Squeegees are the backbone of window cleaning. The first single rubber blade squeegee was invented in 1936 by legendary Ettore Steccone; yes, that Ettore. Since the days of humble single blade squeegees, the industry has developed a lot of innovative solutions to some common, reoccurring problems. In particular, the squeegee has expanded the number of special characteristics offered. For example, the clipless squeegee handle was created without any clips on the end of the squeegee to reduce the amount of bowing or stretching that clips can cause on the end of rubber blades. With so many special characteristics offered for squeegees, we will go into many of the options, not only what they are, but also what those they do.
Aluminum – Handles made of aluminum are the lightest weight for metal handles.
Stainless Steel – Handles made of stainless steel don’t tarnish like brass. However, it is the heaviest of all metal handles.
Plastic – Handles partially or entirely made of plastic and plastic composite materials are usually lighter than most non-aluminum metal handles. Advancements in engineering allow for swivel, and dual-action (swivel and pivot) handles, to be made out of mostly plastic parts.
Brass – Handles made of brass are lighter than stainless steel. However, it will discolor over time. This is normal.
Swivel – Handles with a swivel head can be moved left or right to accommodate oddly shaped glass, or to make some pole work easier.
Clip – A channel that can be made of aluminum, brass, or stainless steel that requires end clips to hold the rubber. Identified by lack of “gripping points” on the lower jaw of the handle.
Clipless – A handle that can be made of aluminum, brass, stainless steel, or plastic and that uses a squeegee channel that requires no end clips to hold the rubber — identified by “gripping points” on the lower jaw of the handle.
Deep Reach – A handle with an extended neck area that allows for easier finishing of the window on the squeegee stroke when facing extra deep sills and ledges.
Quick Release – A lever on a squeegee handle that allows you to add and remove channels quickly and easily. Pushing down on the lever tightens the grip on the rubber and channel, and holds it in place until you are ready to remove it. To release, simply open the lever.
Screw On – A handle that uses the traditional setup of a screw to tighten down the channel.
Sizes – There is a range of squeegee channel sizes, and your choice will depend on window size. The average range of squeegee channels is from 8 inches to 36 inches and everywhere in between. Choices vary by brand.
Wide Body – A handle specifically designed to accommodate wider (girth not length) squeegee channels. This is usually accomplished by using longer screws and nuts to attach the lower jaw to the handle head.
Dog-Eared – A handle that has the corners turned in towards the rubber. This is a secondary change many window cleaners perform and enjoy. They do this because they like the way the channel holds the rubber down onto the window while cleaning. We recently reached out to our window-cleaning peers to see what they deemed as the most useful handle characteristic in residential and commercial situations, as well as some general thoughts about squeegees and channels. This is what they had to say.
Squeegees indeed have many characteristics from which to choose. But when you are able to understand the practicality of each, it’s easier to understand why you may or may not want a specific handle trait. Ready for more information about Squeegees? Click Here. See some characteristics we didn’t include? Add them in the comment section below, with a description and purpose, and we will add them to this post!