Main photo credit: Jason Siu

Speak to any seasoned track enthusiast or veteran race car driver and they’ll likely tell you how important a proper shift knob is when it comes to driving. It may seem like a trivial accessory inside your interior that does one simple job, but it’s much more than that. Once you’ve installed an aftermarket shift knob, you might be surprised by just how much of a difference it makes. Automakers have to consider numerous factors when they’re manufacturing their cars, which is why most factory shift knobs are drab and mundane. Although some sports cars do have nicer options, very few will feel as good as an aftermarket shift knob.

But with dozens, if not hundreds, of aftermarket shift knobs out there—how do you narrow down your choices? Choosing the right one isn’t an easy task, especially if you aren’t able to feel the weight of it in your hands. Many enthusiasts choose to shop by style and finish, picking an option that best complements their interior. You’ll find shift knobs in all shapes and sizes, so your decision may come down to what fits comfortably in your hands and matches your interior.

Admittedly, compiling a list of the best shift knobs is highly subjective, but there are some products that are better quality than others. In this list, we’ll offer a variety of recommendations that will hopefully appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts. Our goal is to help cut down your shopping time, so you don’t have to spend hours going through pages and pages of shift knobs, some of which may look cool, but are poor quality.

For more information on the best shift knobs, refer to our table of contents.

1. Editor's Pick: Skunk2 Racing Shift Knob

skunk2 six-speed shift knob

Having personally used this shift knob in several of my project cars, I can attest to its quality and feel. Custom weighted to 440 grams, it’s not a lightweight unit but you’ll feel the difference with your very first shift. It’s extremely comfortable to hold and truly makes a difference in everyday driving. Machined from high quality, billet stainless steel, the Skunk2 Racing shift knob has a PVD titanium coating that is designed to resist scratching and wear.

The weighted design provides smoother, more positive shifting, and you can even pair it with a short-throw shifter from the same brand for even snappier shifts. I do have to mention that due to the material of this shift knob, it can get really cold and really hot. Something to keep in mind, depending on where you live. Another downside is that it has limited fitments. This specific variant is designed for 6-speed Honda and Acura vehicles, but it could work on other vehicles if they’re compatible with M10 x 1.50. The company also offers a 5-speed option for Honda and Acura vehicles, as well as a M10 x 1.25 that fits various Nissan, Mazda, and Mitsubishi models.

Product features:

  • Machined from billet stainless steel
  • PVD titanium coating
  • Weight: 440 grams
  • Promotes smoother, more positive shifting
  • Material can get really cold and really hot
  • Available in 5- and 6-speed options
  • Limited fitments (M10 x 1.50 and M10 x 1.25)
Read More Best Steering Wheel Covers

2. Best Carbon Fiber Option: Mishimoto Carbon Fiber Shift Knob

mishimoto carbon fiber shift knob

Mainly known in the aftermarket for its cooling products—radiators, intercoolers, oil and transmission coolers—Mishimoto also manufactures various accessories for cars. The company has several shift knob offerings and our favorite is this carbon fiber unit that features hand-laid and resin infused carbon fiber. Tipping the scales at about 140 grams, it’s ideal for drivers who want a lightweight shift knob. An ergonomic shape delivers a comfortable grip and feel in your hands. Its subtle, carbon fiber appearance, that is only accented by Mishimoto’s “M” logo, makes for a great fit in any interior. Overall, it measures 2.3-inches tall and has a diameter of 1.63 inches.

This recommendation includes three black plastic inserts so it can be used on M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5, and M12 x 1.25 fitments. That means so long as your vehicle is one of those three, you can adapt this shift knob to fit your car. One thing to note however, is that it may not be compatible with some vehicles with pull-up style reverse lockout mechanisms. If that applies to your specific vehicle, you may want to double check with the manufacturer for compatibility.

