Maintenance: Quick-Release Clamps

B2-Pro II & B2-AS II Clamps

Have you ever flipped the lever or twisted the knob on your clamp, only to find that the clamp jaw doesn’t pop open smoothly? Is your clamp making noise that it shouldn’t? Time for some maintenance!

Lever-Release Maintenance

The stainless steel lever on the clamp rides on a self-lubricating, wear resistant bronze bearing surface. But from time to time, we recommend cleaning grit, dust, and salt-water residue from the shaft to prevent the stainless steel and bronze washers from binding. Here’s what you do…

  • Flip the lever to the fully open position, and squeeze the jaws together to expose the shaft. Blow out any dirt or grit with compressed air.
  • Use compressed air to blow out any dust or grit from the moving parts of the clamp.

    Use compressed air to blow out any dust or grit from the moving parts of the clamp.

  • Stubborn grime or salt residue can be rinsed with warm water and even a drop of liquid dish soap. A soft toothbrush or pipe cleaner can be used for tight spaces.
  • Then apply a drop of lubricant on the shaft and work the lever back & forth to evenly distribute. Wipe off any excess to avoid attracting dirt. We don’t recommend WD-40; instead, use a multi-purpose synthetic oil or waterproof grease. Here in the shop we use Phil Wood Tenacious Oil.
Place a drop of lubricant on the exposed lever shaft. We like Tenacious Oil.

Place a drop of lubricant on the exposed lever shaft. We like Tenacious Oil.

Screw-Knob Maintenance

Screw-Knob style clamps have the same jaw parts, but use a simpler knob to compress and release the jaw. The same steps apply for maintaining those parts, with the lubrication going on the exposed threaded shaft of the knob, between the jaw and the knob shroud.

Apply the lubrication to the threaded part of the screw knob, usually accessed from the back of the clamp.

Apply the lubrication to the threaded part of the screw knob, usually accessed from the back of the clamp.


  1. Michel Poirier says:

    Usually I find this oil in bicycle shops. It is widely used for bicycle maintenance.

  2. Xavier Farre says:

    What is WD 40?

  3. Bruce says:

    Interesting blog. Why not WD40?

    Don’t gave tenacious oil over here. Would a general oil like 3 in1 be ok?

    • Jim @ RRS says:

      Hi Bruce,

      WD40 can be used as a lubricant in a few situations, with sealed parts or where a low-volume is required. In our tripods however it will not remain in place and will tend to seep out a lot easier. A slightly thicker oil like what would be used on a bike or motorcycle chain: e.g. White Lightning Oil or sewing machine oil would be good.

      • Allan Joyner says:

        WD40 is hydroscopic. It attracts water molecules, offers little corrosion protection and doesn’t work well for very long. I had the good fortune to visit RRS and they performed a cleaning and lubrication on my clamp. Fine gun oil was used and it will continue to work for a very long time and won’t leave the residue you get with WD40. WD is great for some things but precision metal components are not one of them.

        By the way, they repaired a failed component on my several year old tripod, showed me how to clean and lube the head, straightened a bent shaft on my clamp and replaced the leg clamps with no prompting from me. There was no charge. I will never purchase another brand of anything RRS builds. The epitome of customer service.

  4. Ali Sulaiman says:

    what do you recommend ?

  5. scott flanders says:

    I have soaked my BH55 knob type clamp for 2 days in Corrosion Block. Usually this frees anything. When the knob is all the way out the clamp springs back and forth easily. When it become compressed it is hard to turn the knob. After the clamp is all the way tightened it will not release without a tap with a block of wood. I have spent hours on it and there is no change even though the unit, threads, etc appear as new with zero corrosion or visible debris. The bullhead has been stored inside and never exposed to salt water.
    I ordered a new lever clamp that will fix my immediate problem but I will say I am very disappointed in RRS’s clamp not being serviceable. The service charge and freight both ways from Florida makes it nearly as efficient to replace the unit instead of a simple fix.

  6. David Lilly says:

    I have the same problem as Scott above. The clamp gets stuck when it is compressed and I have to use a screw driver to get it open. I tried oiling it etc. , but nothing works.

    I am also a little disappointed in the RRS head.

    • Jim @ RRS says:

      Hi David,

      When the jaw sticks like that despite being clean and lubricated, it’s usually an indication that the lever shaft has been bent. Even a slight bend will cause significant binding in some cases, since the tolerances of all the parts are so precise. I would recommend you send that clamp in for service – we may be able to repair it for you to solve that issue. If you’d like to send your item in for service, please pack it carefully and send it in to:

      Really Right Stuff Repairs
      1146 Farmhouse Ln.
      San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

      Enclose a detailed description of the issue(s) and include your contact information. We will contact you with a repair estimate once your item has been inspected and we can take it from there!

      If you have any other questions please feel free to email us at


      Jim Weise
      Customer Service Manager

  7. Jean-Yves Grospas says:

    I have the same problem as David above. When my BH-40 quick-release clamp is in locked position, the lever is very very hard to pull. My clamp is clean and lubricated.
    I think the best thing to do is to remove 1 washer on the axis.
    Is it possible for us to remove the pin of the axis or the pin of the lever in order to reach the washer ? If yes, how ?
    The lever on my MPR-192 & FAS Clamp is not so hard to pull.
    Thank you.
    Best regards from France.

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