Originally Posted by OldLawnMowerMan81
1 - Why had the roto-tiller market, with vertical shaft engines, died out after 1980?
2 - What do you think of tillers that used vertical shaft engines, and comparing those to tillers with horizontal shaft engines?
In regards to front tine tillers.
1.) I think it was just a poor design personally. With a horizontal, you would wear out belts first before anything else. With the vertical, you had a direct drive and that odd clutch. If the clutch worn out, then you had to remove the motor completely to fix it. I'm also guessing that it's cheaper to do a pulley system rather than a direct drive. If syntrifical clutches were cheaper and more cost effective back then, then you might have seen the vertical shaft stay around.
From the standpoint of rear tine tillers, I've never seen a vertical shaft rear tine, always horizontal direct drive to a gear box, or to a pulley system.
2.) I really feel there was no real advantage either way between a horizontal and vertical front tine tiller.