These knobs fit flatted or flat shafts and are designed to break before the shaft does, thereby protecting the more expensive heater control or timer elements. The only problem is that its hard to find replacement knobs that match the originals. 

Step 1: Can it be fixed?

This knob split lengthwise.  Sometimes they chip at a diagonal through the cylinder of the knob.  Both kinds of damage can be fixed with this repair.
Thank you so much for posting this! I'm inspired to try something similar for a slightly different Whirlpool oven knob (1983 vintage) which is no longer available.
I had to read this several times because it seems too good to be true. Million dollar idea...well maybe a $100 idea, but still great!!

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