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How To Tilt A Towa Patio Umbrella

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Fixing a broken patio umbrella frame

The original author of this guide, Kalee Thompson, lived for more than a decade in Los Angeles, where the near-constant sun fuels an equally constant quest for more and better shade. After moving into her home there in mid-2010, she went through three 9-foot backyard patio umbrellas, each purchased for less than $100. The first was never the same after an epic 2011 windstorm. Carelessly left up, that umbrella was lifted by the wind and converted into a dangerous projectile that stabbed into a neighbors hillside . The second and third umbrellas simply got shredded by some combination of temperamental Santa Ana winds and incessant UV damage, after a little more than two years of year-round use.

Kalee examined the umbrella inventory at local stores, including Costco, Home Depot, IKEA, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Walmart, and systematically examined the much more extensive online offerings from the same, as well as from Amazon, Armstrong Garden Centers, Crate & Barrel, Design Within Reach, Lowes, Overstock, Restoration Hardware, Target, Wayfair, and West Elm. And she looked at the models from upscale umbrella suppliers Tuuci and Santa Barbara Designs the latter company makes gorgeous umbrellasincluding some that look like flamenco skirts or a shade for a popsicle cartthat are so expensive the prices go unlisted in the companys printed catalog.

Upgrade Pick: Abba Patio Steel Market Patio Umbrella Base

For those who prefer a super minimalist, ground-hugging base and are willing to pay more for it, the Abba Patio Round Steel Market Patio Umbrella Base, which has an even, matte-finish powder coating, is by far the sleekest one we tested. But it is also the most expensive for its weight, just 55 pounds, the same as our top pick. The base is an ultra-thin and flat solid steel disc that measures 27.5″ in diameter, wider than most bases we tested.

Other than being frustrating to grasp and lift the disc before the neck is attached, the Abba Patio base is intuitive and simple to put together. It comes with a hefty 6½-inch-long hex key for securing the neck to the base from the bases underside, and the umbrella pole inserts directly into the shaft of the neck and secures with two screw knobs, like our top pick. The hex key gave an extra bit of leverage that made us feel confident in the sturdiness of the connection. And the double screw knobs were the nicest ones we encountered in testing, made of sturdy, smooth plastic and generous in size for good leverage, making it both faster and more pleasant to screw the umbrella pole snugly in place.

Because the base is a solid heavy-duty sheet of powder-coated steel, we think there is little likelihood that parts will chip or snap off over time. The powder coating itself is smooth and even. The matte finish seemed to easily pick up dusty footprints, but the powder coating was easily wiped clean with a cloth.

Free Standing Patio Umbrella And Table Umbrella

You have options of both free standing umbrellas as well as table umbrellas for your patio. While both types of umbrellas need a base stand, the table umbrellas can use a lighter base as these umbrellas also have the additional support of the patio tables and the free standing umbrellas need a heavier base stand to keep them in the upright position.

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Also Great: Shademobile Rolling Umbrella Base

May be out of stock

At a maximum of 125 pounds, the utilitarian Shademobile Rolling Umbrella Base is far heavier than any other umbrella base we tested. While it is less convenient to set upit is the only one in our test group that you have to fill yourself, and requires screwing shut after fillingits four wheels allow you to reposition your umbrella more easily than many other bases.

The Shademobile is made of high-density polyethylene, which will most likely have more longevity than the plastic of less expensive bases. The Shademobile arrives empty, weighing just 22 pounds. Once you fill it with bricks and/or sand, it can weigh up to 125 pounds, making it an extremely stable choice for a standalone 9- or 10-foot umbrella. Though the company advises against using this base for cantilevered umbrellas, its stable for even 12- and 13-foot upright umbrellas, according to company head David Taylor, who argued that his base makes an upright umbrella more versatile than many cantilevered models. Its almost like the tail wagging the dog, he told us. The base is as important as the umbrella, because of the added functionality. Although this model could fit beneath many dining tables, because of its size, it doesnt make sense to buy this type of base if your umbrella stays over your tabletop.

Featured Collar Tilt Patio Umbrellas

Astella 9 ft. Steel Market Push Tilt Patio Umbrella in ...

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The collar tilt umbrella is a neat little innovation in tilting that sprouted up in the early nineties. Also considered an auto tilt, its a great example of user-friendly engineering that can really add to your table use umbrellas.

A collar tilt umbrella works basically the same way as other aluminum market umbrella. You turn the crank at the housing, and the umbrella opens. However, what makes the collar tilt different is that at the top of the crank housing, there is a ring or collar that tilts the umbrella. By turning the collar, you can tilt the umbrella. Similar to an auto-tilt, the collar tilt umbrella has infinite tilting positions. Many people prefer the collar-tilt to the auto-tilt for its smooth operation and differentiated tilting mechanism.

Summary: A great feature that brings a new twist to umbrella tilting, the collar tilt is an enjoyable function for those looking for something just a little bit different, with the same ease of use as an auto-tilt. A perfect table umbrella for long lazy days of entertaining your house guests in your patio.