Product features:

  • Hand-laid and resin infused carbon fiber
  • Weight: about 140 grams
  • Ergonomic shape
  • 2.3″ tall x 1.63″ diameter
  • Includes plastic inserts to fit M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5, or M12 x 1.25
  • May not be compatible with pull-up style reverse lockout mechanisms

3. Best Option in White: Hurst 5-Speed Shift Knob

hurst white 5-speed shift knob

You’ll have a hard time finding a manufacturer that is more popular for shifter-related products in the aftermarket automotive industry than Hurst. Take a stroll through the pits at any drag racing track and you’re guaranteed to find a few race cars using Hurst products. From shifters to shifter cables, boots to bushings, Hurst focuses on quality driveline components along with other performance modifications. Our list would be amiss without a shift knob from Hurst, and this recommendation is one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

Sporting a fantastic white finish, this shift knob is constructed from solid high gloss, high strength plastic. Its diameter measures 1-7/8 inch and the top of the shift knob is engraved with an inlaid shift pattern. The bottom has a molded-in brass thread insert and the entire package is completed with a jam nut. It has a 3/8-16 thread size and is designed for vehicles with a five-speed manual transmission. Not a fan of the white? Hurst also offers a black option.

Product features:

  • Well-known company for shifter components
  • Solid high gloss, high strength plastic
  • Diameter: 1-7/8″
  • Thread size: 3/8-16
  • Molded-in brass thread insert
  • Designed for five-speed transmissions
  • Available in white or black

4. Best Color Options: MOMO Combat Evo Shift Knob

momo combat evo shift knob red

Another brand that you’ve likely heard of, or at the very least, seen the logo on race cars: MOMO. It’s mostly known around the world for its interior accessories, including steering wheels, safety harnesses, and racing seats. The Italian company also has a wide range of shift knobs in its lineup, and this recommendation is ideal for drivers who want to add a splash of color to their interior. Choose from blue, carbon, chrome, red, or silver to either contrast or accent the rest of your interior.

The majority of this knob is finished with top-grain leather, with the colored insert in the center made from high-grade plastic. Contrast stitching matches your color selection, resulting in a striking and attractive shift knob with universal appeal. It’s subtle enough to appear like an OEM part, but has just enough customization so everyone knows it’s not factory standard. This option weighs 177 grams and will fit shift levers between 8mm to 15mm in diameter.

Since this is designed to be a universal knob, the installation process is a bit more complex than simply screwing it on. Fitment may also be an issue since this shift knob uses hex screws to tighten to your shifter.

Product features:

  • World famous brand for interior racing accessories
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Top-grain leather construction
  • High-grade plastics and aircraft-quality aluminum components
  • Weight: 177 grams
  • Fits shift levers between 8mm to 15mm in diameter
  • Universal shift knob, so fitment isn’t flawless on certain vehicles (uses hex screws to tighten)

5. Dragon Ball Z Lovers: DEWHEL Shift Knob

dewhel dragon ball z shift knob

Customizing your car is a way to show off your personality, so we believe our list needed at least one truly unique option. If you love Dragon Ball Z, what better way to show it than with a Dragon Ball Z shift knob? The company who offers this option, DEWHEL, actually has a wide array of shift knob offerings. Make sure to check out the other variants it has to offer.

But we’re here to talk about the Dragon Ball Z shift knob, sporting a 54mm diameter and made from high quality, durable acrylic. The knob itself is for M12 x 1.25 fitments, but three copper adapters are included so the knob can be installed on M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, and M10 x 1.5 applications. That should cover the majority of cars available today. Even better, you can use this knob on certain automatic transmission vehicles, namely those that don’t have push buttons on the stock shifter.

