With winter right around the corner, now is the right time for drivers all over the northern hemisphere to start thinking about replacing their aging windshield wiper blades.
You might be wondering – If beam blades are the best wipers for winter weather then why do winter blades still exist? Even though frameless beam blades are an excellent option for winter driving if you’re looking to balance performance and durability, there are situations where winter blades do better. For example, drivers in regions that frequently experience large accumulations of snow might prefer the weight and bulk of a winter blade to help clear the windshield. For the rest of us, beam blades have evolved into a capable replacement for most light-duty and passenger car applications that see moderate amounts of ice and snow every winter.
Notably, beam blades are suitable for all weather conditions and are often marketed as such – but have a few unique features that help them perform exceptionally well when the snowflakes and freezing rain start to fall. These are extreme weather conditions which demand a wiper blade that can take mother nature’s punishment while still maintaining optimum visibility for the driver.
Best Wipers for Winter Driving – What to Look For
Exceptional Strength and Durability
The backbone of a quality beam blade is the high-strength tensile steel beam, which is usually wrapped in a durable, aerodynamic rubber cover called a spoiler. One of the benefits of the tensile steel beam is that unlike with a conventional wiper blade, there are no parts to break or rivets to fall out.
Superior Resistance to Ice Buildup
Anyone who has ever had to drive in inclement weather of the sub-freezing variety knows how easily ice can build up within the metal frame of a conventional wiper blade. The construction of a winter wiper blade mitigates this issue by wrapping the traditional metal frame with a rubber cover. The aerodynamic rubber that covers the tensile steel beam of a beam blade acts in the exact same manner. This construction does not allow any place for ice to build up.
Crystal Clear Visibility
The tensile steel beam features a memory curve which conforms to the curvature of any modern windshield. Unlike conventional blades or winter blades, which have a finite number of contact points, the entire beam blade makes constant contact with the glass through the entire wiping motion. The beam blade’s constant pressure on the glass with an infinite number of contact points ensures that there are no missed spots and no streaks when it matters the most.
Here in New England, we actually saw our first snow 3 days before Halloween. It’s a little unusual, but not unheard of and frankly, I’d expect nothing less in 2020! With that said, the official start of winter is a little over a month away, but the prospect of snow and freezing rain is obviously already here. Don’t get caught in a dangerous situation on an icy road when you realize that your wipers aren’t working the way they should be. They’ve endured the punishing heat of the summer sun for 4+ months and the rubber has probably begun to dry and crack. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or prefer the help of a professional installer, now would be a great time to pick up a pair of the best wipers for winter to get you through the snow and freezing rain safely.