You’ll agree a motor vehicle is one of the best inventions of all time. While we love the convenience of owning one it comes with responsibility too. Occasionally there’s some work that needs to be done to optimize not only its efficiency but appearance.
Often, we hear about the need for a brake pad or battery change, but today we want to draw your attention to shift knob replacement. Do you have to wait until it’s faulty to change it? The short answer is no.
In some cases, you might simply not like the original factory shift knob your new car came with—and that’s okay. Maybe it’s a little plain & boring. Why settle? You can replace it with one that not only allows you to shift those gears smoothly but also enhances your car’s interior.
- Features to Consider in Good Shift Knobs
- Top 10 Best Shift Knobs 2020
- 1. APDTY 54132 Shifter Button Knob Repair Kits
- 2. ModQuad Gear Shift Knob Grip Black
- 3. Mishimoto MMSK- BK Weighted Shift Knob
- 4. Cartaoo T-Handle Gear Shift Knob Handle for Jeep Wrangler
- 5. Zhol Universal Aluminium Automotive Motorsport Fantasy Manual Stick Shift Knob
- 6. Dewhel JDM Manual Short Throw Shift Gear Knob
- 7. Pilot Automotive Magnum Six Shooter Shift Knob with Secret Storage Compartment
- 8. Tirol Hand Stitched Gear Shift Knob
- 9. Big Ant Car Cobra Head Gear Shift Knob
- 10. JGR Universal Gun Grip Handle Shift Knob Manual
- Guide to Buying the Best Shift Knobs
- Types of Shift Knobs
- What is the Difference Between OEM & Aftermarket Shift Knobs?
- What Are the Necessary Features?
- How Important is the Material?
- Good to Know
- Final Words
Features to Consider in Good Shift Knobs
The search for a shift knob may lead to spending hours online looking for the ideal one. And with the competition for this product on the rise, the market is flooded with new brands and models constantly. So how will you know which one to buy?
Lucky for you we’ve rounded up only the best shift knobs. All you need to do is pick the one that works for you. But before you make your purchase look out for the following.
Design or Performance?
The good news is you can have both. We live in a dynamic world where new innovations are the order of the day. As a result manufacturers are designing trendier shift knobs to improve your car’s aesthetics. What’s important though is to ensure the design doesn’t take away from its core function and purpose.
Regardless of the build, does it perform well? Can you change those gears with ease? Ideally the one you pick must allow for a better & smoother driving experience. A shift knob with an ergonomic design will significantly reduce any hassles or discomfort when shifting gears.
Is it Compatible?
Sure, there’s a fancy knob which has impressive specifications and looks great but will it work in your car? Not all of them are designed to fit on your shifter. For that reason it’s extremely important to check if the specs listed by the manufacturers are indeed compatible with your vehicle.
Is it Easy to Install?
So you’ve bought it but what else is included in the package? Does it come with the installation requirements or hardware? Some are sold individually. This means you still have to look for the hardware needed for installation. A smart move would be to look for one which comes with all the necessary installation tools & information.
Even if all the hardware is included, is it easy to install? Some are mounted using a set of simple screws while others are simply press fitted and held in place with clips. Which one works for you? You decide.
Comfort has to be among one of your top considerations when buying this item. Make sure you find one that fits your hand comfortably. Some are designed with the following for your added comfort:
- Padded with foam and leather
- Molded to fit your grip
Now you know how to vet these so you can find your ideal buy to upgrade your car in a unique way.
Top 10 Best Shift Knobs 2020
Dimensions: 3.3” x 1.3” x 1”
Weight: 8 oz
This knob is constructed using 50% recycled material which might be a concern in terms of durability.
It’s no secret: The market is flooded with both original and sub standard imitations. Motor vehicle parts are no exception. By picking this brand you don’t have to worry about that – this is the real deal. These genuine Honda parts will guarantee you both authenticity and durability.
This kit includes one new shift knob and one return spring. In addition it comes with a plastic guide that keeps the metal rod shifter in place.
