by Joshua Thomas
A shift knob is a component that sits at the top of a shift stick to help you in switching the stick's position as you make gear changes.
OEM shift knobs are usually very basic and most car owners like to customize it to a part that showcases their likes, interests, and personality as a whole.
However, as you consider doing this modification, there are very many types of shift knobs in the market, which means getting a good piece might be somewhat challenging. Because of this, we have covered 15 of the best shift knobs to consider.
1. Mishimoto MMSK-BK (Smooth Grip Shift Knob)
2. Kei Project DBZ-30055 (Dragonball Shift Knob)
3. Skunk2 Racing 627-99-0081 (6-speed Shift Knob)
4. Custom Accessories 16214 (Cheapest Shift Knob)
5. ModifyStreet SK-558BW-BK-CF-5SP (Fatboy Style Shift Knob)
6. Dewhel Shift Knob (Universally Compatible Shift Knob)
7. Kei Project KSS-NR (Best Weighted Shift Knob)
8. Dewhel GSK-5001BK (5-Speed Shift Knob)
9. ZHOL ZHOL-00125 (Colorful Shift Knob)
10. Genuine Toyota PTR57-34140 (Best Shift Knob for Toyota V8 Landcruiser)
11. Toyota PTR57-35170 (Genuine OEM Toyota Shift Knob)
12. Mavota KNSK1801 (Skull Shift Knob)
13. Mishimoto MMSK-CF (Carbon Fiber Shift Knob)
14. Momo GOTBK1 (Leather-Finished Shift Knob)
15. Pilot Automotive PM-2270 (Good Shift Knob)
With its weighted 0.8-pound (12.8-ounce) design, Mishimoto's MMSK-BK has a sturdy steel construction with a smooth aluminum exterior that gives a smooth grip, which enhances your driving experience.
Additionally, the weighted design gives you smoother and faster shifting, which also contributes to enhancing your driving experience.
Three inserts are included with this product, and these ensure proper fitment for M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5 and M12 x 1.25, making it sort of a universal fit.
Other features include black and silver color options to help you match it with your car's interior décor, and a signature M logo at the top that symbolizes the Mishimoto brand.
Kei Project's DBZ-30055 has a unique Dragonball design that is made from see-through acrylic material with 7 stars on the inside. Though not weighted, this construction makes it very visually appealing and the acrylic is highly durable as it doesn't scratch easily.
The unit is also well designed to fit in the hand because it has a reasonably sized 53mm (2-inch) diameter while 3 high-quality stainless-steel adapters are included for universal fitting on M8 x 1.25M, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.50 and M12 x 1.25 shaft sizes on manual transmission vehicles.
Other features include the availability of 1, 3, 4, 5- and 6-star options, a metal threaded insert to prevent stripping and 4 locknuts for secure fitting.
This unit is one of the best shift knobs for racing because it has a 6-speed marking at the top, making it suitable for high-performance 6-speed manual transmission systems.
On top of this, the piece is made from stainless steel and has a weighted design (440 grams or 15.5 ounces) that allows for smoother and faster gear changes as you race your car.
This stainless-steel construction is covered in a PVD titanium coating for durability purposes because this material resists scratching, wear and tear.
If you are on a tight budget, Custom Accessories provide this affordable shift knob that has a stylish skull design, which is meant to enhance the look and feel of your car.
That said, you actually get two knobs, which means you can fit two of your cars or keep one as a spare for replacing the first one when it wears out.
Each one has a chrome finish that gives a shiny look with red eyes for completing the overall design. Other features include a lightweight construction and a 1.8-inch diameter that makes it fit nicely in the hand.
This ModifyStreet's shift knob has a Fatboy style design that is made of high-quality stainless steel, which is then given a durable gunmetal and carbon fiber finish.
The unit is actually weighted at 393 grams (14 ounces), which results in faster and smoother gear changes, and has an M12 x 1.25 thread for fitting into your manual or automatic transmission.
3 thread adapters are included in the set and these expand the knob's fitment to M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25 and M10 x 1.5 shaft sizes for universal fitting. Other features include a 5-speed marking at the top and a 1.5-inch diameter that fits perfectly in the hand.