Product features:

  • Dragon Ball Z styling!
  • Constructed from high quality, durable acrylic
  • Diameter: 54mm
  • Standard fitment is M12 x 1.25, but includes adapters for M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, and M10 x 1.5
  • Compatible with certain automatic transmission vehicles
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6. Tomei Duracon Shift Knob

tomei shift knob

If you’ve followed the Japanese aftermarket anytime in the past couple decades, you’ve likely heard of Tomei. Known mainly for its engine and performance parts, the company has a few accessories worth adding to your car if you’re a fan of the brand. One of them is the Tomei Duracon shift knob, which is compatible with M10 by 1.25mm shifters. Duracon is made from polyoxymethlyene composites, which are known for their high degrees of crystallinity, strength, and hardness, while having good resistance to chemical and environmental effects, such as heat and moisture.

It’s a relatively lightweight shift knob, weighing approximately five ounces. The design is fairly subtle, and one could even say it’s boring, but sometimes that’s what is needed to match the rest of your car’s theme. Choose from 70mm and 90mm lengths.

Product features:

  • Available in 70mm and 90mm lengths
  • Fits M10 by 1.25 shifters
  • Constructed from Duracon
  • Lightweight – approximately 5 ounces
  • Well-known racing brand within the aftermarket industry

7. DC Sports Weighted Shift Knobs

dc sports shift knob

If you followed the import scene in the mid-to-late 1990s, you’re likely familiar with this brand. DC Sports has been offering parts for sport compact cars for decades, with its headers being a popular modification for Honda and Acura owners. The company has a few shift knob offerings, with this ball type as our recommendation. But if that isn’t your style, you can also choose a more standard shaft-style shift knob. 

Both options start their lives manufactured from 304 stainless steel before receiving a gunmetal grey powdercoated finish. These are weighted shift knobs, tipping the scale at 402 grams to make shifting feel smoother and more precise. Each knob includes four threaded adapters to accommodate M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5, and M12 x 1.5 fitments, which should cover most vehicles.

Product features:

  • Aftermarket brand that has been involved in the industry for decades
  • Available in ball or shaft styles
  • 304 stainless steel construction
  • Gunmetal grey powdercoated finish
  • Weight: 402 grams
  • Includes four threaded adapters for M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5, and M12 x 1.5 fitments

8. ICBEAMER Racing Neo Chrome Shift Knob

icbeamer racing neo chrome shift knob

The fancy “neo chrome” finish was once all the rage in the sport compact tuning scene, and although it has lost its luster in recent years as trends went more subtle, it’s still quite popular. If you’re a fan of the rainbow-like finish, this company offers three different style shift knobs in neo chrome. The recommendation seen above is a fairly standard style shift knob, measuring 1.5 inch by 3.5 inch, but a shorter version measuring 1.5 inch by 2.5 inch is also available. And if you want a ball-style shift knob with 2-inch diameter, that’s also an option.

These shift knobs are designed for manual transmission vehicles only and includes three different adapter screws to accommodate most vehicle applications. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t clarify which fitments those are. We recommend reaching out to the manufacturer prior to purchasing if your car doesn’t run one of the popular M10 or M12 thread patterns.

Product features:

  • Fancy neo chrome finish
  • Available in three different styles
  • Designed for manual transmission vehicles only
  • Includes three adapters for fitment—although it’s unclear exactly what thread patterns they are

9. EZAUTOWRAP Transparent Bubble Shift Knobs

ezautowrap transparent bubble shift knobs

The drifting scene has introduced all sorts of trends and styles to the tuning community, and for better or worse, one of those are longer shift knobs. These offerings from EZAUTOWRAP are available in a variety of sizes and colors, ranging from 10cm to 30cm tall. They are manufactured from laser cut acrylic plastic and includes adapters to accommodate M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, and M12 x 1.25 fitments.

These shift knobs feature a unique transparent, bubble-packed appearance, although you can also opt for a matte finish in a variety of colors. They’ll also work on certain automatic transmission vehicles, so long as they don’t have a push button shifter from the factory. So if size matters to you, this recommendation lets you choose just how tall of a shift knob you really want in your car. Just don’t blame us if you start hearing jokes about the size of your shift knob compensating for something else.