It has a perfect kit to fix a stuck shift knob from a broken shifter button.
Not to worry if you aren’t mechanically inclined, this kit is very simple and easy to use. All you need to do is follow the step by step video with straightforward guidelines. It will take you roughly 10 minutes to install which isn’t bad. However you’ll need a Phillips screw driver to take out two small screws.
After purchasing this kit you don’t have to go through the hassle of looking for the hardware required to install it. It comes with everything you need to repair a broken shift knob.
If you happen to face any difficulties installing this knob there’s a YouTube video available to guide you. You’ll find that though it’s compatible with all Honda Accord models it’s particularly easier to use on the 2004 model since it has a plastic guide.
What you must know is it doesn’t come with lubricant—which you definitely need by the way. However since not much lubricant is needed you can take some off the old broken knob and it’ll work just as effectively. Plus, though it comes with a new spring you might need to hold on to the old spring as it could be useful in future.
For a fancy look you have the option of painting the knob exterior if you wish.
Because it’s heavy duty and allows for an excellent fit & finish, it’s among our top recommendations.
Dimensions: 8.5” x 4” x 2”
This knob is made of 6061 polished aluminum.
We like that it’s a very large solid billet item which looks customized in a good way. Apart from its comfortable grip style the aluminum finish enhances its appearance.
This product is designed to replace your old ‘boring’ stock knob with a trendier style. Simply attach it to the stock shift lever.
It can easily be assembled in a matter of minutes. To aid in installation it comes with 20 set screws.
This model is very user friendly so there’ll be no hassles when shifting those gears. You’ll also be happy to know that you don’t have to wait long to receive your order thanks to fast shipping.
You’ll find that it stands taller than the stock knob because of its design. It’s a bit heavy which is actually a good thing because it allows for easier shifting of gears. Plus it’s way easier to see the gear patterns than when using a stock knob.
Though it has some relatively sharp edges, it still feels comfortable to the touch. However caution needs to be exercised when handling it if you don’t want to nick your skin.
Dimensions: 5.1” x 10.2” x 17.8”
It’s made of an aluminum exterior which allows for a smooth grip and an enhanced driving experience.
Add some Mishimoto flair in your car with these knobs that have the signature “M” logo engraved on top. We like that it’s large enough to access it without looking down and small enough not to clutter your dashboard area.
Though it’s easier to shift one of the drawbacks is it’s affected by extreme temperatures. It heats up in hot weather and gets pretty cold in lower temperatures. You might need to cover it to avoid that.
This weighted knob is definitely a superior & trendier alternative to your factory one. It’ll also fit perfectly on most Japanese vehicles.
This product is pretty easy to install. It includes three plastic inserts to ensure proper fitment. In addition it comes with adapters for easier installation. However the adapters are not as long as the threads on the shift stick so they tend to sit up higher leaving exposed threads.
Also the adapters are made of a cheap plastic which makes their durability questionable.
You have the option of buying the polished black or silver color with this brand. This increases your chances of picking one that compliments your car interior. And you’ll like that it comes with a lifetime warranty as well as accident protection.
Diameter: 5.9” x 5.5” x 2.3”
Upgrade the look of your vehicle by adding this model made of zinc alloy material.
This type is considerably heavy but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here’s why: A heavier knob allows you to change gears smoothly and with ease. Note however the actual design may be slightly different to the pictures provided. How? The bolts are located on the top instead of bottom side.
Also the handle sticks are a little further up. However this doesn’t compromise on the final look or performance.
This particular brand is ideal for replacement in vehicles with handle pin diameters of less than 9mm. Also they must be automatic transmissions.
It comes with all the necessary tools required for easy mounting including three screws for tightening. Plus a manual guide is provided to make the installation process that much easier.
As a safety precaution you might want to tighten the two bolts with an Allen wrench for a more secure fit.
The inner diameter of the handle needs machining to open it up in order to fit. Because of this it’s advisable to drill out the hole on the handle a bit more so it slides down the shifter to the right height. However this will in no way affect its final look as it’ll still look great.
