Outdoor Furniture Blog | Casual Furniture World

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Not to Throw Shade, but Patio Umbrellas are Pretty Cool!

What’s better than an awesome outdoor living space?  Being able to enjoy it with your family and friends, obviously!  At Casual Furniture World, our goal is to have our customers enjoy their outdoor living spaces as long as possible.  One way to do that may be to add a little shade to your space!

Patio umbrellas come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Typically, patio umbrellas will come in either 9’, 11’, or 13’ diameters.  They are usually round, hexagonal, or rectangular.  What truly differentiates them, though, is how they tilt.

In a recent video series, we covered the main types of patio umbrellas and how they function.  Here, we cover those differences and features.

Auto Tilt

This mechanism is the most straightforward option. To engage the tilt, you turn the crank handle and once the umbrella is fully open, the canopy will begin to tilt. The only downside to this mechanism is that the canopy only tilts in one direction. Many people set up their umbrella so it tilts towards the west.

Push-Button Tilt

Just as its name would suggest, this umbrella tilts when its button is pushed. Common with aluminum umbrellas, a button is pressed to manually release and tilt the canopy. This option is great for occasional tilting of your umbrella canopy. Push-buttons typically only have two positions, fully upright or fully tilted. These tilt mechanisms usually tilt in two directions, which means you can tilt the canopy east in the morning and west in the afternoon.

Collar Tilt

Collar tilts are one of the easier methods for tilting your umbrella and work in conjunction with a crank. Once your umbrella is cranked and in the fully-open position, you simply twist the collar, which is located above the crank, and the umbrella will start tilting. Not only is this mechanism easy to operate, but it allows the umbrella to tilt in small increments, casting the perfect amount of shade and allowing you more control.

Crank Tilt

Placed near the center of the pole, a rotating handle is turned until the canopy is fully opened. The handle then turns in reverse to close the umbrella. Make sure the crank does not interfere with your tabletop, especially if placed within the center of a bar table.  Given that these umbrellas open with a crank, expect there to be some mechanical noise as the umbrella opens and closes.


These versatile outdoor umbrellas feature an arched or jointed pole positioned off to the side. The canopy is supported from the side and above, allowing it to hang freely over a larger dining table or a deep-seating lounge area. Cantilever umbrellas don’t obstruct the view of your guests like a center-pole umbrella might. Many cantilever umbrellas can tilt from side-to-side or front to back (or both) and most versions rotate 360-degrees. While typically more expensive, in part due to their larger size, cantilever and offset umbrellas elevate any outdoor space and create a unique focal point to enjoy. Cantilever umbrellas are made of aluminum, bamboo, eucalyptus/teak or a mix of the metal and wood.  These umbrellas also come with several available features, such as lighting.  Be sure to check out our video on the AKZ Plus 13’ Starlux Cantilever - it keeps the sun away during the day, but has fantastic ambient lighting!

View our video covering the above differences in Patio Umbrellas and Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Still have questions? Come in and see us!

Interested in learning more?  It’s time to visit your local Casual Furniture World store!  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the right solution for your outdoor shade and patio umbrella needs!