Dewhel's shift knob is fitted with an M12 x 1.25 thread adapter and comes with 3 additional adapters for fitting into M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25 and M10 x 1.5 shaft sizes, which makes it a universal fit.
This means you can fit the knob in most Acura, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Toyota, Scion, Nissan, etc. vehicles that have either 5 or 6-speed transmission systems because the unit is not marked at the top.
Other features include a rounded design with a 1.96-inch diameter and multiple color options to choose from so as to match your car's interior.
This shift knob stands out as the best-weighted unit because of a number of reasons. For starters, it is the weightiest of them all, coming in at 510 grams or 18 ounces, and this helps smoothen gear changes.
The unit is also universally compatible because it comes with 3 adapters that make it fit M8 x 1.25M, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.50 and M12 x 1.25 shaft sizes, while a samurai sword design gives it a very unique appearance.
Other features include a solid steel construction with a polyester fabric weave and nickel-plated brass finish and availability in multiple colors to match different car interiors.
Dewhel's GSK-5001BK is labeled with a 5-speed marking at the top for manual 5-speed transmission systems and has a more comfortable Type-R style design that is easy to grip.
The knob is made of high-quality aluminum and is available in differently-colored finishes for matching different interiors. These include black, red, blue, silver, gold, neo chrome, and purple.
Underneath, the unit has an M10 x 1.5 thread size, with adapter nuts that makes it suitable for Honda and Acura vehicles.
Fantastic or colorful are some of the words used to describe this shift knob and it sure does fit the description. The unit is made of aluminum and with this finish, it goes a long way in upgrading your interior's appearance.
Other than that, this knob is designed for manual transmission systems and has a 5-speed marking at the top while 3 rubber sleeves give it universal fitting on M8 x 1.25M, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.50 and M12 x 1.25 shaft sizes.
More features include a 1.6-inch diameter and a Type-R style design that is easy to grip.
This PTR57-34140 shift knob is one of the coolest shift knobs that you'll get for your large Toyota Landcruiser V8, and it can also be fitted on the 2014 Tundra Limited, provided that they have automatic transmission systems.
The unit is actually a genuine accessory from Toyota and has an anodized aluminum construction, black leather, and silver finish, with a cool TRD logo for additional appeal.
Just like the shift knob above, this one is also a genuine OEM Toyota accessory that is designed as a perfect fit for Toyota's running on automatic transmissions and does not have speed markings at the top.
The product features a high-quality leather finish and has a TRD logo embossed for additional appeal.
Mavota's KNSK1801 bears a skull design that is detailed with cracks at the top and teeth, which gives it a very realistic look.
The entire knob is coated in a high-quality finish, which enhances the strength and durability factors for long-lasting performance.
Thread adapters are included for fitting into most shaft sticks and the unit can be used in either automatic or manual transmissions with 4, 5 or 6 speeds. You also get several color options to choose from so as to match your car's interior.
With its carbon fiber construction, Mishimoto's MMSK-CF has a sturdy yet lightweight build and also bears a beautiful carbon fiber pattern on the outside plus Mishimoto's signature M logo to complete its good looks.
You also get black plastic inserts for universal M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5 and M12 x 1.25 fitment while its 1.63-inch diameter size fits perfectly in the hand for comfortable use.
At first look, Momo's GOTBK1 resembles a light bulb in design but instead of a glass exterior, it has a top-grain black leather covering with its "Gotham" name printed on for additional appeal.
The unit has a 2.08-inch diameter, which fits well in the hand for comfortable gear changing, while a dark-chrome insert completes the finish for good looks.
This product is quite similar to Mavota's unit above, featuring a skull design with cracks at the top and teeth, but is only available in green color.
That said, the unit fits manual and shift-gate style automatic transmission sticks from 5/16 - 9/16 inches in size or 8 - 12mm. This is made possible by the inclusion of adapters in the set, which expand the compatibility of the knob.
Other features include a 3-inch height and a long-lasting design that is due to its highly durable construction.
Universal: Universal shift knobs are designed to fit on the shift sticks of a wide variety of vehicles and to do this, they come with adapters that allow you to adjust the thread size on the knob so as to fit a particular car. They are recommended if you are not sure about the fitment required in your car.
