Top of the line car shift knobs for effortlessly changing gears

·10 min read



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Planning to replace your worn-out car shift knob with a new one for better control or update aesthetics? Check out our list of the leading car shift knobs. People often encounter a wide range of problems while changing gears, like the heaviness of the shaft, restricted movements, uncomfortable shift knob, the shaft shaking while driving, and more. You can’t drive your car if the gear system is not up to scratch.

We’ve shortlisted some of our favorite car shift knobs that might improve your vehicle’s performance and add some style to the inside of your car. Some are flashy, while others concentrate more on performance or a universal grip, but no matter what you’re looking for you should find a car shift knob in our list that works for your vehicle.

Compare the highest-rated car shift knobs of 2022

Ryanstar Katana Car Shift Knob: Stylish pick

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This Ryanstar car shift knob boasts a striking look, with a katana handle design— a traditional Japanese samurai sword. There’s a dragon engraved at the top of its handle, and its cylindrical body is wrapped with black fabric braided in a Japanese pattern. If you’re looking to outfit your car's interior in the way of the warrior, this shift knob is a great choice. Its core is made from alloy for strength and structural integrity, while its smooth silk fabric flawlessly imitates rayskin braids. Because of its unique material combination, you won’t have to worry about fading or damages from wear and tear. Four knob adapters of various sizes are included in this pack (8mm, 9.5mm, 10mm, and 12mm), meaning that this shift knob can be used with most manual transmission systems.

Pros

  • Stylish choice for your vehicle

  • Universal fit across most cars

  • Six different color choices

Cons

  • Unsuitable for automatic or manual lock transmissions

Dragon Ball Z Car Shift Knob: Another great option

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If you’re a fan of the hit anime Dragon Ball Z, this Kei Project car shift knob can make your car’s shifting gear go Super Saiyan. There’s no need to update your existing system, as the dragon ball sphere will sit atop the shaft with the help of adapters and locknuts. You won't have any problem holding the knob for gear shifting, thanks to its industry-styled structure and apt diameter of 53mm. Its corresponding metal inserts have been threaded perfectly, letting you attach the ball quickly with any gear shaft. This car shift knob is made from acrylic material to last a long time, and you won't have to worry about it becoming damaged or losing its shine after only a couple of weeks. It will fit four different shaft sizes— M1, M8, M10 and M12, so make sure your car has the same shaft configuration for a perfect fit.

Pros

  • Fun Dragon Ball Z design

  • Hardware needed for installation included

  • Easy to mount

Cons

  • May not work with automatic transmission shafts

Rainbow Tree Katana Car Shift Knob: Also consider

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This Rainbow Tree car shift knob has a traditional Japanese samurai katana sword handle design, a stylish look that can enhance your vehicle’s interior as a whole. This car shift knob is made from a steel core that extends from its top surface down to its end, where it eventually connects with the adapter. Because of this steel design, you won't have to worry about its durability and strength. A thin silk fabric (imitating rayon) in a traditional Japanese braid design covers this knob's metallic top surface, and it’s been further reinforced with a base plate to protect your hand. This car shift knob pack comes with six threaded metal screws and four different-sized adapters, meaning you can use this knob for automatic and manual transmission shafts, provided there’s no button or lock.

Pros

  • Japanese katana design 

  • Highly durable construction

  • Highly customizable-- eight color choices

Cons

  • Somewhat difficult to install

Abfer Car Shift Knob: Great value

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This Abfer car shift knob is wallet-friendly and can deliver outstanding performance. Unlike some of the more flashy designs, this knob has a pen-shaped design with a cylindrical rod and cone-shaped inverter mouth. Its entire frame is made from aluminum, which reduces weight for better gear-handling during travel. Apart from the top, a rubber material wraps around the cylindrical rod of the car shift knob, and this can improve your grip and help you control your car effortlessly without your hand slipping. This pack comes with three plastic adapters to ensure that you can use this car shift knob with different transmission systems, and the threading on the inner side of the shift knob allows it to be quickly installed in almost no time at all.

Pros

  • Long shape for better control while driving

  • Anti-slip rubber design

  • Many color options to choose from

Cons

  • Not a universal fit

EZAutoWrap Crystal Car Shift Knob: Another option

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If you want a car shift knob with a vibrant look, then EZAutoWrap has got you covered. This car shift knob measures 10 cm. in length, an ideal size for most cars, regardless of whether its interior is spacious or not. This car shift knob is made from acrylic material with laser-cut, smooth surfaces, so you won’t have to worry about its durability or be concerned about its structural strength. It’s been cut in such a manner that you won't have to deal with a weak grip when it comes to shifting gears, and since you might drive manual and automatic vehicles you can use the adapters to connect the central knob with the gear lever no matter the transmission system.

