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Window cleaners use many different types of equipment to get their jobs done. Odds are, if you have seen a window cleaner on the job, you will see them working with a squeegee. The squeegee setup is the most standard, yet essential tool for many in the industry. Whether you are just starting, a professional doing a residential or commercial job, working on highrise buildings, or just cleaning windows at your house - you will find the squeegee to be the most practical tool to use. The squeegee is, after all, a part of our logo and a staple of our industry. There is a squeegee out there for every type of window and window cleaner!
A basic squeegee consists of the squeegee handle, squeegee channel, and the squeegee rubber in the channel - with the rubber removing any dirt or debris off the surface of the window, the channel holding the rubber in place, which the handle clasps and is used in hand or attached to a pole to move both around to cover the entire surface of the window. When it comes to a new business owner, there is no better place to start than selecting a squeegee handle!
At its core, the squeegee handle may seem as simple as it just holding a squeegee channel in place, and to some extent that is true, but they are engineered in many ways. Most handles use screws to secure in the channel, while other handles have a fast release lever or button, which allows you to quickly snap in a channel. It is ultimately up to user preference when it comes to deciding between the two, but they serve the same function. A squeegee handle can come in an array of angles, grips, swivels, locking and non-locking positions, and several lengths to choose from. Typically, handles are gripped in the hand to clean windows at ground level (unless you are using a ladder or step stool), but they can even be attached to an extension pole in order to reach higher places. This level of versatility makes the squeegee handle such a vital piece of equipment for anyone aspiring to make a living cleaning windows.
Selecting A New Handle
Due to the number of situations you can run into on any given job, there are several factors you will need to consider. These factors will affect the performance of your channel and the overall result of your window cleaning. Handles come in aluminum, brass, stainless steel, or plastic. Many have a grip for control and comfort. Each material has pros and cons; Brass, for example, is very popular because it is versatile and affordable. On the other hand, stainless steel is a bit heavier than brass but won’t tarnish. If you want a lighter handle, aluminum is a great choice.
Most handles can fit onto extension poles like our XERO Trad Pole 2.0, which uses a variety of pole tips that will connect to whichever brand of handle you have. These poles are telescopic and help clean higher-up windows, and can help you reach windows you can not get to if there is an obstruction or the window is too high for you to reach from the ground. We offer all types of accessories for your extension pole to help you utilize your equipment to the best of its capability.
Another consideration is whether or not you need a handle on an angle, which helps to clean windows with a deeper windowsill and can be easier on the wrist. Some handles are fixed, which do not move at all, others have a swivel feature, which can be useful for hard-to-reach areas, different types of windows, or for cleaning at different angles. You will find that many fixed handles that do not have an adjustable angle, come to a 30° angle. A handle like the Moerman Excelerator 2.0 Squeegee Handle can lock into angles ranging from about -20° to about 40°. Negative degree angles can be used for windows below you, while positive angles can be used at eye level or above you. Most importantly, you will want to select a handle that is compatible with the channel that you have or are looking to purchase.
Standard vs. Wide-body channels - Which handle is best?
When choosing a handle, it's important to purchase one that will support the weight and width of the channel you’re pairing it with. Handles will work with two different types of channels - either the standard or wide-body channels. Handles that work with standard channels are typically paired with lighter and slimmer channels, which can be a bit easier on the hand and wrist. Some examples of these include the Unger Pro Squeegee Handle, Ettore Quick Release Stainless Steel with Rubber Grip Squeegee Handle, and the Ettore Master Brass Squeegee Handle.
Other handles are specifically designed to support more weight and wider channels which can hold them straight for a longer period, these are handles that can support a wide-body channel. The handle has a wider space where a channel that isn’t as slim can attach to the backplate and fit in. A few examples of handles that support wide-body channels are the Sörbo Swivel Squeegee Handle, Unger ErgoTec Ninja Squeegee Handle - 40°, and the Ettore Contour Pro+ Super Channel Squeegee Handle. On our website, we have a list of each channel that is compatible with the handle you are looking at, so if you have are apprehensive about which will work, that can help you out.
What works best for you?
The reality is that every window cleaner is unique and has different needs and preferences when it comes to handles. From the most basic level, the comfortability of the handle is important! If you know you will be using it for several hours at a time, all day, or if your hand or wrist is hurting, it can have an impact on the quality of your work. It can also potentially cause an injury. Beyond that, the type of job you are on and the windows you are cleaning can be a factor in which handle you decide to use. As you can imagine, you will encounter many types of windows of all different sizes and sometimes you will have obstructions that you will need to work around, so the handle choice is imperative. Additionally, some customers have a preference for which brand they choose. Ultimately, the decision can be made by simply trying out different handles and seeing which one you like best. Just be sure the handle is compatible with the channel you want. When used properly, a handle can serve you for years, if not decades, even with regular use! (Plastic handles may wear a bit quicker) If you are unsure of which handle pairs with which channel, we also have many complete squeegees to choose from that have compatible parts.
As you can see, we carry all of the brands available in the window cleaning industry and we have several resources in which we can help you handle the many options available to you! You can check out our YouTube channel, which offers an almost infinite amount of information on the topic of handles and anything else related to the window cleaning industry. You can also always speak to one of our product specialists, who have as much experience as a window cleaner can have. Our team of experts is available over chat, via phone call at 862-266-067, or by email. Our team is available around the clock to help you choose the products you need!