Vehicle Specific: Certain knobs are designed for use in specific cars because their gear shifts have unique thread patterns and diameters. They usually fit perfectly but you must be sure about your car model for perfect compatibility.
Custom: Custom shift knobs are the ones that have unique designs such as skulls, and these help you move away from the boring factory or normal shaped knobs, which are very common.
Weighted : A weighted knob is one that is made of dense materials to make it heavier and this has an effect on shifting performance.
Because of its weight, the unit carries more momentum as you move it, which helps to push the stick into the next gear position easily, reducing the effort required in the process. This results in smoother and faster shifting, and this makes it one of the best shift knobs for racing.
Buying Guide : For the fitting, get a universal shift knob if you don't know the specific size that fits in your car's lever. For the design, pick this as per your preference and if you race your car, go for the weighted unit for improved driving performance.
The main difference between these two is the speed marking at the top. Shift knobs meant for manual transmission must have a speed marking and this should correspond with the number of speeds in your car.
For instance, if it has a 5-speed transmission, then you should buy a knob with a 5-speed marking.
With automatic cars, the knob should not be marked because gear changes are done automatically.
This comes down to the universal or vehicle specific type of shift knob as explained above and you should check the diameter of the shift stick threads in your car so as to get a fitting piece.
Aluminum: Aluminum shift knobs are quite common because the metal used in relatively affordable, lightweight and highly durable. However, such units can heat up very quickly in hot weather, making it uncomfortable to hold them.
Stainless Steel: Just like with aluminum, stainless steel heats up quickly but due to its dense property, it is ideal for making weighted shift knobs for high performance.
Delrin: Delrin is a DuPont plastic that has low friction and high dimension stability, which makes it ideal for car racing shift knobs. Together with acrylic, these materials are quite strong and resistant to wear and tear but can be very slippery if you have sweaty hands.
Titanium: Titanium is known for being lightweight, strong and very durable. However, it is quite expensive and therefore, it is mostly used as a coating as opposed to making the whole knob.
Comfort, in this case, refers to grip and with that, you should ensure that the shift knob fits perfectly in your hand for comfortable holding so that you move it with ease. Typically, for the average hand size, you should buy a knob that is 1-2 inches in diameter.
Most of these units are easy to fit but you should ensure that the one you choose comes with step-by-step instructions to simplify this process.
A "cool shift knob is important for several reasons:
It's important that you find the right shift knob for you because if it doesn't suit your needs, then it'll be useless. There are plenty of different things to consider when looking for a good shift knob; we really only touched on the major aspects in this article. If you want even more information, I encourage you to look around at some gearheads like me! We're always here to help :)
How do I choose a "cool shift knob" that suits my preferences? This is one of the nicer benefits to having a "cool shift knob". By this I mean that there are SO MANY choices available. There are ceramic cool shift knobs, metal cool shift knobs, carbon fiber cool shift knobs, POM cool shift knobs, plastic cool shift knobs... The list goes on.
Each material is different in that it has different properties. For example:
Lightest of all shift knobs - offers short throws
Mid weight, moderate price point. Great for daily driving
probably the heaviest of all shift knobs. offer longest life and most rust resistant. Only used by true car enthusiasts with passion for cars!
Lightest material of all shift knobs. Offers short throws
Offers medium range weight and balance point
I strongly recommend that you look through the large variety of shift knobs that are available. It's best to decide on this BEFORE you order it, because driving around with a shift knob that doesn't suit your tastes can ruin the aesthetic of your vehicle.
What are the benefits of having a "cool shift knob"? There are so many reasons why you should have a cool shift knob. First off, it makes shifting much easier and more effective because you grip the ridges or bumps on the shift nob to change gears! This is especially helpful if you're doing manual labor work (Lift, carry boxes, etc.) while driving your car to save your back from straining during lifting.
Secondly, there's style. A nice looking shift knob will really spruce up the interior of your car. I mean... who likes an ugly piece garnishing their otherwise fine equipment? Your passengers will be very impressed with how nice your car looks when they look at the inside of it.
