With tons of information at hand, what would you compare for the selection of wiper blades?
a) Manufacturer. It is the manufacturer who makes the wiper blades, not the brand owner. If you don’t know the manufacturer’s equipment, engineering capability, operation efficiency, quality control efforts, it could be hard to know the quality of their products.
b) Design. As there are 3 generations of wipers, you need to find one suitable for you.
- Conventional metal frame. The most common type of wiper blade is the traditional frame style. It incorporates a metal framework that serves as a mount for the actual wiper — a metal-backed strip of either ordinary rubber or halogen-hardened rubber. Found on the majority of vehicles on the road today, frame-style wipers are the most affordable, available and widely used. One shortcoming for the traditional one is it may not prevent the blogging of snow or ice as it does not have protective cover. Winter could be a challenging season for this conventional type of wiper blades. For many decades, the only type of wiper blade available was what we now call a conventional blade. A triangular metal frame contains four to six arms, which press a thin strip of rubber against your windshield. Virtually every car made came with this type of wiper until about ten years ago.
- Premium soft beam. The later invention in wiper technology is a beam blade. The triangular metal frame has been replaced with a single, thin, stiff piece of plastic; the wiper blade is embedded in this plastic frame. Because the frame is solid, there is uniform pressure of the wiper blade against the windshield. And because the frame is thinner, it’s more aerodynamic. Originally found only on luxury cars, today many vehicles at all price points come with beam blades. Discriminating drivers can select from a range of premium beam-style wiper blades. These blades come at a higher price, but manufacturers claim longer life, and the sleek appearance appeals to some.Premium wipers do away with the framework of traditional wipers, instead featuring a one-piece design with minimal parts. An encased spring-steel band allows the wiper to conform to the curvature of the windshield, with some incorporating silicone and double-rubber technology. In 2010, a top product review publication found beam blades gave no obvious performance benefit over conventional blades.
- Integrated hard shell. The shelled hard beam wiper blade claims a substantial upgrade in functionality on legacy types for drivers faced with inclement winter weather. Many shelled hard beam blades feature the traditional one is encased in protective rubber or hard polymer shells. This allows the framework of the wiper to remain ice- and snow-free, which the company claims increases the service life of the wiper. Meanwhile, the 2-layer bridge steel frame structure can maintain an even distribution of forces on the windshield therefore the dead-end problem of flat beam blades could be avoided.Shelled hard beam wipers are neither as visually appealing — to the extent that wipers are appealing at all — nor aerodynamic as more conventional wipers, but they get the job done in tough winter weather which would enhance its life significantly comparing with others. As this type of blades consume more material, other disadvantages of them include heavier body and higher manufacturing cost.
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Ultimately, the material makes the difference. The material of a typical wiper blades include spring steel, polyester frame and connector, rubber filler and silicone cover for some designs. Don’t be surprised that some factory may use recycled material PET from waste bottles and rubber from used tires as they have to squeeze the cost for their survival.
One most important material could be ignored is coating on the blades. Some manufacture may use graphite, some would use MoS2, whiles others may use Teflon. In general, any coating is better than no coating for the protection of rubber. But scientific data shows Teflon does a better job in reducing friction and water /dirt resistance.