360 Camera Accessories

Benro BK10 vs. Benro MK10 selfie stick tripod: 3 suggestions for removing the ballhead

Benro BK10 vs. Benro BK10 selfie stick tripod: new technique for removing the ballhead
Benro BK10 vs. Benro BK10 selfie stick tripod: new technique for removing the ballhead

The Benro MK10 selfie stick tripod (reviewed here) is the tripod that I use most often with my 360 cameras. Its most important feature is the removable ballhead. The problem is that the ballhead sometimes can’t be removed. In this video, I discuss a possible reason and give suggestions for removing the ballhead.

Benro MK10 review - selfie stick tripod for 360 cameras
Benro MK10 review – selfie stick tripod for 360 cameras

The tripod I use around 90% of the time is the Benro MK10. I love that it is pocketable and most of all, I love its ballhead, which can be removed with some effort. What’s great about it is that if you can remove the ballhead, the Benro is thin enough to appear invisible to almost any 360 camera, including the very thin Ricoh Theta and Xiaomi Mi Sphere.

Benro MK10's removable ballhead
Benro MK10’s removable ballhead

I posted a tutorial for removing the ballhead using hot water. The method sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. I have four Benro MK10 tripods, and of those, I removed the ballhead in three of them, but could not it in one of them. In this video I discuss a modified technique for removing the ballhead:

Suggestions for removing the ballhead:

1. Benro MK10 vs. BK10: getting the right tripod.
I’ve removed the ballhead in three out of four tripods I have. I couldn’t remove the ballhead for one of my tripods. The tripod for which I couldn’t remove the ballhead had a slighly different ballhead with a thumbnut with a beveled edge. All the ballheads that I was able to remove had a flat-edged thumbnut.

One way to increase the chance of getting the tripod with the flat thumbnut may be to order the Benro BK10 instead of MK10. Of the three I have that I could remove, two were MK10, and one was a BK10. The one that I could not remove was an MK10B. The MK10 and BK10 look identical, but the packaging on the BK10 is in English, and it’s possible they were assembled at different factories.  This is the exact item I ordered for my fourth tripod.

2. Suggested technique.

Benro MK10 ballhead diagram
Benro MK10 ballhead diagram

For my fourth tripod, here are the exact steps I followed:
Step 1: loosen the ballhead
Step 2: the water must be steaming hot. We have a hot water dispenser and I microwaved that hot water for one minute. It was boiling just before the microwave finished.
Step 3: submerge the tripod only up to the base of the ballhead. Avoid submerging the shaft. Submerge the tripod for at least 1 minute.
Step 4: remove the tripod, tighten the ballhead and use a rag to hold the ballhead firmly. Extend the shaft so that the last / thinnest section of the shaft is exposed. With your other hand, hold the handle and rotate it counter-clockwise (with the ballhead pointed away).

3. Failsafe: Get it from Amazon.
Since it’s hard to guarantee that you can remove the ballhead, I recommend getting the ballhead from Amazon, so that if you can’t remove it, you can return it.  You may want to place a note that the ballhead couldn’t be removed, so the manufacturer finally gets the hint that they should make the ballhead removable.

If you try out this new technique, please let me know if it worked for you!

About the author

Mic Ty

8 Comments

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  • Hey Mic,

    Great site, keep the info coming! I wouldn’t know anything about 360° tours without your vids!

    I bought the model where the head just turned and turned, but managed to get the ball head off eventually!

    Worked it hard and finally pulled the whole head off. Boiled the whole thing for 20mins and the glue finally came off so I could unscrew the thread. Just a case of supergluing the threaded bolt back in place after that.

    I have some pics I’d like to send you so you can see what the screw thread looks like, maybe it will help others.

      • I have the MK10 with the round edge plate.

        I put the ballhead in boiling water for 1 minute and 20 seconds.

        Then, I succeded to remove the ballhead by unscrewing and screwing the ballhead several time.

        The first time, the ballhead was turning, turning, turning. I thought it would never came off.

        I screwed it and unscrewded it, and it finaly came off.

        I was so happy.

        Thanks for your advice.

        • First of all congrats on removing it! Second, wow that’s the first time I heard it was possible to remove it when the ballhead just kept turning. Hmm i will try that. Thanks again!

  • I put the ballhead in hot water (close to boiling) for about 30 seconds and then the ballhead could be removed easily. Looks like there were some sort of glue on the screw.

    Thanks for the advice, Mic!

    My Benro is a BK10 by the way.

    All the best!

    Anders Helgesson

  • I had to buy 3 of these before I got one which I could actually remove the ball head from. First I bought one Blue BK10 and one Blue MK10, both came with the rounded edge and just kept turning after being submerged in hot water. Then I tried this one in Red: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074XVLX5Y/ it turned out to the another MK10. When I opened the box I saw another rounded edge on the ball head but decided to try removing it anyways. I loosened the thumb screw and submerged it in water for almost 2 minutes. I also shook it around to be sure the water reached every crevice. Lo and behold the ball head came right off. Super happy to have this awesome selfie stick now. Thanks for the guide Mic.