How To Tilt Patio Umbrella?

How to tilt patio umbrella

Patio umbrellas are an important part of any patio setup. They provide shade from excessive sunlight on a summer day and, allow you to enjoy your patio leisure time to the fullest.  They can be placed on or by a patio table, shading a position over a pool and simply stand on a patio deck. They are easy to use and don’t pose any headaches for the users to maintain. Although they serve the same purpose of providing shade, they have internal differences between them, take the tilting mechanism as an example.

Depending on their size and type, different patio umbrellas have different tilting mechanisms.  While the simplest and most popular tilting mechanism is the push-button one, the collar and rotational tilt mechanism offer additional advantages of their own. In this article, we will walk through every possible variant of the patio umbrella tilting process. Read thoroughly to further enhance your knowledge of how to tilt the patio umbrella.  It will help you to maintain your patio umbrella properly and will provide great durability.

Key Takeaways

  • Tilting on a patio umbrella allows the user to change the canopy’s angle against the sunlight.
  • The patio umbrella tilting mechanism varies on different types of patio umbrellas.
  • Push-button to tilt is the most popular and least expensive patio umbrella tilting mechanism.
  • Observe the wind speed and direction before tilting opening a patio umbrella.

Tilting Mechanism of Patio Umbrellas

Tilting mechanism of patio umbrellas
Tilting mechanism of patio umbrellas

Before understanding, how to tilt a patio umbrella let’s understand how different tilt mechanism works. Patio umbrellas serve various user bases. From marketplace to shad your poolside patio chair, the patio umbrella type varies based on user preference. Some of the patio umbrella tilting variations for your easy understanding:

  • Push-Button Tilt Patio Umbrella: It is the simplest and least expensive tilting mechanism. It uses a versatile crank opening method and a push button to release the canopy tilting sidewise.
  • Rotational Tilt Patio Umbrella: This type of patio umbrella has a similar crank opening method but the canopy tilting requires an additional rotating of the canopy ribs by hand.
  • Collar Tilt Patio Umbrella: Collar tilt patio umbrellas require a manual crank opening and feature an additional collar tilting mechanism just above the crank lever to set the canopy in any direction.
  • Auto-Tilt Patio Umbrella: Auto-tilt mechanism doesn’t require an additional tilting mechanism. The crank system has a built-in feature to open and tilt the patio umbrella at the same time.
  • Cantilever Umbrella: Among most other patio umbrellas, this one is different as the canopy doesn’t float on the center pole. Rather it is adjusted to a pole with an arm, just like a lamp post.

Remember that some patio umbrella comes with a manual string pull method to open the umbrella instead of a crank lever. A thin metal bar inserts through the main pole to hold the ribs up in position.  The tilting mechanism is usually as per the variant.

How to Tilt A Patio Umbrella: Different Types

Now we will go through the tilting process of each type of patio umbrella mentioned above. You will find these easier to understand if you possess any of the particular variant patio umbrellas.

Patio umbrella with a push-button tilt
Patio umbrella with a push-button tilt

1. Patio Umbrella with a Push-Button Tilt

Assemble the patio umbrella on a pole steadily. Unzip any canopy bindings. Then

  1. Pull the crank clockwise to open the umbrella to your required level.
  2. Push the tilt button right under the ribs hub to unlock the pole tilting mechanism.
  3. Tilt the canopy in the opposite direction to set the tilt differently while the button is on push.
  4. For closing, simply push the button to set free the canopy in the center.
  5. Pull the crank anticlockwise to close the canopy.
Patio umbrella with a rotational tilt
Patio umbrella with a rotational tilt

Patio umbrella with a rotational tilt

First place the umbrella in your desired location. Consider the area it will cover and the tilting side.

  1. To open the umbrella, pull the crank clockwise until the canopy fully opens up.
  2. You will find the tilting joint on the pole relatively free.
  3. Push any of the rib edges anticlockwise to tilt the canopy.
  4. Position the umbrella as per the sunlight.
  5. To close the umbrella, reverse the ribs pushing method until the canopy has straightened.
  6. Pull the crank anticlockwise to close the canopy.
Patio umbrella with a collar tilt
Patio umbrella with a collar tilt

Patio Umbrella with a Collar Tilt

A collar tilt patio umbrella is relatively more user-friendly but also comes a bit more expensive than others.