It however gets pretty hot in the summer because of the material so you might want to consider investing in a shift knob cover. And in case you’re buying it to match your black car interior it’s not black as advertised—more like gun metal.
Diameter: 4.5” x 3.3” x 2.5”
It’s made of superior aluminum material which will enhance your car’s look. However note because of the material it’s affected by extreme temperatures. As a result it gathers moisture because of your warm hand holding the cold knob, making it slippery.
Apart from the colorful device you’ll find three rubber sleeves included in the package. They’re available in three sizes which are 8, 10 and 12mm. You’ll also find one lanyard.
This universal product is compatible with vehicles which have screw type shift knobs.
Mounting it is a breeze because it fits and screws easily. Also to aid in its assembling it comes with a simple installation guide. All you do is:
- Dismount the original stick shift knob
- Measure the diameter size of the screw rod
- Place knob on rod
For an accurate fit you can measure the size of your shifter before installing.
Word of advice: If you happen not to find a rubber sleeve that fits, simply pick the closest size of a rubber sleeve, fasten it with adhesive tape and screw the shift knob on.
Unfortunately there are a lot of counterfeit imitations of this product on the market. Granted, you’ll get it at a fraction of the price but you’ll be buying a substandard version.
Dimensions: 4.4” x2.3” x 2”
Weight: 4 oz
This particular model is made of billet aluminum.
Here we have a Mugen style short throw gear shift knob. It’s smaller than expected for most people regarding fit and grip. Though it’s pretty lightweight if it’s compatible with your car it works well and allows for a comfortable driving experience.
It comes in a variety of colors including black and blue. This allows you to complement your car interior.
This device is mainly designed to fit most Honda models with manual transmissions.
Installation is straightforward. Simply twist it all the way on. However it doesn’t come with thread adapters like most shift knobs. Nonetheless you can always purchase an additional adapter.
You’ll like that the color doesn’t fade regardless of weather conditions. Also it’s not affected whether it’s hot or cold.
However since it’s on the smaller side you might want to check the measurements of your shifter before purchase to avoid disappointment.
Dimensions: 1.6” x 1.6” x 1.1”
Weight: 6.4 oz
This product is made of plastic which isn’t of necessarily high quality. Because of this material it might spin during usage.
The design imitates the ammunition cylinder of a six shooter. Though it looks unique it has a natural ergonomic grip. As a result not only does it look good it feels good to the touch.
Also it includes a shift lock release for automatic transmissions. However over time it may become a bit wobbly making its durability questionable.
This six shooter shift knob is a universal fit for just about any car make, model and transmission type.
This product comes with all the adapters and hardware required for any gearshift change be it manual or automatic. It fits shifter stems from 8mm to 12mm. In addition installation is a breeze thanks to the easy to read instructions.
On installation you might need to tighten down your set of screws all the way for a more secure fit.
You’ll like that it has a twist off top that reveals a secret stash compartment to store your small, personal items. Also you can expect a snug fit which is crucial with manual transmissions.
However note when the temperatures get high and the car becomes hot, the knob might expand making it impossible to unscrew the top. And it’s not as comfortable as expected. You might need to wear gloves or place a cover over it—which defeats the point if you bought it for aesthetic purposes.
Caution: The material used in its construction might cause cancer and reproductive harm.
Dimensions: 7.9” x 3.9” x 7.9”
Weight: 0.8 oz
It’s made of PU leather and carbon steel.
The package includes the automatic knob, mini wrench, four adapters and three set screws. Because of the material it’s made of it’s pretty lightweight. If you appreciate craftsmanship you’ll like that the cover is hand stitched.
It’s designed for cars with automatic transmission.
Generally it’s supposed to be easy to install. All you need to do is follow these installation instructions:
- Remove the previous shift knob
- Select correct adapter
- Put shift knob onto shaft and make sure the release button can function
- Tighten down using three set screws
However a number of customers have indicated it’s not exactly DIY easy to install. Extra caution needs to be practiced when installing as one of the pieces might get stuck in the handle which means it won’t work.
