Why is a 12" channel NOT 12"?

So I got around to cutting some channels today but the rubber didn’t fit. I cut a channel to 12" but the 12" rubber was too short. So I started to measure some of my other channels and guess what?? Just like a 2x4 isn’t 2 inches by 4 inches, neither are channels, … or rubber for that matter.

I imagine a lot of you probably already knew this, but all I can really ask is what the heck?? Why?? Is this true for all channels?? Or is my tape measure defective?? And here I was cutting a channel to 12" inches because I was under the assumption that the 12" rubber I bought was indeed 12".


Perhaps if the channel/rubber manufacturers were European based the original measurements would be in metric. Then roughly translated to imperial.

[B][COLOR=“red”]30cm = 11.81"[/COLOR][/B]

Most channels are a little more than 1/4" shorter than they are advertised.

I’m measuring all my channels to be about 1/2 inch shorter than what they should be. So I have a 12" that measures 11.5. The 12inch rubber measures 11.75 inches. Still don’t get why in the world this would be. Is this some kind of window cleaning tool scam?:wink: Can I sue somebody??

Hey Tom…

I found this out just like you and then I needed to buy some bigger rubbers to use for the 18" channel I bought the rubber for ! It’s just life in the big city…I think what Mark said applies ! Some things are sold in metric sizes ! It’s no big deal the sun will still come up in-spite of it.

Now if some one was to stop me from killing Phish then I’d get a bit phist off and boiling to to a dry pot !


[QUOTE=]Now if some one was to stop me from killing Phish[/QUOTE]
That reminds me, Shawn – both TAB and Cactus are on tour right now!

Notice that the size difference never amounts to more for your money. That is why they
are not larger than stated. When you manufacture a large number, it saves on materials.

Yeah I know. I’m kinda jesting somewhat and it is what it is, … not a great big deal, but when companies advertise a size why I am I not getting what I paid for?? It does seem to be a bit of a scam because over the long term a LOT of material is saved and a LOT of money is saved. There must be a reason for this other than cutting costs right?? I think I’m going to email a few manufacturers and ask them why they aren’t sending me the right size.

Are you purchasing directly from the manufacturers?

If you have an issue, I would suggest you take it up with the supplier from whom the product was purchased.

As was mentioned earlier, a 2X4 isn’t 2’ X 4"… As far as the channel you cut prior to determining the actual length of a replacement blade – measure twice; cut once!

I did call the supplier. They said that a 12" channel is slightly less so that it fits a 12" window. Does that make sense?? Rarely do I ever clean a window with one perfect swipe. I do have some, but I don’t generally order channels based on the dimensions of the windows I’m cleaning. I also emailed Unger to see what their reply would be.

The 2x4 has a long history of actually why it isn’t any longer an actual 2x4. But window cleaning channels?? I didn’t measure anything because the rubber case was telling me 12". … it says right on the package. Guess that package was wrong, …lesson learned. I just wonder if this is true across the board with all manufacturers because I do use an assortment of tools, channels, and blades.

Anyway you’re right, never assume anything even if the package tells you the dimensions. Oh well, live and learn. There’s a lot more important things to be upset with. I’m not worried about this , … just confused.

I use an 18’, 10’ and 6’ Unger channel

I buy 18’ Unger Rubbers

When I put the 18’ rubber in the 18’ channel, there’s always an inch left over

If I put the 18’ rubber in the 10’ inch channel, there’s never enough rubber left over to fit the 6’ channel

If I cut the 18’ rubber to make rubbers for the 6’ inch channels, I only get 2 and have ab9ouot 4 inches left over

They know what they’re doing, its all about selling more rubber

I’ve found that squeegees are pretty Andersen friendly more often than not. Or is it that Andersen is squeegee friendly? I know Pella is rarely so. But that’s not too shocking.

I’ve never actually measured the channels. But my assumption was the channel had to shorter to accommodate the 12" rubber that needs to be a little longer to sit right in the channel. Most the time I buy in rubber in rolls - but I’ve never measured the rolls - should I?

I was also told the 36" rubber is actually longer than 36" and if I wanted to cut the rubber into 3x12’s I could buy the 36 and would have enough. But if I bought a 12" it measures like 11 3/4. The 12" channel measures about 11 1/2.

It’s really a non-issue to me now, but I think it’s a little sneaky doing this. If a company manufactures thousands of channels and blades they can save a significant amount by short changing. That’s my theory at the moment. I figured someone would just be able to readily explain why this is so.

I think I might now have to check and see how much beer is actually in that 12 ounce bottle. hmmmmmm speaking of that… just remembered this too but recently a youtube video featured someone (I believe at a major league ballpark) measuring the amount of beer in a large versus a small. They were both exactly the same!! hahaha

Same with a bowl vs. a cup of soup in most restaurants :slight_smile:

my WAGTAIL is well under the correct size . i bought a 14" and wanted to cut it down to a 13"(well a fraction under,as “13” is unlucky number ) and found it was almost 13 before i cut it

On 2 or 3 occasions over the years, I’ve had 18" blades come up 1/4" to 3/4" short – from both Unger and Ettore.

I cut 18s down for my 6" detailing squeegees. I’ve used Pulex, Unger, and Ettore product and typically have ~1/4" left over, but never does it turn up short like you, Chris.

That makes sense to me. If I can…I try to sqeegee the window with 1 stroke. If the channel was exactly 12" and it was a 12" window…it would’nt fit because the rubber extends beyone the ends of the channel… They cut it short knowing the rubber extends out of each side by 1/8 inch. That would then make up the 1/4 inch difference. Which would then fit perfectly for a 1 stroke job. The fewer strokes the faster you can go the more money you make. Just my 2 cents.

Hey Tommy…

Besides the channels not being the same size whent they are sold at…You know Werner ladders and most ladders for that matter are sold along those lines…

lets say a Werner 32’er is sold as a 32’er but when you fully extend it it doesn’t extend that far but to…I think it’s 30’ or 29’ but not 32’…Now that is understandable because of the over lapping section…But they are measuring it by the length of each separate section which is 11’ each I think, but they don’t sell it at its actual extended length !

Which to me is a hairball way of selling it…You first buy thinking it will go 32’ then it doesn’t.For years I’ve used Alaco ladders which are way more expensive, but a 28’er can be used as a 28’er because of the leg extenders that come with it ! They only lose 1’ with the section overlap !

Alaco ladders will last 30 years or longer…I have a Alaco 40’er, bought 25 years agos, and it is still not showing much wear. They use aircraft aluminum which makes them very, very strong ! Stiil a 40’er can be utilized as a true 40’er…

Dange / Showing the Range

I cut it twice but it’s still too short! lol