At highway speeds, even a tiny stone can damage a windshield, big time. As that rock strikes the surface, it creates a small chip. Then, flex in the vehicle’s body can cause that chip to crack or spider and take on a weblike appearance. Not only can these cracks obstruct a driver’s vision, they can also cause a vehicle to fail a state inspection or earn you a ticket from the police.
Fortunately, with the best windshield repair kit, you can fix those cracks and chips and prevent further damage. The completed repair will be barely noticeable, and the kits are affordable compared to calling a professional. Keep reading to learn what factors and features to consider when shopping, and review a number of top quality products that might be right for your situation.
- BEST OVERALL: Rain-X 600001 Windshield Repair Kit
- RUNNER UP: Permatex 09103 Windshield Repair Kit
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Blue-Star Fix your Windshield 2 Repair Kits
- BEST PROFESSIONAL: Clearshield Windshield Repair Kit
- ALSO CONSIDER: 3M Windshield Repair Kit, 08580
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Windshield Repair Kit
Rock chips can look ugly, but when they split or spider, they can obstruct the driver’s vision and cause serious safety concerns. There is also something disconcerting about driving with a compromised windshield. To choose the right windshield repair kit, keep the following in mind.
Repair kits use resin to clearly restore windshield dings. They can be great solutions, but they might not be the right one for all types of windshield damage. When bullseye cracks and chips are caught early, the integrity of the glass may not be affected, however, left unrepaired, the damage can spread. A quality repair kit can be more than sufficient for restoring a little bit of lost integrity and removing the appearance of the blemish.
If it’s a large crack, or the chip or bullseye crack spiders, repair becomes more difficult. These damages can weaken the windshield’s structural integrity, making it tough for even a high-quality repair kit to get enough resin into the damage to restore it.
DIY vs. Professional
There are two types of kits available to consumers: DIY and professional grade. DIY kits usually feature small plastic pieces intended to be used once or twice, while professional kits feature sturdy, reusable parts.
DIY kits, which cost between about $20 and $30, usually consist of a small pedestal or bridge that sticks to the windshield to pinpoint the flow of the resin. These kits also come with razor blades or push pins, resin, and UV-activated sheets for curing the resin. There is usually only enough material for one to two repairs.
Pro kits come with a variety of components, including a drill and drill bits to go through the glass, ample resin, metal bridges, and reusable parts. In some cases, a professional kit can include hundreds of repairs’ worth of materials, and the kits can cost hundreds of dollars.
Keep in mind that when damage is considerable or in a dangerous location, it might be best to forgo a kit and call a pro. For example, if the chip is directly in the driver’s line of sight, a professional can avoid any potential safety issues.
Professional repairs can cost between $100 and $500, with some rare vehicles’ windshields or complicated replacements costing even more. While those costs might sound prohibitive, where safety is concerned, it’s worth the cost.
Whether you DIY or go to a pro, accept the fact that there are very few circumstances where all evidence of a crack or chip can be completely removed. Repair kits will banish the majority of the blemish, but very often a small hint of damage will be left behind.
For a repair to go as smoothly as possible and leave behind near-seamless results, a kit must include all tools and materials necessary. Don’t settle for a kit that requires additional purchases. A well-equipped kit will typically include:
- a razor blade for removing loose glass,
- resin for filling the voids in the cracks and scratches,
- bridges or pedestals that attach to the windshield for accurate and air-tight filling,
- a sheet of activation or curing paper,
- an applicator.
Professional level kits tend to come with heavy-duty bridges as well as drill bits and drills for digging down into the outer layer of the glass. This allows the resin to penetrate better and fill the void completely.
Ease of Application
The application process can be a major factor when deciding on the best windshield repair kit. Those that come with jigs that stick to the windshield make pinpointing the resin application very easy. Kits that use the sun’s UV rays to cure the resin require little effort from the user, removing the need for additional steps or tools.
Some kits prioritize ease of use, requiring you to simply allow a few drops of resin to drip from the tip of the applicator. Yet while this might work very well for tiny chips, larger chips and cracks will require a bridge or pedestal for forcing the resin into the glass.
Most kits use some form of a pressure-and-vacuum system to force the resin into the void and then remove air bubbles. That might sound complicated, but the process is relatively straightforward.
Our Top Picks
Armed with background on windshield repair kits, purchasing one should be fairly simple. The products described below are considered among the best windshield repair kits on the market.