Also, excessive manhandling will break it because the plastic adapters are quite fragile. However if you happen to face any challenges you might want to consult a professional installer.
One major drawback is even though it’s described as universal it doesn’t fit all models. Here’s why:
Unlike the conventional shifter knobs which are round this particular one is square shaped. As a result it might not fit the newer Honda fit models from 2011 to 2017. Also it’s not designed for the newer automatic shifter style. And that’s one of the main reasons we gave it a 3.5 rating.
Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.1x 3.1:
Weight: 5.6 oz
Though it’s described as being made of a combination of chrome and high quality resin, most parts of it are cheap quality plastic. This negatively impacts on durability.
The package includes one chrome cobra shift knob, three rubber adapters as well as three sets of screws. The cobra head (particularly the eyes) features blue LEDs with three light modes. Therefore you can pick flashing, slow light flashing or continuous light.
However the head of the snake might not be securely attached to the shifter. As a result it might fall off. It’s nothing that super glue can’t fix but it shouldn’t happen in the first place right? Also the button you use to change the LED lights may be loose resulting in a rattling sound during driving.
This universal shift knob is designed for manual gear shifts and to fit most cars thanks to its rubber sleeves. Plus it’s perfect for car and truck decoration.
It comes with two adapters for easy fitment which are 0.8cm and 1cm in diameter. In addition it has an allen wrench and screws for super easy installation. Simply follow these guidelines:
- Unscrew original gear knob
- Place it right above the shifter
- Fasten it
Make sure you use the correct size of adapter from the three provided. Also, after installation you need to ensure it’s firmly attached to the shifter and that it’s working properly.
Before deciding on this item you must first measure the shifter thread of your car so as to buy the correct fit.
The screws are a bit short so you might have to purchase longer screws for a more secure & tight fit.
Dimensions: 4.6” x 4.6”x 1.7”
Weight: 4 oz
Though it’s said to be made of high impact resin the quality of the construction is questionable.
This functional car accessory features a gun grip shift knob designed like a knife handle. The manual shifter gear knob can accommodate vehicles with four, five and six speeds.
However it might not last long because the quality is questionable. Most customer reviews have suggested that it broke in half during gear shift and installation. Also the knob is slightly long meaning you might experience problems when shifting into the higher gears.
This universal product is better suited for manual and automatic transmissions, including the newer automatic models. It’s also designed for high performance JDM racing cars.
Installation takes a matter of minutes. And it comes with three threading copper adapters to aid in the mounting process.
Note however this knob won’t fit automatic shifters with a push button. It only fits the dated style shifters only. This is a direct replacement for the original knob and no modification is required.
Even though it’s said to be universal it might not fit other car models for instance a manual transmission Jeep gear shift rod. This is because the screws may not be compatible.
Though it’s covered under warranty when you order a replacement you’ll be charged a penalty fee for return shipping.
Guide to Buying the Best Shift Knobs
Types of Shift Knobs
Shift knobs are designed to fit into two broad categories mentioned below.
Universal Shift Knobs
In most cases universal shift knobs can be screwed on to the end of any stick shift rod for a manual transmission. However their thread pitches may not match the diameter and thread pattern on your shift rod/stick. As a result you’ll need an adapter piece.
Vehicle Specific Knobs
These are designed for particular vehicles. The thread pitch and diameter of your make & model’s gearshift lever are specific to that knob.
While the above are the main types they are further classified into the following.
Custom Shift Knobs
Did you know you can make a statement with the shifter you ultimately pick? You have the option of customizing yours to suit your style. Whether you want to engrave it with a logo or place a sticker it’s entirely up to you. Also you can decide on a bright color or brushed metal to personalize it.
In addition custom shift knobs are also designed to add humor depending on the design you pick. From a crushed bear can to a skeleton head to a grenade, the options are endless.
