There are some pretty fancy rubber wiper blades available that sport internal frames, wind-resistant designs and water-shedding treatments. Even with these innovations, some of the best wiper blades are the simplest and cheapest ones available. These are usually traditional-style blades featuring an external metal and plastic frame that secures a rubber wiper blade. Rubber blades are less expensive than more up-market silicon or beam wipers.
Experts say a higher cost doesn't necessarily deliver a longer life span; many wipers show wear after three months. After six months, almost every wiper blade provides only mid-grade performance and could begin compromising your visibility.
The Valeo 600 Windshield Wiper Blade rates as one of the best, according to reviews. Both natural and synthetic rubber is used in the wiper blade, and a special coating helps protects it from UV and weather deterioration. Many users at Amazon.com confirm that cheaper blades can sometimes outperform premium options: "These are the best wiper blades I have ever used and they are super cheap," comments one owner. Another says, "These blades are definitely worth the money; actually, I've had more expensive ones that weren't even close."
One Amazon.com user from Denver says, "I hate paying a lot for wipers since they tend to wear out fast where I live with constantly changing temperatures and conditions… Don't waste money on fancy wiper blades, just get ones that are cheaper and highly rated like these." This owner replaces his blades every six months, but several others report that their Valeo 600 wipers lasted much longer. "These have been performing great for about a year," comments one user, who notices "very little dip in performance from when I first installed them." Several other owners also mention seeing a year of usable life from their blades.
Many users report no problems installing new Valeo 600s, and this brand isn't alone in offering a great wiper blade at an affordable cost. A strong runner-up is the Anco 31 Windshield Wiper Blade (*Est. $6), which is called an "excellent value" by users at Amazon.com. One says, "I've purchased more expensive windshield wipers before and have never noticed a significant difference in quality."
ConsumerReports.org tests 13 windshield wiper models by installing them on the vehicles of 185 staffers, then evaluating their performance when new and again after six months of wear. Valeo 600 blades are among those tested.
Review: Windshield Wiper Ratings, Editors at ConsumerReports.org, Oct. 2011
More than 200 owners post reviews for the Valeo 600s across the various sizes available, giving many of them an average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The majority of comments call these wipers reliable, durable and a good value.
Review: Valeo 600 Series Wiper Blades, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Feb. 2012