Grade A steel bowl review: The ultimate name in N64 bowl replacement

Steelsticks64 : Grade A bowl

This will probably be the easiest review or piece of text I have ever written as how perfect out of the box (and bag) the Steelsticks64 bowl is!

But before delving into all that, let’s discuss the bowl. Aside from the X and Y axis gears, the bowl experiences the most wear within the N64 stick enclosure. Time and pressure are the two culprits responsible for this wear, easily leading to long-term damage. When you press down on the stick, akin to the vigorous movements in Mario Party, the stick grinds against the bowl, gradually wearing it down. It’s similar to using a pestle and mortar, but instead of grinding ingredients, you’re gradually eroding the base of the bowl. This wear and tear become evident when you open up the bowl, as you’ll notice the presence of dust. The majority of this dust signifies the deterioration of your bowl.

You can prolong your OEM bowl by taking it apart, lubing up with a good PTFE based grease/lube (I always recommend Superlube, Joystick butter or Tamiya Cera-Grease HG 87099 – links below).

However, I would say 98% of bowls that are around in the year 2021 have some degree of wear on them (This is a made up stat, however it can be argued that the vast majority of bowls are worn now) and this wear is completely irreversible.

You now have 2 options:

– Refurbishment: Many viable options exist which I have detailed in my Master Thread which is on the home page ( Can be tricky but my yield results that lead to a 10/10 again

– Replacement: Welcome to hell my friends. Replacement can be tricky as one, there are not many people making replacement bowls at the moment.

One such option is Kitsch-Bent, as they are now back open now which is amazing, I highly recommend getting your bowls here asap (Review to come). Do bear in mind, they do not come with the hardest piece of the N64 to replace, the encoders, however if you already have a old bowl, keep the encoders, the don’t wear down and are needed for optical styled replacements.


The other, currently viable choice is of course, Linus’ steel bowls from Lets dive into the best bowl that money can buy…. at the moment.

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Getting the bowl

Linus (Maker of the steelsticks64 bowls) ships from Switzerland. Postage to the UK in total took about 5 working days, however this will 100% vary based on your location in the world. When i ordered by bowl I did advise that I may be moving home and I need the bowl shipped later, however when I found out that this was not happening I tried to get in touch to get my bowl shipped. It took me over 5 days to get a response. Now in Linus’ defence he is one guy making and shipping these bowls, i imagine he was just coming to the end of the big June order and wanted a break so its easily looked over.. Just make sure when you order that on initial contact you specify and special requirement upfront to avoid any delays.

After that though it was super speedy fast. Keep in mind, this is a premium bowl so expect a premium price. Standard bowls are like a couple of quid/dollars, however this is custom made, CNC milled bowl using steel and then hardened and polished.

First impressions of the Bowl

The bowl was packaged in such a way that no harm would come to it, a nice little thank you note and a complimentary tube of SuperLube was provided. I already have enough to lube 1000 sticks but it does not hurt to have more (Maybe as travel lube?).

I also ordered encoders with the bowl as these would be the OEM encoders that Linus took off when manufacturing the steel bowl in the OEM enclosure. It’s just one less thing to do.

Encoders slotted in nicely. You can really get the sense this is a Grade A bowl, it’s so bloody shiny, so polished!

Fyi I am not sure if the Grade B bowls come with encoders.

Installation was standard, everything fitted perfectly, as to be expected from ex-oem parts.

Oem bowl vs Steelstick64 Grade A bowl

I used Superlube to lube up my freshly cleaned 9/10 OEM gears, OEM stick and steel bowl. Time for testing….

Initial Neoflash testing (0 Hours)

The results speak from themselves. They are all above 80 on every axis for the most part, and the stick feels tight. A small bit of dead zone, however this is down to my 9/10 gears no doubt.

Neoflash did not register any wobble in the stick, ensuring that picking one of these up would not result in any drift issues.

The steelsticks64 bowl is TIGHT. Now this tightness is good but at first it feels little disconcerting. The bowl is harden steel and not plastic, the movement is smooth and the stick feel correctly propped up. It does not feel like oem in this way due to the solidness of the bowl. It is very very hard to describe this feeling as it just not a typical bowl. I think that those that have experienced the bowl could possibly describe better.

How they play

Game: Goldeneye 007 (Silo, Surface 2, Train, Runway)

Gears used: OEM 9/10

Stick used: OEM 9-10/10

Saying this, the bowl is so tight and precise that it is just simply a joy to use. The accuracy of movement is amazing, locks on Train are sexy and playing Silo feels right. These levels require the most precise movement and the bowl just nails it.

I have achieved amazing PBs on Silo (1:07 as of writing), Surface 2 SA (0:53) and Runway 00 (0:39). Although S2 SA and RW 00 are achievable with a 7/10 set up, Silo required the best tools to complete. Although 1:07 is low in terms of points, it’s easily my best time to date in my career. It’s 1 minute of tight movement, precise shooting and the ability to clutch:

As you can see… alot going on.

I am currently at the 30ish hour stage of testing and the bowl is just a pleasure to use. I would recommend this bowl as a primary and saving your OEM bowls for another time.


I consider myself fortunate. Steelsticks64 products are rarely available, and their full enclosures are trapped in development limbo, with no one actively manufacturing bowls of this caliber. For example, Prestige64 sticks have largely been abandoned, leading to customers receiving full refunds. Nevertheless, I have been engaging in conversations (or at least attempting to) with other innovators who are creating or testing their own bowls, giving hope for the future.

The time, money and effort needed to make these bowls are immense. Steel bowls that are in the 80 and above range that offer consistent performance so so hard to create that it’s for this reason I am lucky.

If you want one, please, sign up for email alerts on the product on the website and get ready to click buy:

I mentioned at the beginning of the steelsticks64 review that this would be the easiest review I’ve ever written. It’s easy because the bowl is almost perfect. Choosing e to use this bowl as my primary not only for its performance but also because of its exceptional durability. I can grind away at this bowl without worrying about it chipping, wearing down, or becoming deformed. Conducting extensive tests on this bowl, and it will not show signs of wear. I am able to confidently grind at Silo, knowing that my equipment will remain intact. When striving for Train Personal Bests (PBs), I can rely on the bowl’s precision to execute accurate lock shots. Any failures are a result of my own skill and not the quality of my tools.

Everyone from a seasoned pro to a casual player should get these if they can. From the construction to the playability these are a sure bet.

WTFParts ranking: 97/100;Near perfect/OEM standard – Competitive Pro+


+ The best bowl you can buy at the moment

+ Premium quality – You get what you pay for

+ Worldwide shipping

+ Almost perfect range

+ Can be used for competitive and casual play


– Never in stock

– When in stock, sell within 48 hours

– Using the bowl requires a psychological adjustment, but it is well worth it.

The only place to buy the best bowls (At this time) for your N64:

*Ranking definition

90>: Near perfect/OEM standard – Competitive Pro+

80>: Great/Near perfect – Competitive Pro

70>: Okay/Great – Starter Competitive

60>: Casual only/Okay – Causal play only

<60: Bad – Causal play but only if you hate yourself


I take full responsibility for all the thoughts, pictures, and opinions expressed in this post and any other post. I want to emphasize that I have not received any payment or benefits to write exaggerated positive reviews. These reviews solely reflect my personal experience. I cannot assume responsibility for any financial loss or damage incurred to your stick, gears, or bowls as a result of purchasing a product based on my review if your experience differs from mine.


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