  1. Open the umbrella using the crank lever pulling clockwise, and keep pulling until it’s fully open.
  2. After the canopy is fully bloomed, find the collar lever just above the crank lever.
  3. Gently spin the collar clockwise to your convenient tilting angle.
  4. Reposition the tilted umbrella if needed.
  5. To close the umbrella, spin the collar anti-clockwise to straighten the canopy.
  6. Reverse the crank pulling to close the umbrella canopy.
Patio umbrella with auto-tilt
Patio umbrella with auto-tilt

Patio Umbrella with Auto-Tilt

An auto-tilt umbrella is an updated version of the normal crank-pulled opening mechanism. The tilting is synced with the crank lever for a simple ‘2 in 1’ operation.

  1. Pull the usual crank lever clockwise until you feel it has fully opened up.
  2. To tilt the canopy, gently push the crank lever one or half-spin further.
  3. The last push will tilt the canopy to a certain angle.
  4. To close the umbrella, first, push the crank anticlockwise to straighten the canopy.
  5. Then, keep pulling the crank lever the same way until the umbrella is completely closed.
Cantilever umbrellas tilt
Cantilever umbrellas tilt

Cantilever umbrellas tilt

Cantilever umbrellas are a little different than the usual patio umbrellas. Their structure consists of more than one moving part. Steps to tilt a cantilever umbrella:

  1. First, untie the canopy from the side pole. 
  2. Set the base clamp free by pushing it anticlockwise.
  3. Push the adjustable hand-like portion to adjust the height.
  4. Tighten the clamp anticlockwise to hold the position.
  5. Pull the crank lever to bloom the canopy to the fullest.
  6. Push the spin-able hand-like portion to the center of the table.
  7. To close the umbrella, first, pull the crank lever anticlockwise to close the canopy.
  8. Release the base clamp once again and reposition the movable portion closer to the main pole.
  9. Lock the base clamp and bend the canopy for safety.

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5 Points to Consider for Tilting A Patio Umbrella

A patio umbrella is essential to add fun to your patio time. They provide you with shade from sunlight and rain, prevent your patio furniture from being damaged, and provide a complete aesthetic look to your patio setup. But before enjoying such benefits of a patio umbrella, you may need to consider some points for better durability of your property.

  1. Weather Is Favorable: Patio umbrellas aren’t designed to protect you from high breezing. Just like ordinary umbrellas, they are prone to be flipped against the air. So make sure that the weather is calm and the wind is not flowing in different directions randomly. If the wind is constant, tilt your umbrella against the wind and relocate your sitting position if possible.
  2. Patio Is Anchored: The base of the patio umbrella is very important. As there might be one or two joints with the patio pole, the base pivot should be heavier enough to anchor the umbrella properly. An unsteady patio can’t stand even against mild breezing.
  3. Canopy Is Steady: The canopy is the base structure of the umbrella. It is made of a lot of moving rib parts. Making it fragile against the rough breeze. So the patio umbrella canopy should be well made to become a strong piece. Check the ribs routinely to see if any dislocates with each other.
  4. Healthy String: Every crank mechanism has a string attached to it with the rib hub. This string is strong enough to pull and hold the canopy. Over time this string may get damaged or stretched longer. Make sure to check the string routinely to keep the patio umbrella work-worthy and avoid any unwanted accidents.
  5. Moving Parts Are Well Maintained: A patio umbrella has lots of moving parts. Such as the extendable pole, ribs, crank parts, etc. For better work efficiency, these parts should be checked and maintained routinely.


1. Why do umbrellas tilt?

Patio umbrellas are for providing shade from sunlight. But the sun isn’t always in the same spot the whole day. Tilting the umbrella allows the user to adjust the umbrella’s canopy placement against the sun’s position throughout the day.

2. Do cantilever umbrellas tilt side to side?

Cantilever-styled patio umbrellas are unique for their ability to rotate 360°. It is possible due to they are attached to the main pole sidewise. The attachment that keeps the canopy and pole together can rotate and even be tilted side to side.

3. Do patio umbrellas need a base?

The patio umbrella canopy is much wider to cover a lot of areas. Along with that, the central pole, and crank mechanism make the upper section of the patio umbrella pretty heavy. Add the wind they resist; they need comparatively heavier bases to hold them steadily.

Final Thoughts

Tilting a patio umbrella isn’t as easy as it seems. To enjoy its beneficial sides to the fullest, you must be aware of certain tasks and execute them carefully. The process of tilting a patio umbrella varies depending on the design it comes in. Understand the basic instructions provided above to tilt your patio umbrella properly. You may find some processes hard to understand for the time being. But applying them on your specific patio umbrella a few times will make it one of the easiest tasks to do. This is the end of how to tilt a patio umbrella for now. Enjoy your leisure patio time under your perfectly tilted patio umbrella.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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