Manual versus Automatic Tilt Umbrella

ShoppingProduct Reviews

  • Author Tonya Kerniva
  • Published July 20, 2009
  • Word count 518

Summer days call for lounging outside on the patio, lemonade in hand. But when the sunshine becomes too much to bear, don’t let it chase you inside. Instead, add a manual or automatic tilt umbrella to your patio set. They’re designed to keep you cool by being made for the shade. Here are the differences between the two kinds.

The automatic tilt umbrella has become a staple on decks and patios throughout the country. Though simple in idea, the mechanization of patio umbrellas has made outdoor entertaining more convenient. Typically, they comprise an aluminum pole which opens using a crank mechanism. It then locks at an appropriate height above the table or free-standing. The auto tilt umbrella goes a step further with an added feature. Once fully open, if you keep turning the crank, the umbrella will actually tilt at a series of angles. Because the tilt relies on tension in the pole rather than joint setting, it can be angled much further without the danger of tipping over.

The auto tilt umbrella is perfect for tables, poolside, or wherever a little extra shade is desired. What’s nice about the automatic models is that they reduce strain on the back by not having to push open the whole umbrella, but just having to make the smaller cranking motion. Also, tilting umbrellas are nice because you can control where you want your shade. The sun will shift your shade significantly throughout the day, so rather than having to move your chair around every few hours, just move the umbrella. It’s perfect for smaller areas where space is an issue. The only bad thing about the auto tilt umbrella is that on occasion some mechanical models will break down after extended use or due to faulty production.

Manual tilt umbrellas are tried and true, the classic model. They have the same benefits as the auto tilt umbrella, just with a little more work. The push button tilt has been around a long time, almost as long as the modern patio umbrella. It stems from the basic peg hole system, with some modifications. On these models, a button can be found near the top of the umbrella’s pole, inward curved and made of metal. When pushed, the button releases an inner lock in the umbrella pole that allows it to tilt. Unlike the auto tilt version, there often aren’t the preset two or three positions, so you’ll have to manually place it where you want. Some people prefer this, though as it gives a wider range of positions, ideal for concentrated shade and perfectionists. Another benefit is that these umbrellas are cheaper than mechanical ones. On the other hand, manual tilt umbrellas have a few cons. For one, there is slight danger of pinching your finger in the button or tilt lever. Also, having to hold the button while tilting the umbrella yourself can be unwieldy and difficult for frail and smaller persons. However, most people do not have any trouble with this, so ultimately it comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Tonya Kerniva is an experienced research and free lance writing professional. She writes actively about Patio Umbrellas and Auto Tilt Umbrellas.

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