My A81 torch got burned the very first time I used it, I did not like the burned look so I sanded the burned plastic flush with the brass. If the factory sold them flush with the brass, there would be no complaints. Now that it's sanded flush, there is no need to buy another cup. The burned cup just looked bad, it did not cut any different from when it was new.
My first cut was tapered, wider at the top than the bottom. It still cuts that way. The tip in the torch did not look all that good when I got it. Hopefully that will fix it.
I've been a reasonably happy owner of a PP 256 for a couple years now. Primarily purchased for the plasma cutter, but with stick and Tig thrown in for the same price....My concerns are not with the machine itself, but with the torches and accessories. The plasma torch just seems "clunky" and stiff. The standoff is rather flimsy, and that threaded sleeve at the base of the handle that supposedly anchors/attaches the protective sleeve is an absolute joke. I've made countless attempts to get that to stay on with no success or satisfaction. Furthermore, I'm just now getting around to setting up to start Tig welding and I'm finding the same feature with the Tig torch. I must say that I'm quite disappointed. And while I'm on a roll here, after I carefully attached my Argon regulator to my tank, I discovered a pretty serious leak. I removed the regulator to inspect for a burr or some other defect. Finding nothing I made my connections, tightened snugly and opened the valve. Still a MAJOR leak. Broke it all down again and carefully studied the regulator to find cracks in the body from some ham fisted nitwit on an assembly line somewhere that during assembly, overtightened the fittings rendering this regulator absolutely useless. So much for quality control.....I'm just saying.
Seeing as my warranty for damaged parts has long expired, I'm sucking it up and purchasing a replacement from a local supplier. Are there other torches that are compatible with this machine or am I locked into using these poorly constructed knockoffs.
It has been quite some time since i have used the accesories you are describing ,I no longer offer the tig and plasma torch that comes with your welder . I opted to use a better quality for all our units and these inconveniences are no longer a issue .
As far as the rubber sleeve working itself down the line i would think your best option would be to simply set it back in the locking ring and a few wraps of Electrical tape would solve this issue.
Same goes for the TIG torch
You can also find various posts on here if you search a little showing alternative torches that people have purchased.
On the gauge. You can get one on sale from Harbor Freight, a Clark dual gauge (CF style) for, I think I paid $28 on sale. Always a good idea to have a spare if you make money welding or weld on weekends. Local welding supplies are normally closed.
If you called into sales, I would not be surprised if they might have made an exception for you if you just called and explained, you might have to cover shipping or get one discounted anyway. They don't bite. But worth a shot rather come here publicly posting negatively about a unit you are reasonably happy with 2 years later.
On the torch, you can use any torch as long as the same type, just move our connector onto the new torch as with most welder and cutters. An A series Trafimet will work on it, as well as many others.