Pros

  • Easy-grip for shifting gears

  • Curved edges to avoid hand injuries

  • Vibrant crystal appearance

Cons

  • Plastic adapters might wear down with use

Buying guide: Car shift knobs

Choosing the right car shift knob can be tricky with so many on the market. If it doesn’t end up fitting your car’s gear lever or fails to work with an automatic transmission system, your safety will be put at risk. You can’t afford to make a mistake when choosing a car shift knob, especially when it comes to quality and performance. To help you out, we’ve put together a complete buying guide for car shift knobs to help you invest in the ideal product.

The two types of car shift knobs

There are two different kinds of car shift knobs available, and they differ mainly in their appearances and how you’ll grab them when shifting gears. Keep reading to learn the differences between the two.

Ball-shaped car shift knobs

You can probably gather from the name that this kind of car shift knob comes in the form of a small, solid ball. This affords you the freedom to choose between a regular-colored car shift knob (like a black or gray sphere) or something a little more fun and flashy, like a legendary dragon ball design. You won’t have to worry about removing the old gear shaft when installing it, which greatly reduces the total installation time. When you go to shift gears, grab the sphere in your hand and simply pull as needed-- it will almost look like a magical orb sitting right there in your car.

Stick-shaped car shift knob

The most common form of car shift knob is the stick-shaped one with its long cylindrical or rod-like body. This car shift knob will act as the shaft, so you’ll have to remove the existing one to install it. The main body of this kind of car shift knob has a cylindrical shape, so you won't have any problem grabbing the entire knob and changing gears. You can either wrap your fingers around the rod or place your cupped palm at the head for a quick and easy gear change.

Selecting the right car shift knob

Transmission system compatibility

Cars have two types of transmission systems— automatic and manual. Most car shift knobs you’ll find available are designed with the sole aim of fitting a manual transmission gear lever. If you buy such a product, you won’t be able to use it with an automatic system or a manual transmission system with a button. Usability is quite restricted, and this can cause considerable problems if you want to use the same car shift knob for different vehicle types. If you need a versatile product, look for a car shift knob that will suit both manual and automatic transmission systems.

Color

Most car shift knobs serve as a gear-changing rod and decorative element for your car, so you’ll need to ensure that the chosen product complements your car’s interior or even creates a dramatic look. If your car’s interior has a black shade, getting a black or gray car shift knob will help you match your vehicle’s aesthetic and create a perfect balance in tones. A bright orange car shift knob for your car's beige or gray interior will create a contrasting ambiance, so your color choice will ultimately depend on the desired look of your vehicle.

Design

Car shift knobs come in many designs-- some are large open structures while others are simple, transparent rods. If you want to keep your vehicle’s interior looking classy and straightforward, go for a smooth and plain design, like a pen or ball. If you instead want to make a statement with your vehicle, though, look for a product with a completely unusual and unique design, like that of a samurai katana sword or a dragon ball.

Grip

Before you finalize your car shift knob choice, make sure to check the quality of its grip, since you’ll need to maintain superior control while changing gears. Fabric-covered shafts usually increase the friction between your skin and the rod's surface, meaning you won’t have to worry about your hand slipping down and interfering with your control while shifting. You should also choose a product with smooth edges and corners so that your palm and fingers stay safe.

Adapters

You’ll have to connect your car shift knob to the gear lever using an adapter. Most products usually come with three or four adapters of various sizes so that you can fit the car shift knob to various gear systems and car models. If you have an SUV, a sedan and a truck, look for a car shift knob with adapters that will fit the gear levers of all your vehicles.

Material

It’s crucial to check the materials a particular car shift knob is made of. No matter the design or color you’ve selected, ensure that the product's core is made from alloy, acrylic, or aluminum. These three materials are highly durable, strong and can sustain collisions or impacts, and you won't have to replace the car shift knob too often. Apart from this, if your chosen car shift knob has a cover around its cylindrical frame, check its material. Silk is mainly used in the katana sword shafts, and a material like this offers maximum comfort.

How much do car shift knobs cost?

Car shift knobs come in different shapes, designs, and color combinations, which is why the average price can vary, although most fall between $16.99 and $23.00. If you compare car shift knobs based on materials, acrylic knobs will be more expensive than alloy ones. Universal car shift knobs that work with both automatic and manual transmission systems will also be more expensive than those without a universal fit.

How to install a car shift knob

For installing a car shift knob to your gear system, follow the steps below:

  1. Detach the existing shaft by taking out the screws

  2. Clean the lever head and remove any residue from oil or grime

  3. Once done, check which adapter has a snug fit around the lever

  4. Attach it correctly and make sure it's secured

  5. After this, place the narrow, threaded end of the car shift knob and turn it to tighten the attachment

  6. Use the metal inserts to secure the entire shaft on the gear lever

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