Finally, a lot of people enjoy the feel and weight of a shift knob with some heft to it. By this I mean that if you buy a light metal shift knob or an ultralight carbon fiber shift knob, then most likely you'll think it doesn't have any weight or "feel" to it. This is because these types of materials are all very lightweight in general, so a lighter weight means a more fragile feeling material.
A shift knob is the thing on top of your shifter that allows you to shift through your gears while driving. Anyone who has driven a manual transmission vehicle knows how important it is to have an effective shift knob, because not only does it allow for quick shifting, but it also adds style and comfort to the vehicle in which you're in!
A "cool shift knob" has the same definition as any other shift knob, but it has more benefits. By this I mean that a cool shift knob will make your shifting more effective, quicker, and easier by having ridges or bumps on it for you to grip with your fingers. A cool shift knob will also look pretty darn cool, so it'll catch the eyes of many people in your vehicle's vicinity.
There are quite a few factors that play into which shift knob is ideal for your car and how it is mounted:
the thread type and size, the shape and weight of the knob itself, where it is mounted at. This article will guide you through how to remove your factory shift knob which comes off by pulling up on it (which then gives you a threaded hole for installing a new shift knob), and how to install a universal Threaded-Neck Shift Knob Adapter, which is the device that will be running on your car's factory shifter thread/pitch. This adapter gives you an additional thread of your own defined size which you can mount custom shift knobs to.
One important thing to mention is that if the Thread-neck Shift Knob Adapters are not compatible with your car, your best bet is to try looking for a universal Shift Knob Appliance instead, designed to fit on most vehicles. You can google search 'Universal ________ Shifter Knob'
Note in advance that some cars have different shifters thread pitches, in which case you will need to either find an adapter with the correct pitch or find a new shifter with the correct pitch, such as a Toyota 86/BRZ shifter.
Make sure to use the proper tools when taking apart your car's shifters and installing parts onto it. Read carefully what is needed for what step and if you're not confident of doing the job yourself on your own car then just pay someone else to do it.
Let's get started:
The tools we will need: Torx T-20 and T-25 screwdrivers (a set with both is best), a flathead screwdriver (for when there are no screws but pins holding things in place, usually on top of the shifter knob which pops off), 2mm allen, 1/2" wrench or 3/8" wrench (for unmounting), 7mm socket (for unmounting).
Remove the shift knob by pulling up on it. If your car has a pin holding it in place, use something like a small flathead screwdriver to get under it and pop it off.
Take note of where the shifter knobs are threaded onto the shifter shaft because that is what we will be using to mount our new shift knob later on.
Now that you have removed your old shift knob, take out its corresponding screws inside the center console with either a T-20 or T-25 screwdriver depending on which ones you find first. They should come out without much resistance.
Now that the center console is loosened, use either a T-20 or T-25 screwdriver to remove the 2 screws on top of it.
The center console should now just pop right off by pulling from both sides since there's nothing holding it down anymore.
Next you will have to unmount your shifter from the car itself using a 7mm socket wrench and/or a 1/2" wrench depending on which bolts you find first. Unscrew them all and put them somewhere safe because we will be putting them back in later during reassembly.
Once you have removed the shifter assembly from its mounting position, check what type of thread pitch it has so you can get the corresponding shift knob adapter to match. It should have a thread pitch of M12x1.25, which is the same as 1.25cm or 1/2" (which is why you can mount an M12 shift knob using an adapter like the one in this guide).
Remove any remaining screws holding together your factory shift knob and remove it with care; there are clips inside that hold it together. The shift boot will pull out by itself when you take out the shift knob's last screw.
If your car has a pin in place like shown in step 4, you will need to pry it open with something thin like a flathead screwdriver until it pops out of its locking position with ease; be careful not to scratch your shifter assembly with the screwdriver.
Now that everything is out, take a look at where you need to mount your new shift knob on your shifter shaft. If you have large hands then it's best for you to choose another spot that's further away from the shifter which will give you more room for moving your hand.
Mark down the position of where you need to mount it and put a pen through the shifter assembly itself so that you can see it through one of the holes.
