Wiper Blades: Ratings of Sources
Ed Grabianowski and Rik Paul pick the best windshield wipers based on test results from ConsumerReports.org, interviews with car experts, and hands-on testing of a couple of choices. He also looks at Amazon.com reviews for the top-rated models. Tested wipers (not all are) are subjected to a long-term durability test in which drivers living in a variety of climates test the blades for a full year.
Amazon.com sells dozens of brands of wiper blades, including popular brands like Bosch, Rain-X, Trico, and Anco. Several popular models have upwards of 1,000 user reviews. We found several models here with overall ratings of 4 stars or better from more than 2,000 users. There are also many additional models with 4.5-star ratings, albeit some have fewer user reviews.
This retail site sells ten popular brands of wiper blades, and it attracts lots of customer reviews. Finding the best-rated models is a bit tricky, however, as you have to click on each brand to see its reviews, and each individual blade in a line is rated separately. However, we managed to track down a few models that earn at least 4 stars overall from 45 users or more.
Editors of ConsumerReports.org conduct exhaustive testing of more than a dozen windshield wiper models by putting them to the test in real-world conditions on the vehicles of 185 staff members, though the detailed testing results are no longer online. Editors find that most windshield wipers perform best when new, although some models deteriorate more quickly than others. They recommend replacing windshield wipers twice per year, checking them monthly.
Car enthusiast Chris Longhurst tests beam-style wiper blades from Rain-X and Bosch in rainy conditions on five different models of cars and trucks, both at speed and at rest. In every case, Longhurst finds, the blades don't lie flat against the windshield at the edges, leaving little streaks and missed areas. However, when he tests the blades in snow and ice on his Honda Element, both perform so spectacularly that he heartily recommends them anyway.
This aftermarket-parts site sells only a handful of windshield wiper models, but some -- primarily PIAA wiper blades -- get enough feedback to be helpful. The site shows not only the overall star rating for each model, but also its scores for appearance, quality, ease of installation, and price/value.
TireRack.com sells about ten different wiper blades from PIAA, Valeo, and Bosch, and most of them have received few or no reviews from owners. We found only three windshield wiper models with eight or more reviews. Each of these models receives not only an overall star rating, but also separate ratings on a 10-point scale for design, quality, performance benefits, and ease of use.
In this video review, "Parris" of EpicReviewGuys tests Rain-X Latitude wiper blades to see whether these beam-style blades really perform better than traditional windshield wipers. After demonstrating how the Rain-X blade flexes and showing how to install it on his Honda Odyssey, he takes the car out in drizzly weather with one beam blade and one traditional blade to see how they compare. Both blades clean fairly well, but the Rain-X smears less.
Several users weigh in on this recent forum thread asking for recommendations for the best windshield wipers. The original poster asks for recommendations within the $50 to $100 range, and several users state that most windshield wipers need to be replaced every six months to one year. There are a few recommendations for windshield wiper brands based on positive user experience.