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Budget Pick: Sunnyglade 9 Patio Umbrella

The Sunnyglade 9 Patio Umbrella is a good budget option if you need something cheap that will do the job for a few summers. The fabric on this canopy is made from polyester, which will not be anywhere near as durable as Sunbrella fabrics. But in our dirt tests, we had to really massage the particles into the fabric to get them to set. This umbrella comes in a reusable plastic sheath, which you can store the umbrella in to extend its life. Most of the other umbrellas we tested came in a single-use plastic package. The manufacturer does not claim fade resistance, and we expect that this red umbrella will eventually lose some of its color. But well keep an eye on that as we continue to test this umbrella.

The Sunnyglade umbrella is easy to maneuver, and, at about 10 pounds, it is the lightest of all our pickscompared with 16 pounds for the Treasure Garden and 14 pounds for the Hampton Bay. We had an easy time setting up the Sunnyglade and using the push-button tilt mechanism to tilt the canopy. As with most push-button tilt mechanisms, un-tilting the umbrella was harder due to the wind on our testing balcony. But even with this weakness, considering that this umbrella costs a fraction of the price of our other picks, the Sunnyglade is a solid budget choice for a patio umbrella. The Sunnyglade doesnt come with a warranty. So aside from the return window that the retailer you purchase from would offer, there are not a lot of options if something were to go wrong.

Also Great: Hampton Bay 10 Ft Aluminum Auto

May be out of stock

The Hampton Bay 10 ft. Aluminum Auto-Tilt Market Outdoor Patio Umbrella is a great option for about half the price of our top pick. The Hampton Bays canopy is made of Olefin, a durable and thick fabric thats more affordable than the popular Sunbrella fabric. Like our top pick, this umbrella has a lightweight yet sturdy aluminum pole, but the ribs under the canopy are made of steel. Even in high-wind conditions on a balcony in San Francisco, the Hampton Bay opened up smoothly enough. It also comes standard with the easier-to-use crank-tilt mechanism for tilting the umbrella, which is a pricier additional feature in our top pick. The pole comes with a two-year limited warranty, which is the same as on our top pick. But the Hampton Bays Olefin fabric doesnt have the robust five-year warranty of Sunbrella fabric, which is the option we recommend in the Treasure Garden umbrella.

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Patio Umbrellas With Tilt Functions

Choose a patio umbrella with tilt functions to get more options for shade. The suns rays falls at different angles across your patio furniture depending on position of the sun. With the tilt option, you can turn the patio umbrella around to your convenience. There are three tilt methods used in umbrellas, including the collar tilt where you can turn the patio umbrella from the collar without getting up from your chair, the crank tilt method where you can turn the crank handles to adjust the shade, and the button tilt method on top of the patio umbrella where you can get the desired tilt by pushing the button.

How To Replace Umbrella String

Review of BCP 10×6.5 LED Solar Patio Umbrella with Tilt Adjustment

Replacing an Umbrella String is a simple job that has a lot of steps, so we definitely recommend watching the video. All youll need to replace the string is a Philips head screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, needle nose pliers, and your replacement string.

  • Remove the umbrella fabric from the umbrella skeleton
  • Remove the crank casing at the bottom of the umbrella
  • Use the needle nose pliers to remove the cotter pin and then unscrew the nut, then remove the plastic cog and washer try to keep everything together so reassembly is easier
  • Next, remove the crank handle from the umbrella shaft it should come out with a little force next, pop the rivet off the side of the umbrella shaft
  • Reach up to the umbrella hub and unscrew the plastic casing it keeps the umbrella ribs attached so be careful they dont fall off remove the broken string
  • Feed your new string through the string hole in the umbrella hub tie a knot at the bottom so it cant be pulled all the way through
  • Pull the string through and up to the top of the umbrella and through the pulley
  • Feed the string back into the pulley and down the hollow umbrella tube
  • Pull the string out of the crank hole and feed it through the crank handle tie a knot at the bottom so it cant be pulled through push string back into the shaft and reattach crank
  • Reassemble your new and improved umbrella!
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    Our Pick: Article Paima Umbrella Base

    The simple, unassuming 55-pound Article Paima Umbrella Base is our top umbrella stand pick. Costing about $80on the lower end for this type of basethe Paima made us sweat the least when maneuvering. It felt smooth under our hands and was relatively easy to move thanks to the generous gaps tucked below its base, and we felt confident that it would be durable and remain nice-looking over time.

    The compact, 19-inch-diameter base is a solid, cast piece of fine-textured black concrete whose bullnose curves remind us of a Boston Cream doughnut. The black concrete disc looks clean and simple once assembled and seemed resistant to marks and scratches during our testing. Initial set-up was straightforward and took less than two minutes, and we barely needed the accompanying illustrated instruction sheet. It was easy to take out of the box and maneuver it around our outdoor space. The two umbrellas we tested on this base both felt snug and secure, thanks to the plastic washer and screw cap that hold the pole in place. We appreciated the grippiness of the ridged screw cap, and it still felt sturdy after we removed and reinserted the umbrella several times.

