How To Tilt A Patio Umbrella (Quickly & Easily!)

Patricia Oelze
by Patricia Oelze
Patio umbrellas can save you from the sun on a hot day, but it can sometimes be tricky to tilt them. Depending on the type of patio umbrella you have, you can generally tilt one if you crank the handle or turn the collar. Follow along as we explore the several different ways that you can tilt a patio umbrella based on the kind that you have.

Having a patio umbrella is a fantastic way to be able to enjoy the outdoors without getting too much sun. Whether you have it over a table, shading a spot in the pool, or just sitting on the deck, a patio umbrella can make summer a much more enjoyable experience.

There are four types of umbrellas on the market. The push-button tilt, collar tilt, auto tilt, and the rotational tilt. They are typically easy to use although each one is a bit different than the other. You will either press a button, turn a collar, crank a handle, or spin the ribs.

Although they are all great in their own way, the rotational tilt umbrella is the most popular while the push-button tilt is the least expensive. The collar tilt is in the middle of both of those and gives you the option of an easier tilt at a fairly inexpensive price. Let’s look at the different ways that each of them works.

Tilting the Push-Button Tilt Patio Umbrella

This type of patio umbrella is the first one developed and is the least expensive. Basically, the way to use it is to press the button on the tilting mechanism, which is on the pole.

  • First, open the umbrella by turning the crank clockwise.
  • Then press the button in the middle of the pole.
  • Carefully let the umbrella tilt to the side as far as you want it to go.
  • Do not open the umbrella during high winds or storms, and always close it when it is not in use.
  • To close the umbrella, push it back to its upright position until the button snaps into place.
  • Crank the handle counterclockwise until it is completely closed.

How to Tilt a Collar Tilt Patio Umbrella

The collar tilt umbrella is easy to use and functional as well as beautiful. To tilt it, all you have to do is open it up, turn the collar, and tilt it to your desired position.

  • Turn the crank clockwise to open the umbrella all the way.
  • Twist the collar in the middle of the pole counterclockwise.
  • Push the umbrella to the position you like.
  • You can adjust the tilt in any direction just by moving it.
  • Never leave your patio umbrella unattended and do not use it during storms or high winds.
  • Turn the collar counterclockwise and straighten it to its upright position.
  • Turn the crank counterclockwise to close the umbrella all the way.

Using the Auto-Tilt Patio Umbrella

The auto-tilt patio umbrella is one of the most popular types of patio umbrellas because it is easy to use and not as expensive as the rotational tilt umbrella. With this one, all you have to do is turn the handle to open it as well as using the tilting mechanism.

  • Use the crank to open the umbrella by turning it clockwise.
  • Turn the handle one more time to put it in tilt mode.
  • Maneuver the umbrella to any position you like.
  • Do not leave your umbrella open while you are not around and never use it during a storm or in high winds.
  • Closing the umbrella is easy to do by just turning the handle counterclockwise.

Tilting the Rotational Tilt Patio Umbrella

The rotational tilt patio umbrella is the newest type and it certainly is easy to use. Although they are still a bit pricey, they are worth it if you use it often. Just crank it up to open it and push any of the ribs clockwise to tilt it.

  • Turn the crank handle clockwise to open it up.
  • Once it is completely open, turn the umbrella clockwise using any of the ribs to tilt.
  • Push the umbrella to any position you want.
  • Never use the patio umbrella during a storm or high winds. Also, make sure you close the umbrella before leaving the area.
  • To close, use one of the ribs and turn it counterclockwise to straighten it up.
  • Crank the handle counterclockwise until it is completely closed.

Different Styles

There are many different styles of patio umbrellas as well. From market umbrellas to lighted umbrellas, there is something for everyone. In fact, you can use one in the garden, one by the pool, and one over your table. Here are the four most common patio umbrellas:

  • Lighted umbrella: This fun party-type umbrella has built-in LED lights under the canopy along the ribs. They provide a party ambiance, or they can provide a romantic scene for an evening dinner.
  • Drape or garden umbrella: Very economical and functional, this type of umbrella has a drape or valance hanging along the edges of the canopy. The center pole is typically aluminum, and it has a lot more steel ribs than the other types.
  • Offset or cantilever umbrella: This is any kind of patio umbrella that does not have a pole in the center. It usually has a pole on the side or the outside of the umbrella. These are very popular because they allow you the shade without blocking your view with a pole.
  • Market umbrella: The market umbrella has a variety of types with four to eight crossbars and many different colors and designs. You can use a market umbrella in a patio table or freestanding with a heavy base.

Fabric Selections

Besides the different styles of umbrellas, you can also get them in a variety of fabrics. There are four fabrics that are the most common, which include:

  • Vinyl: This is a strong waterproof plastic fabric that is also the most inexpensive. It comes in many colors and designs.
  • Polyester: Another affordable choice, polyester is commonly used because of its quick-drying properties. They last for years and have many patterns and different colors.
  • Olefin: Just a bit more expensive than polyester, you can get olefin, which is a very durable synthetic material. It holds it’s color longer than plastic or polyester and lasts longer as well.
  • Sunbrella: This is the most durable fabric that is also the most well-known. It is 100% solution-dyed acrylic that is easy to clean, does not fade, resists stains, and is even resistant to mold and mildew.

Related Questions

Are patio umbrellas all made of aluminum or metal?

Actually, the pole and ribs come in a variety of styles and materials. The most common is the aluminum umbrella because it is light, resists rust, and is strong enough for windy conditions. It also comes in different colors and is very affordable.Wood umbrellas are usually made from teak because it is naturally water-resistant. These are more expensive and need special care, but they are very attractive. Fiberglass umbrellas are best in very windy areas. This material can also handle saltwater and other moisture.

Are there any special details about taking care of a patio umbrella?

The main thing to remember is to never leave it open when you are not using it. Also, get an umbrella cover to protect it from the weather when it is not being used. Always let your umbrella dry completely before closing it. You may want to wipe it down first as well.If your umbrella gets dirty, clean it as directed by the manufacturer. Usually, you can just clean it with a mixture of one tablespoon of mild dish soap mixed with one cup of water. Use a sponge to wash it off and let it dry in the open position.Wipe down the pole with a soft cloth as needed. Teak and other wood may need to be cleaned with a special cleaner. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for more details. You can wipe away any sliding marks on the pole with a damp sponge. Lubricate the parts with a spray lubricant like WD-40 as needed.

What are the benefits of having a patio umbrella that tilts?

Whether you are sitting at a table with friends or hanging out by the pool, being able to tilt your patio umbrella to keep the sun out of your face is great. You do not have to get up and move just because the sun moved, and you can use them anywhere in one of the heavy freestanding bases.

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Patricia Oelze
Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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