Heuskinkveld Shifter review 2020
High end sim racing demands high end products. That’s just what this is. It doesn’t pretend to be more than it is, but also punches well above its weight at the same time. Check out my review!
They say that the best things come in small packages. For the past few months I’ve been reviewing this little unit during league races as well as other disciplines like drifting and rally. Now, It’s finally time to share my thoughts on the Heusinkveld shifter.
On the left you’ll see all the sections in this review. If there’s a section you’re particularly interested in or wish to revisit, i’ve made a list of time stamps in the description below to make life easier for you. While you’re down there, please take the time to hit thumbs up and subscribe. If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
When I first received this shifter on loan from a friend, it immediately struck me how small and heavy it is. The packaging was nowhere near as fancy as the beautifully presented pedals I reviewed a few weeks ago. But the hardware seemed confident and well thought out before I even had the pleasure of using it.
In the box you get a great variety of shift knobs and even rods for different angles and applications. There’s a table clamp and and various other mounting options. I ended up using the bracket as shown as it gave a nice snug fit on my rig’s shifter plate as it was the tidiest fit and the nicest to look at.
The unit itself consists of a small circuit, some clever hinging and some thick sheet metal plates which fit together to form the case with beautiful precision. But be careful undoing the bolts at the side because bits will start falling off! It’s easy to put back together though, so don’t worry too much.
There’s a USB port at the back of the unit which does stick out quite a lot, making it difficult to hide and keep tidy.
The electronics are made partly visible using some Perspex. I presume this is simply because it mates to the circuit board and metal might cause a short circuit if it touches the circuit board or USB port.
As with most sequential shifters, you don’t need any drivers for this unit to work. Simply use the supplied usb cable to plug it in, map your controls in your sim of choice and you’re ready to go. every sim title I tried had no issues recognising the inputs from this shifter.
sorry console users. Heusinkveld’s products are aimed solely at the PC market. This is a bit of a bummer but mainly it comes down to the licensing budget that you need to become compatible with consoles. I bet that If you do contact them about this, they’ll have a canned answer along the lines of what I just said.
- how it feels
This shifter packs a punch. It has a surprisingly heavy throw which you’d expect from a larger unit, but not from something with such a small form factor. There’s a great clunk when you knock it into gear. A nice mechanical resistance which is consistent and feels quite natural. This shifter is exactly what I imagine the Sequential shifters in open wheelers like the skip barber to feel. I’d love to have it mounted close to my steering wheel in a low formula seating position, but I don’t have a rig which allows me to test that configuration. Mis-shifts don’t exist with this shifter and you cannot lightly put it into gear, you need some force which is more than can be said for many other sequential shifters. It really feels robust and dependable. Coupled with my buttkicker gamer 2 on my rig, the clunk of engaging a gear feels very ‘right’. I may not be the right judge as I’ve never driven a real life sequential box in anger before. But it does feel very like how I imagine a real sequential shifter to feel.
This is not a cheap piece of hardware. It’s not really meant to be. It’s a piece of simulation equipment that most people don’t need as they have flappy paddles on their wheel anyways. At €209 it may not be for everyone, but those in the market for a sequential shifter should really consider this as a contender. This is a high quality piece of simulation hardware. More on that In my final thoughts section.
When you hold this tiny shifter in your hand you’ll realise that it is like something out of a real race car, and it feels premium from the minute you touch its beautifully finished surfaces. If you want a product that screams high end, this will be the shifter for you. It’s unbranded and somewhat mysterious. Almost like David and Goliath when posed against some products which you may be considering if you’re in the market right now. I see it’s closed rival being the aiologs shifter, but I am basing that solely on looks as I haven’t used the aiologs for an extended period of time yet.
- Final thought
It’s not the cheapest sequential shifter but it’s definitely one of the better ones. It’s compact and will fit into your rig perfectly as it won’t be difficult to mount or to find a home for it. However, I did find the lever a little short when driving rally style cars which usually have great big levers to get the handle close to your steering wheel, to minimise the time you spend with your hands off the steering wheel. Once you’re used to using it, it’s very easy to find and I used it for several recent live competitive sim racing events and it performed beautifully without any issues. I’d like to try it with a longer handle.
The short bars and minor differences between them suggest that this shifter should in fact be mounted high and close to the steering wheel. Where I have it probably is the ideal position but I did find it nice and easy to use while still having loads of space for even the largest of handbrakes.
Heusinkveld make some seriously credible products and are gaining massive market share with their amazing pedals and handbrake. They were working on a h-pattern shifter a few years ago but that project has reportedly been shelved, or even completely abandoned which is a shame. The thoughts of a company like Heusinkveld making a h box really excites me. They make products which look good, but focus on functionality first. You will see this passion I’d you watch any of Niels Heusinkveld’s great videos on YouTube.
I’m going to be sad to give this shifter back to its owner, but i have been reviewing it for almost 6 months now, so it’s about time I handed it back.
Please share your thoughts and impressions on the comments below. Leaving a thumbs up let’s Youtube know that you engaged with this content and it helps it to suggest it to other people like you. It’s a great way to support the channel. . I’m Laurence and this has been my review of the Heusinkveld shifter, I’ll chat to ye later.