    Led Light Patio Umbrellas

    Were seeing more and more patio umbrellas with built-in LED lights being produced in 2018. These lighted patio umbrellas are almost always powered by a small solar panel located on the top of the patio or table umbrella. If one of the LEDs goes out, you should be able to easily find a replacement bulb from your local hardware store. If the solar panel is acting up, its a little tougher to fix. However, we found a great article that gives you 8 things to try to fix your solar panel.

    Heres a great example of the 9 ft Collar Tilt LED Light Up Patio Umbrella from Treasure Garden

    A sweet patio umbrella accessory is the Luna Umbrella Light w/ a Bluetooth Speaker. This one even charges with a cord so you wont have to worry about any solar panel repairs!

    The outdoor umbrellas sold on Patio Productions feature only the highest quality materials and construction. Check out our selection online, or take a look at all the rest of our outdoor decor and accessories to complete your patio look.

    Read Also: How To Set Up Patio String Lights

    Who Should Get This

    If you need some shade to make outdoor dining or lounging more comfortable, a patio umbrella is likely the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to go. Each of the 9-foot-diameter market umbrellas we review here can do double duty, as a table shade and as a standalone umbrella to shield a couple of lounge chairs or a play area. Landscape designer Maggie Lobl told us she often urges her clients to consider the humble umbrella over more expensive and less adaptable pergolas or shade trellises. She said umbrellas are just really flexible. You can add a pop of color, and they look really nice.

    When Should I Close My Patio Umbrella

    Galtech 9

    Patio Umbrella Protection In general, it is good practice to always close an umbrella into the deadlock position while not in use. To take it even further, we would suggest bringing it in from the outdoors if you dont plan on using it for more than a few days. This will help protect the umbrella fabric from the sun.

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    How Does A Patio Umbrella Work

    Most aluminum umbrellas open by using the crank. But the automatic tilt umbrella has an added feature thats, well, just great. Once the umbrella is completely open, you keep turning the umbrella crank, and the umbrella tilts. It works by a series of mechanical levers and joints inside the umbrella pole.

    Thoughts On What Makes Auto

  • Martin Wehner on said:

    My Galtech auto tilt umbrella opens and closes but wont tilt. It just started not tilting recently. Is there an easy fix or a repair shop in the Bhicago area that could fix this ??? thanks

  • on said:

    This link takes you to a document that tells you how to free a sticking Galtech umbrella tilt hinge. Use a pull and release approach to working the lubricant into the mechanism. Crank the cable taut and then back it off. Do this repeatedly until the umbrella tilts. Although I wrote the document for a deluxe auto tilt model, it should work for a standard auto tilt model as well.

  • said:


    I need to replace the stainless steel cable in my Galtech Auto tilt umbrella. I was wondering if you might know what the gauge is for this cable?


  • said:


    Its 1/16 7×7 Stainless Steel aircraft cable. I have a kit you can order for the Deluxe Auto tilt series of umbrellas. You will receive a link to illustrated instructions to show you what to do to make the repair, new cable and end stops and a connecting sleeve you might need. contact me to order.

    Inspect the crank housing on your Auto tilt umbrella. You can replace the cable if you find a label about the size of a nickel on the opposite side from the crank handle. You cannot replace the cable when the crank housing is made of plastic and there is no label on it.


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    What Is The Best Patio Umbrella

    The Best Patio Umbrella and Stand

    • Our pick. Treasure Garden Market Aluminum Push Button Tilt Umbrella. The best patio umbrella.
    • Also great. Hampton Bay 10 ft. Aluminum Auto-Tilt Market Outdoor Patio Umbrella.
    • Budget pick. Sunnyglade 9 Patio Umbrella.
    • Our pick. US Weight Umbrella Base
    • Upgrade pick. Shademobile Rolling Umbrella Base.

    How To Repair A Patio Umbrella Yourself

    How to fix a broken patio umbrella

    *Patio Productions is not liable for any incidents that may occur from applying techniques portrayed in these videos. We have no affiliation and are simply presenting the content.*

    If you own a patio umbrella, chances are it is one of your favorite pieces of outdoor furniture. They are extremely useful for beating the heat and make your outdoor experience much more pleasurable. When taken care of, outdoor umbrellas can last for several years, providing shade and comfort every summer. Picking the right umbrella can be a little tough, we get that. There are so many different factors that go into purchasing the best umbrella for your patio. We created the ultimate buyers guide to patio umbrellas so you can understand the ins and outs of patio umbrellas. Youll be an expert by the time youre done reading!

    But after a while, common problems can arise, such as broken strings, torn fabric, and bent poles. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources for learning how to fix your outdoor umbrella. A simple search on Youtube will give you hundreds of user-created videos that provide great tips, advice, and tutorials.

    We have gathered a few of our most useful favorites here so you can keep enjoying the cool shade and keep living the #PatioLife

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