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What is the difference between exact fit & universal wiper blades?

Today, we’d like to help you identify the difference between exact fit wiper blades and universal wiper blades. There are many different types of car windscreen wiper blades for cars, trucks and vans in the market these days, however it is important to know the difference between some of the types of replacement blades.

The best way to compare exact fit wiper blades and universal fit is comparing a custom tailored suit to a regular store purchased one. Not that there is anything wrong with a store purchased suit but the custom tailored one is just so much nicer to both wear and be seen in. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages and this article hopes to clear up some of the questions around each style of blade.

We also touch on this in our best wiper blades of 2023 guide, give it a read if you want to learn more about windscreen wiper blades.

Universal fit or uni-fit wiper blades

You may have heard of universal fit or “uni-fit” mentioned in passing. Most commonly these are sold in stores for older vehicles. These universal replacement kits usually use a few various mounting adapters to connect the blades to the windscreen wiper arms on your vehicle. In each universal kit you will be presented with a number of different adapters you will have to install onto the blade or wiper arm and in some cases you may have to cut or trim your wiper blade length.

A universal fit or uni fit wiper is great for older vehicles that just want to install replacement wiper blades and don’t really care about the aesthetic or fitment of the blades. They are also great if you are working on a custom car or vehicle as you can cut the blade to fit and select the mounting bracket required. You will find this style of wiper blade at most big box automotive spare parts stores here in Australia. There are also a few sellers retailing this style online. Some advantages of this style of blade are:

  • They fit a wide variety of vehicle makes and models
  • More suited to older vehicles
  • Cheaper to buy in some cases
  • You can customise your blade length and adapter to suit your vehicle

There are also disadvantages of this style of blade:

  • Harder to buy for newer vehicles
  • Take longer to replace than exact fit wipers
  • Adapters can be difficult to install and use on your vehicle
  • Adapters can fail or detach and scratch your windshield
  • They do not fit all newer makes and models
  • Can cause extra noise in your vehicle
  • Wipe quality is not as good
  • They do not have the sleek design of exact fit wipers
Uni-fit or universal wiper blade (we do not stock these)

Exact fit wiper blades

Exact fit wiper blades are designed to fit perfectly on your vehicle. These have been designed to match manufacturers specifications in both the wiper arm connector, size and the blade design. On some older vehicles, our Exact Fit wipers are an aerodynamic style which actually perform better than the OEM older style metal blades.

Some advantages of this style of blade are:

  • Perform exactly like the original wiper blades from the factory
  • Quick and easy to install on your vehicle
  • No bulky connectors or confusing adapters required
  • Quiet and streak free operation
  • No ugly and bulky looking adapters on your wiper blade arms
  • The perfect wiper blade length for your window for a full wipe
  • Sleek design that matches the factory style

There are also disadvantages of this style of blade:

  • More expensive to buy (if you’re purchasing from a car dealer)
  • You have to purchase the specific wiper blade replacement for your vehicle
Exact fit wiper blade like the blades sold at Wipers Direct

I hope this quick guide has created some clarity around the different types of windscreen wiper blade replacements for your vehicle. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us and one of our wiper experts will assist you.

Written by David Harris

David is a lover of all things automotive and has been working on or around cars for the past 15 years. As a wiper blade expert, David spends most of his time at Wipers Direct helping with testing, fitting and researching wiper blades.

  • Prices listed on this site are in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. Prices, specifications, descriptions and terms are subject to change without notice. All manufacturer names, logos, and descriptions on our site are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any product sold by us is a product authorised by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed in this page.