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What Is a Steering Wheel Knob?

What Is a Steering Wheel Knob?

You’ve probably seen the knobs they’ve installed on forklifts without realizing what they were. Most people call them Brodie knobs. However, you might’ve heard them go by suicide knobs or spinner knobs, too. 

A steering wheel knob allows a driver to spin the steering wheel quickly because it rotates independently of the steering wheel. They are helpful for quick turning and allowing safe operation with a single hand.

Steering wheel knobs make it easier to operate a vehicle or piece of machinery while one of their hands is occupied.

They all serve the same purpose, regardless of what you call them. Installing one of them in your car would make it easier to turn the steering wheel. It’s more noticeable whenever you’re taking the car around a sharp turn!

That’s because they’ll let you keep one of your hands on the wheel the whole time you’re going around it.

What Do Steering Wheel Knobs Do?

A suicide knob or a spinner knob is something you put on the steering wheel!

They give you something to hold onto while going around turns. So, you don’t have to let go of the steering wheel at any point. 

Installing one of them in your car can make it easier to turn. You can keep your hand on the knob, even if the turn is really sharp. It sits on top of a little pedestal. 

That’s where they’ve designed a small dial. It holds the knob in place while giving it the ability to rotate. You can keep your hand on it while moving the steering wheel all the way around. 

Normally, you have to let go of the steering wheel at some point. The knobs make it so you don’t have to do that, though. 

How Do Steering Wheel Knobs Work?

Brodie knobs give you a wider range of motion while you’re driving the car. You can use one of them to turn the steering wheel all the way around with a single hand. 

Some areas require disabled people to get them in their cars. That’s because they make it easier for them to control the car with only one hand.

Not everyone has two hands, unfortunately. But, putting one of them in the car can make it possible for one-handed people to drive.

You can hold onto the knob and move the steering wheel easily. They used to install them on older cars before they invented power steering. That’s because it was a lot more difficult to move the steering wheel back then. 

Turning one of them took way more force. So, they made steering wheels a lot larger. The large steering wheels could be difficult to turn, though. As a result, they installed knobs on them to make driving feel easier. 

Are Steering Wheel Knobs Safe?

A steering wheel knob is safe to install on your car. It isn’t going to cause any problems as long as you’ve installed it properly. 

Make sure that you can move the steering wheel all the way around. Sit down in the car while you’re putting the knob in. Then, see if you can rotate the steering wheel without catching the knob on anything. 

If you can rotate it all the way around, it shouldn’t be an issue. Try installing it near the top of the wheel, too. I’d recommend putting it on your dominant side if you have a choice. 

You’ll enjoy how it feels to use the knob if you’re able to grab it with your dominant hand. So, it’s always best if you can install it on that side. 

Adjust the seat while you’re installing the knob, too. Make sure you can easily reach the pedals without having to stretch. It shouldn’t feel too difficult for you to reach either of them down there. 

If the knob catches onto anything, try moving the steering wheel. Most cars have a lever underneath the steering column where you can adjust the wheel. You can lift it up a bit if the knob keeps catching onto stuff. 

That’s usually enough to prevent it from happening again, letting you drive safely. 

Are Steering Wheel Knobs Illegal?

Installing a knob on your steering wheel could make it easier to drive on curvy roads. However, is it legal for you to put one of them in your car? 

Currently, there aren’t any laws against knobs. You can put them in your car without having to worry about what the law says. 

There’s nothing in the federal lawbook prohibiting the use of steering wheel knobs. You should still check with your local police to see if they’ve written any laws against them, though.

It’s possible for localities to outlaw them if they’ve written the laws locally. To learn more on this topic, make sure to take a look at my full article on are steering wheel knobs illegal.

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!