Windshield wiper blades are a small but essential part of your vehicle. These car parts help to keep your visibility clear while driving in adverse weather conditions, and if they are not functioning properly can greatly increase the chances of an accident occurring. There are several different types of windshield wiper blades available on the market, each of which is slightly different from each other and as such has a different distinctive set of advantages and drawbacks. Understanding what each type of wiper blade has to offer can help you choose the best fit for your vehicle.

Bracket Blades

Common on most older vehicles, and sometimes still included on new vehicles depending on model and make, bracket blades are wiper blades that are housed within a bracket that has multiple contact points to ensure that the blade is flush against the windshield. This bracket, usually made out of metal, is attached to the wiper arm, and is a large surface that can collect debris, including snow, that can disrupt the windshield wiper's operation. The main advantage of this type of wiper blade is the fact that they are so cheap and usually come preinstalled on vehicles – however, they do not perform well in the winter, and can easily cause streaking or improper windshield cleaning if the bracket becomes damaged.

Beam Blades

Beam blades are quickly replacing bracket blades as the standard for windshield wipers. They are made out of a piece of metal that is encased in rubber, forming the blade while ensuring that it cannot be bent out of shape. This design gives beam blades a much lower profile when compared to bracket blades, reducing the chances of ice and snow building up on the wiper blades and making them better able to operate in the winter months. Additionally, since the metal within the blade is shaped to the windshield, it provides consistent contact throughout the entirety of the blade, unlike bracket blades which only several pressure points to hold the blade against the glass.

Hybrid Blades

Hybrid blades, like their name suggests, combine the design of both bracket and beam wiper blades. They are encased in a low profile covering, making it harder for snow and ice to build up on them than on bracket blades, while still making use of the framework of bracket blades to help keep costs low. Hybrid blades are a good midpoint for car owners, allowing for an affordable upgrade of bracket blades.