Beam wiper blades vs. Traditional wiper blades

Really raining “cats and dogs” here. So I am using my windshield wipers and of course like many mine is in need of replacement. So I go start looking around for a pair. They have these “Floppy” type and the ones with the blade arm *traditional" type. Now I realize both would work just fine. But the floppy ones are a tad bit more expensive. Saw a few YouTube videos and the beam type claim to hug your windshield better. So if any of you guys have used this type is it worth it?


Yes the newer windshield wipers are definitely worth it. If anything go for the Rain-x wipers. Well worth the money.

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I have found the new “beam type” windshield wipers to be far better than the old style. They don’t freeze up in winter, and they have much less of a tendency to chatter on the highway. I wouldn’t go back to the old style wipers.

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I have one of the beam-type on my truck on the driver’s side and one regular type on the passengers. No cold or snow where I live but torrential rain is an issue. When new, both worked just fine. I can’t say definitively, when new, one is better than the other. Seems as if the beam type is aging better in the sun, though.

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This is rude , but for Pete’s Sake people buy wiper blades while they are shopping at WalMart so it can’t be that difficult.

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Since I began using the beam-type wipers, I no longer need to buy the “booted” winter wiper blades.

The best ones that I have found are the Bosch Icon wipers, but I recently bought Goodyear beam-type wipers (on sale) at Costco, for a fraction of the price of the Bosch wipers. So far, the Goodyears seem to be very good, but it will take a while to see if they last as long as those pricey Bosch wipers.

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I live and work in Los Angeles, so I can’t comment on how those beam style blades do in bad weather . . .

But we have both beam and regular blades in our fleet

And in fleet use . . . where I work, can’t speak for anybody else . . . the beam style blades do NOT have any advantage whatsoever. They don’t last any longer, nor do they clean better

I have some personal experience with those Rain-x regular style blades, and I consider them to be overrated

When a vehicle comes in for its scheduled service, which is every 6 months, I don’t care what shape the blades are in. They’re getting replaced regardless

The mechanics who don’t do it tend to look bad . . . because invariably the vehicle operator is back in the next few weeks, complaining his wipers aren’t cleaning the windshield. And some of these vehicles are based very far from the shop, so coming back is a really big deal, and I don’t want to make unnecessary work for the operators.

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Somehow I had a subpar experience with that Costo’s Goodyears: on my Altima in a month or so they started to miss a portion of glass in 30% to the end, so I was ending up with a layer of smeared water and dirt few inches from the far end of the driver side wiper.
I had similar experience with my old Subaru Outback using these Goodyears, but thought Altima has less glass curvature and will not have this issue.
I do not buy them anymore.
I went back with some mid-range priced ones from Walmart - these usually work for me for 6-9 months before they start chattering.

Back when I started working on cars, cars had either 16 or 18 inch wipers and some imports used 17 inch. Then the Ford Taurus came out, and it used a 20 inch blade. Wow, we had to make room on our rack for them, and people wondered if such a long blade would work very well in wind and heavy rain. Now some cars use 26 or 28 inch blades.

As wiper blades have become longer to sweep bigger windshields, old frame blades have given way to the beam style because they flex more easily to conform to the contour of the glass, and the aerodynamic shape actually helps keep them from skipping off the windshield at freeway speeds.


I’m a big fan of Bosch Icons. They seem to last a for quite a while. When the factory wipers on my car (which were way better than I expected) started streaking/chattering, just a little bit. I put a set of Icons on. If history is any indicator I won’t have to worry about them for at least two years at the bare minimum. In the past I’ve tried Rain-X Latitudes, but those weren’t as good for my applications.

As for beam vs traditional, there’s no comparison IMHO. Beam blades tend to last longer, handle snow/ice with more grace, and offer a cleaner wipe, particularly as they age.

Are there any disadvantages of the beam type blades compared to conventional? Initial cost, how long they last, how much they cost to renew – given the conventional type can often be renewed by replacing an insert rather than the whole blade?


They typically cost more to buy, and I believe there are no inserts available. Not only that, but many of them are constructed in such a way, that replacing inserts would be next to impossible

But the whole thing about the inserts is not a factor for me, since even for the conventional style blades, I almost never replaced just the inserts. I just threw out the blades and installed new ones

I just replaced the blades on my Corolla a month ago. Conventional blades, TriCo oem direct replacement exact fit blades, all I had to do was replace the TriCo insert. I did have to order the insert up at my local parts place however, isn’t kept in stock. No complaints about visibility, good as new ones.

First you said you replaced the blades

Then you said you replaced just the inserts

Which is it?

If just inserts, how much?

My point is this . . . does it make sense to order them from the store, considering it’s easier and quicker to just replace the entire blades?

Around $6 each as I recall. The entire blade costs about $13. A $7 per blade saving to just replace the inserts I guess. These are the type of inserts that are mounted to a metal beam. On my truck I just replace the rubber part only, since it is difficult to find replacement blades. And replacing the rubber part is easy.

I think I paid about $12 to replace my 24" driver’s side beam blade the last time I did so. They only get replaced twice a year, three times when I used to commute, and I consider that dirt-cheap insurance. Seeing clearly is a safety issue. I only wish tires were that cheap!!!

NOTE: my stock driver’s wiper size is 26", but I went to 24" many years ago, before I switched to beam-type blades, to reduce chatter on the highway. It works. The beam blade helps too.

I replace my 16" (original 17") blade about every two years. I never let the passenger drive. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I too use Borsh, my car sleeps outside. Every other brand I tried only lasted about 6 months before the heat and UV from our Florida sun caused the blade to start streaking. Borsh still going strong after 2 years.

The Bosch Icons on my Camry are over two years ok and are still wiping like new. Here in snow country I would not buy anything but beam types.

I used to use the Rain-ex beam types on my Chrysler minivan and was happy with them until the drivers side broke in a blinding rainstorm where the blade meets the arm. I was almost 100 miles from home but knew where there was a parts store off the next exit. It was the same chain I had bought the blades from and he gave me credit for the Rain-ex ones against the Bosch. He said he had only seen the 26" and 28" break, he never had any comebacks on the smaller sizes. Since my van had 28s and my Camry has a 26, i never went back to Rain-ex. I have not bought a Trico since they closed their three large plants in Buffalo and moved to Mexico

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Some different considerations here.
One, it seems that not all windshields have the same shapes/angles and so some are better handled by beam blades while others by conventional.
Two, I have one car where I stay with the conventional blade and replace silicon inserts which last longer than regular rubber.
Three, I have a bias against throwing out frames every time if an insert is possible.
Four, I keep an old blade (not beam, which don’t seem to work as well) in the car when the weather is cold for use as a big squeegee or loose snow on windows.