Patio Umbrellas: How To Choose The Right Umbrella Features

There are a variety of patio umbrellas, all featuring different kinds of designs and options to choose from. For example, there is the “Button Tilt”, “Crank Tilt”, “Collar Tilt”, “Auto Tilt”, “Pulley Lift”, “Crank Lift” and so on. So today’s blog post is dedicated to educating you on patio umbrellas.

Lift Style

Pulley-lift vs. Crank-lift

Pulley-lift umbrellas are your standard patio umbrellas that require you to pull a string and insert the metal pin into a hole to hold the umbrella in the open position. A crank-lift umbrella has a crank on the pole and opens the umbrella with a series of gears.

Tilt Style

Push-button tilt umbrella

Push-Button Tilt Umbrella

Push-Button Tilt

A button tilt umbrella is exactly what it sounds like, and it is probably the tilt style you have seen and are most familiar with. By pushing in a button on the umbrella pole, this simple mechanism releases an upright lock that allows you to then tilt your umbrella into your desired position.


Crank Tilt Umbrella

Auto Tilt / Crank Tilt

When you hear Auto Tilt or Crank Tilt don’t be fooled, they are both referring to the same tilting mechanism.  Auto Tilt or Crank tilt, is only available on crank lift umbrellas. How it works is once your umbrella is fully open, all you have to do is keep cranking and it will start to tilt to one side. The greatest part about auto tilt is that as the sun moves, you don’t have to get up and mess with a button to keep tilting it, you can do it right from your chair!

Collar tilt umbrella

Collar Tilt Umbrella

Collar Tilt

Collar Tilt is very similar to auto tilt and sometimes can be refereed to a type of auto tilt. This mechanism instead of being built right into the crank, instead has a ring or a collar that is located right about the crank. The greatest benefit of this type of tilt is you can create a combination of both tilt angle and open


Looking for a new umbrella for your patio? All American Fine Outdoor Furniture offers many types of patio umbrellas to fit your needs! Give us a call at 1.877.930.7070, visit our website or come in to any of our Arizona locations!