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.
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.
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.
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!