Product features:

  • Available in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Height: 10cm to 30cm
  • Manufactured from laser cut acrylic plastic
  • Includes adapters for M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, and M12 x 1.25 fitments
  • Unique transparent or matte bubble finish
  • Works on certain automatic transmission vehicles
Read More Best Car Seat Cushions

10. iJDMTOY Burnt Titanium Finish Shift Knob

ijdmtoy burnt titanium finish shift knob

If the neo chrome finish is way too much for you, but you still dig that multi-color style, check out this recommendation with a burnt titanium, albeit painted, finish. This style is mainly seen on titanium exhausts and other accessories, and looks right at home on this spherical-style shift knob that measures 49mm in diameter. It’s a great way to add that titanium appearance inside your interior and it’ll fit on most 4-, 5-, and 6-speed manual transmissions, as well as some automatic transmission vehicles.

Adapters are included so you can get this shift knob to work on vehicles with M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5 ,and M12 x 1.25 fitments. That covers most vehicles on the market, but again, avoid this option if you have a button on your automatic shift knob. It’s worth mentioning that the included adapters are made from plastic, so you might want to head to your local hardware store for a metal option if you’re worried about durability.

Product features:

  • Burnt titanium finish (painted)
  • Spherical-style shift knob
  • Diameter: 49mm
  • Works on most manual transmissions and some automatic transmissions
  • Includes plastic adapters to cover M8 x 1.25, M10 x 1.25, M10 x 1.5, and M12 x 1.25 fitments

Things to Consider:

The main factor to consider when shopping for a shift knob is fitment. Although most shift knobs will advertise that they’re “universal”, there’s still a catch. The shift knob has to thread onto your shifter after all. Most of our recommendations will include adapters to accommodate other fitments, but you’ll still want to double check to make sure it’s proper for your vehicle. Some options are truly universal and won’t thread onto your shifter, rather those use screws to tighten onto the shifter itself. That has its own fair share of issues as well, since over time those screws could get loose, causing your shift knob to pop off.

Type of Material

Besides fitment, there are other factors to take into consideration. What material is a shift knob manufactured from? Do you live in an area that often experiences intense heat or frigid cold? If so, you may want to avoid any sort of metal shift knob, since they’ll reach scorching temperatures and be hot to the touch, or get so cold that it feels like you’re grabbing an ice cube going from first to second gear.

Read More Best Car Upholstery Cleaners

Weight

You’ll notice that some of our recommendations are weighted knobs, which means they’re pretty hefty compared to non-weighted knobs. These knobs come down to personal preference, as some drivers prefer weighted knobs, while others prefer lighter options. Generally speaking, a weighted shift knob will make shifting feel smoother and more precise, since there’s weight to each shift. If you’re unsure which you prefer, we recommend testing out the feel of a weighted shift knob before committing to one.

Why do I want a New Shift Knob?

Like all aftermarket accessories, you likely want a new shift knob to customize the interior of your car. But you’ll be surprised how much of a difference a quality shift knob can make to your daily driving experience. If you love the feel of a weighted shift knob, chances are you’ll have a hard time going back to a factory unit. When shifts feel smoother and more precise, it gives you more control. It may seem trivial, but those who have experienced the difference know what we’re referring to here.

Another reason could simply be that your factory shift knob is worn and you want a replacement. So why not get something more stylish and possibly more functional?

What About Automatic Transmissions?

We touch on this for some of our recommendations, but generally speaking, you can swap out your shift knob on an automatic shifter if you don’t have a button that engages the shifter. In other words, if you don’t have to push down on anything to change from park to drive, then you can likely put on a new shift knob. Just make sure it’s the correct fitment and the new knob threads on with no issues.

 

Recent Updates

April 28, 2021: Removed the RYANSTAR Carbon Fiber Shift Knob recommendation. Added the Tomei Shift Knob recommendation.

October 29, 2020: Updated the product description for one of our recommendations.


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