Weighted Shift knobs
This is a performance driven knob. The principle behind them is they make the stick shifter easier to move. How? When a weighted shift knob is moved from one gear position to another the greater mass of the knob creates extra momentum during travel.
As a result the momentum pushes the shift lever into the next position much easier. Put simply: They are designed to reduce time and effort during gear change. The weight generally varies from 400g to 600g depending on material used.
In the event of a faulty or damaged shift knob you can replace it with an OEM style one. These can either be:
- Manual knobs:These generally mirror the original knob. Most are usually constructed with black plastic or metal with four, five or six speed stick shift patterns encrypted onto the knob—or printed on a round insert piece.
- Automatic shift knobs:These are specifically designed for automatic transmissions and are designed to be screwed into place quickly and easily. Shift knobs for Mercedes, BMW or Jaguar fall into this category. They’re shaped to match the original sizes, dimensions and functions of the original knob.
What is the Difference Between OEM & Aftermarket Shift Knobs?
Generally OEM parts are made by and for the manufacturer of the vehicle while aftermarket though similar, aren’t made by the brand itself. If you don’t know much about vehicle parts, OEM shift knobs are a safer option as they’ll be a more likely fit.
What Are the Necessary Features?
These knobs have a variety of features at your disposal—some more important than others. We’re here to help you filter the necessary ones from the ones you can do without. Basically you need:
- Metric or English threads
- Shift buttons
- Return springs
How Important is the Material?
These nifty devices are constructed from all sorts of materials. But as long they function well material doesn’t really matter right? Not quite. The quality of the material will not only determine durability but comfort. Let’s discuss a few types:
- Aluminum:You’ll notice most shift knobs are made of aluminum. This may be mainly attributed to its affordable price. Plus it’s a durable option so you won’t have to replace it soon. The only major drawback is aluminum overheats if there is an increase in temperature. But if you live in regions with no extreme temperatures, go for it.
- Steel:Another common favorite among manufacturers. A number of high quality gear sticks are made of steel. Why? Apart from lasting long steel metals are resistant to rust and corrosion. However, they cost more than their aluminum counterparts.
- Derlin:If you’re a car racer you’re probably familiar with this material. Most shift knobs in racing cars are constructed using this material. Why? It’s well known for its stability and low friction. Word of caution: If your palms sweat excessively you might want to steer clear from it. This is because the material is very slippery and can make you lose control over the shift knob.
- Titanium:If you’re looking for a durable & high quality gear shifter, pick one made of titanium and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Apart from allowing you a smooth driving experience it’s also scratch resistant.
- Resin:These are on the higher end of the spectrum regarding both quality and price.
Good to Know
Insert Piece Replacement
What if your shift knob is working fine but the printed insert tab that displays the pattern is faded or has fallen out? You don’t have to replace the whole item—just the insert. Simply glue it back on.
Can I Cover it?
Did you know you can cover your knob using a shift knob cover? And yes it’s absolutely necessary in some instances. When a vehicle with a shift knob made of leather or metal is parked under direct sunlight for hours, it’ll get hot and even deteriorate over time.
Apart from providing insulation covers will provide a comfortable & plush hand grip.
No matter the situation, being proactive is always better than being reactive—shift knob purchasing included. Let’s face it: Devices malfunction from time to time. Ensuring you’re prepared for this will save you time and money. Make sure you buy a knob that’s covered by a decent warranty with reasonable timeframes.
The warranty periods differ from brand to brand. It’s important to check how long the product is covered for—including what exactly is covered. Is it mechanism or parts? The longer it’s covered for, the better.
It’s clear: a problematic shifter can cause gear shifting problems and possibly cause tragic accidents. Investing in a good quality shift knob will not only improve your driving experience but will also enhance the appearance of your car interior.
Ideally the right knob should be easy to install and function effectively. If it looks great—even better. And the ones we list already help many drivers enjoy their time in the car more. It’s a practical and an aesthetic bonus you—and your loved car—deserve. It’s a small item, but it makes a big difference. So what are you waiting for? Take your driving performance to the next level.