For maximum capability from a basic windshield repair kit, check out this Rain-X product. The Windshield Repair Kit can minimize the appearance and stop the spread of chips and cracks in windshields, if the chip is under 1 inch in diameter and the crack less than 12 inches long.
This kit comes with a suction cup jig that adheres to the windshield for easy and pinpoint resin application. It also includes a razor blade, resin, and an applicator bottle as well as a curing strip that takes advantage of the sun’s UV rays. Users can complete the entire repair process in well under an hour, as each step takes just a few minutes.
Those wanting a windshield repair kit with a very simple application process might find the Permatex Windshield Repair Kit to be just the ticket. It’s suitable for repairs in bullseye cracks and windshield chips under 1¼ inches, stopping the spread of the crack or chip and minimizing the appearance of damage.
This kit comes with just about everything required for a repair, including a push pin and razor for digging out loose glass, resin, a syringe, alcohol wipes, and a resin pedestal that attaches to the windshield for an airtight repair. It also includes a curing strip that harnesses the sun’s rays to cure the resin.
DIY windshield repairs are all about saving money, and some kits let you bank more than others. Blue-Star’s Fix your Windshield kit comes with enough resin and supplies to make two repairs on bullseye cracks and windshield chips.
This kit includes the resin injector, alignment seals, and its “Quick Cure” resin as well as a push pin and razor for removing loose glass. There’s also a pedestal for attaching the syringe to the windshield for an air-tight seal. Once applied, the included curing film uses UV rays from the sun to cure the resin. The result is a smooth repair, free of air bubbles, that will stop the cracking and spidering while minimizing the blemish.
Whether for truly professional repairs at home or a new business venture, Clearshield Windshield Repair Kit is worth a look. This kit comes with the materials and tools to repair over 200 windshield chips or cracks with smooth, consistent results.
This kit comes with the drill and drill bits necessary to dig into the top layer of the windshield for a better repair than most DIY kits. It also includes a suction-mounted bridge for injecting resin into cracks for the most precise repair possible. When it’s time to cure the resin, there’s a pit sealer for sealing off any residual cracks, along with curing sheets and a UV light to activate the resin so it’s not dependent on sunshine.
The 3M Windshield Repair Kit is another worthy contender for straightforward application. This kit will fill small bullseye cracks and chips (under 1 inch in diameter) easily and prevent them from splitting or cracking across a windshield.
It comes with a suction-mounted bridge, applicator, a resin application chamber, resin injector, and a curing strip as well as a razor and pushpin. And unlike other kits, this one’s resin doesn’t require sunlight, relying instead on time to cure. Simply inject the resin according to the instructions, top off the chip with a bit of extra resin, cover it with the curing strip, and then allow the resin to dry. With this kit, unlike kits with UV-activated resins, results take longer than 10 minutes, so be sure to follow the directions and let it cure for the recommended time.
FAQs About Windshield Repair Kits
If you want further info on windshield repair, you’ll likely find it among the answers to the most common questions about these DIY kits.
Q. How big of a crack can be repaired on a windshield?
Most kits are suitable for chips and bullseye cracks around 1 inch in diameter. If a kit can repair cracks, they typically need to be under 12 inches in length.
Q. Will a windshield repair kit work on a mobile phone screen?
While you can repair visible cracks in mobile phone screens, the result will not be sensitive enough for accurate touch screen function.
Q. How do you use a windshield repair kit?
Each kit will have a set of instructions unique to that product, but the general steps are:
- Clean the surface with a glass cleaner.
- Remove loose glass chips with a razor or push pin.
- Adhere the bridge or pedestal over the chip.
- Drop the resin into the tube or pedestal.
- Create suction by tightening and loosening the injector a series of times, according to the instructions.
- Allow the resin to sit in the crack.
- Remove the bridge or pedestal, and scrape excess resin with a razor blade.
- Apply additional resin by hand, and cover with a curing strip or sheet.
- Expose resin (covered by curing strip) to the sun for 10 minutes.
- Remove the strip, scrape clean, and buff with a glass cleaner.
Q. What is the best professional windshield repair kit?
There are many pro-grade windshield repair kits on the market, and pros all have their own preferences as to which is the best. However, Clearshield Windshield Repair Kit is one of the best options for an entry-level, pro-grade windshield repair kit.