Mount your shift knob onto the inside of your car's shifter shaft using either a Wrench or an Allen key depending on what type of adapter you have. If your shift knob has an M12 thread pitch then we recommend using a T20 Wrench with the provided 9/16" and 5/8" adapters because they're pretty short and most wrenches will fit with no problems.
Once this is done, mark down where the nut goes onto the shifter shaft and remove it with a wrench or an Allen key again.
Take the provided 2mm allen key that comes with this shift knob adapter and stick it into one of the holes on your new shift knob. Use the 2mm allen key to measure where you need to drill a hole down on top of your newly mounted shift knob for where you're going to mount your factory shift boot clip next.
Grab yourself some sort of flat metal surface like a small ruler or magazine cover or something similar, make sure its longer than what you will be using as your drilling surface (about 4-5 inches) and start marking off where you are going to need to drill down onto your new shift knob. You can use another set of hands for this to hold the shift knob in place while you're drilling.
Now that your shift knob is marked off with where you are going to need to drill, grab your drill and start drilling down until it's about halfway through your shift knob or until you feel some sort of resistance when the drill goes through the shift knob. After this, grab your 7/32" drill bit and your 1/2" wrench (or equivalent) to finish drilling through the shift knob. You need to apply some sort of lubricant like WD-40 or you might break the drill bit off if it goes too deep so keep this in mind.
Now all you have left is to mount your factory boot onto the end of your new shift knob and re-attach it back to where you took it off from. Once this is done, stick your factory shifter assembly back into the car, screw in all remaining bolts that were removed earlier and put everything back together starting with the small panels under the steering wheel and down towards the center console before the shift boot.
Fancyeel Universal Shift Knob Round Carbon Fiber Style Shift Knob with 3 Adapter Shift - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
ICBEAMER Racing Style Manual Transmission Stick Shift Universal Shift KNOB [Color: Metric - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Ball Shift Knobs with Adapter Round Manual Gear Shifter Knobs, Universal Shift Knob - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Bride Aluminum Burnt Blue Universal Gear Shift Knob Shifter Lever Head V2-13CM - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Fabric Shift Boot with Round Ball Carbon Fiber Shift Knob,Universal Shift Boot Cover with - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Mega Racer 8cm Black Aluminum Shift Knob - for Buttonless Automatic and 4, 5 and 6 Speed - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
RYANSTAR Universal Gear Shift Knob Sword Shift Knobs Katana Samural Shift Gear Lever - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Aluminum Weighted Manual Shift knobs, Long Stick Shift Knob Gear Shifter Knobs, Car - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Mavota Stick Shift Knob Skull Shifter Knob Red Tongue with Big Eyes Style Skull Manual - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
RYANSTAR Universal Gear Shift Style Knob,Car Modified Carbon Fiber Stand Head Manual - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
DEWHEL Black/Red Aluminum Fing Fast Shift Knob 5 Speed Short Throw Shifter M12x1.25 - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Dewhel Manual Gear Stick Shifter Knob JDM 10CM Real Flowers Shift Knob Universal Shift - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Dewhel Custom Aluminum Universal Shift knob Shifter Adapter Compatible with Non Threaded - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
AutoBoy Crystal Diamond Shape Gear Stick Shift Shifter Knob Lever Cover Universal Fit for - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
YIUIY Round Ball Shift Knob Universal Gear Shift Knob 5 6 Speed for Manual Automatic - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Samurai Sword Black Red Shift Knob Shifter Alloy Katana Adapters Universal 10cm - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
QWDLID Manual Gear Shift Knob, Round Bubble Acrylic Gear Shift Knob Shifter with 3 - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
Weighted Shift knob, Weighted Plating Smooth Shift knob, Manual Gearbox Universal Shift - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Black Universal Aluminum Shift Knob Adapter Retainer for 5 6 Speed Non Threaded Shifters - Walmart, Etsy, eBay
Samurai Sword White Red Shift Knob Shifter Alloy Katana Adapters Universal 15cm - Walmart, Etsy, Ebay
While the original shift knob may work just fine, replacing it with one of the above units will either help you customize the interior's look or allow you to boost your shifting performance for a better driving experience.
Each of the pieces has unique characteristics and having gone through the review and buying guide above, you should have an easier time picking the best shift knob that suits your needs.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.