioned steel beam and plastic outer casing. Together, this presents a much more minimalist and streamlined profile, making for a supremely smooth and streak free performance at high speeds. The lack of exposed metal parts also minimises rust and corrosion.

Thanks to their high-tech design, beam blades have long been a standard inclusion on premium and high-performance vehicles, and are increasingly becoming the norm across the new car industry. This makes them more widely available aftermarket.

However, because beam blades are the clear best choice between the three assembly options, a number of low-quality imitations exist in the market. To ensure you're getting high performing, good quality blades, always look for those made with premium natural rubber embedded with Teflon, coated with graphite and backed by a solid warranty.

Beam Blade Wiper Blade

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Pros

  • Effective at high speeds
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Widely available

Cons

  • Low quality knock-offs exist
When made with quality materials, beam blade wipers will tick all the boxes.

2. Opt for a natural rubber blade type (not silicone)


Silicone wiper blades tend to be a bit of a unicorn within the automotive world – almost impossibly hard to tie down. But there’s a reason they’re avoided by big wiper blade brands and aren't supplied by most automotive stores.

They just don’t stack up to high-quality premium natural rubber blades (particularly ones coated with graphite and embedded with Teflon).

When it comes to performance, they’re known to smear and leave haze across your windscreen. And in terms of durability, they wear much faster than natural rubber blades due to their inability to cope with fluctuating temperatures (a flaw that to us seems frankly unaustralian).

Natural rubber blades on the other hand are now a fixture on almost every new car (and on the shelves of all major automotive stores). And for good reason. They’re the most durable and best-performing option available, creating minimal streaking, squeaking or smearing. And honestly, they just do the best job. So don’t just settle for whatever the dealership or auto shop has given you in the past – always choose premium natural rubber blades.


Natural Rubber

  • Comes as standard in most new cars
  • Produces minimal squeaking, streaking or smearing
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • High-performing in all conditions

Silicone

  • Not easily available
  • Consistent issues with durability
  • Tendency to smear and leave haze
  • Avoided by manufacturers
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, only natural rubber can wipe it off smoothly.

3. Don’t buy anything that isn’t backed by a warranty

Lastly, don’t buy anything that doesn’t guarantee quality, safety and performance. And the empty promises of dealerships, the ‘endorsements’ of auto shops, or the insanely limited warranties offered by most brands won’t cut it. Make sure to look for blades with a solid warranty. Ideally, one that covers both fitment and performance issues (the longer the better – in fact, walk away from anything that covers you for less than a year). After all, no one wants wipers on their car that aren't guaranteed to do the job.

Summary

If you're looking for new wiper blades, the best option for your car should tick three boxes.

Summary: Which Wiper Blade is the best?
Material
  • Silicone
  • Premium Natural Rubber
Frame
  • Metal
  • Hybrid
  • Beam Blade
Protection
  • Empty Promises
  • Limited Warranty
  • All-in Warranty

However, it's worth noting that not all rubber blades are made equal. To ensure you're getting maximum performance, durability and safety from your wipers, look for dual-cut blades made with premium natural rubber, embedded with Teflon and coated with graphite. With those on your windscreen, you’ll be on the road to clearer, quieter strokes in no time. Afterall, smooth travels are what you deserve.

Ready to be blown away by how easy it is to install our premium quality wiper blades?
Find premium wiper blades for my car

Find perfect-fitting, premium-quality wiper blades for your car

Need help? Click here

Are the wipers you need out-of-stock or not shown here?

Have no fear! More than likely we'll still have the right wipers for you. We add new vehicles all the time. Let us know what you're after and we'll see what we can do!

 
 
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Posted by
Sean May 08, 2020
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