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on December 15, 2015
First, I did not receive these products for free, I bought them. The Simply Calphalon was rated a best buy by CR and I thought that the specs for the Kitchen Aid KitchenAid KCH1S10KD Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set - Black Diamondmade them worth consideration. I have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years so I have a lot of experience with pans, mostly professional sets. So that is my point of reference. The Calphalon and Kitchen Aid were in the same mid-range price point (170 - 220) in November of 2015. Truthfully they are very similar but not equal.

First thing I noticed was that the Simply Calphalon were slightly smaller. Especially the Saute pan. The Kitchen Aid set is dishwasher safe, Calphalon is not. For better or worse (as you'll read better in this case) the Kitchen Aid are heavier. The Calphalon are double-coated nonstick, the Kitchen Aid are triple-coated. Packaging for KA says oven safe to 350 degrees and Cal. says 400. Amazon says 500 for KA vs 400 for Cal. Being curious I had both in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes with no issues. Both are Hard Anodized aluminum. If you have an induction cooktop only KA is compatable.

What is Hard Anodized and does it matter? Hard Anodized pans are naturally nonstick, and completely chemical-free. These pans are made with an aluminum base, which essentially gets submerged in a sulfuric acid bath that has low electrical charges running through it. As it cools, it causes the pans exterior to anodize. A hard anodized pan is extremely strong, has a long lifespan, and because it is virtually non-porous, it resists sticking. Add a few layers of non-stick coating and you have a great, relatively cheap (cost wise), pan.

So what are meaningful differences? The most important, and the one most often overlooked by consumers, is that Calphalon set is 3.2mm thick and the Kitchen Aid is 4.5mm thick. Meaning (all else being equal) the Kitchen Aid is more thermally conductive and durable. And my non-scientific tests show this. The KA heats up far quicker, stays at temp longer and cooks more evenly. It's not even close. Boiling water took about 1:30 less time in the KA and eggs cooked over medium heat in far less time. I had to lower the heat on everything I tested with the KA set. It conducted heat far better that my old Cuisinart or the Simply Calphalon. The difference in thickness also accounts for the difference in weight.

Calphalon double-coated and KA has a triple-coated non-stick coating. The name is pretty explanatory but does it really matter? Yes and no. Right out of the box there is no noticible difference. However, in 4-5 years there should be a difference. Kitchen Aid's triple-coating should last longer and look better. We'll wait and see.

The Kitchen Aid is dishwasher safe the Simply Calphalon is not. Truthfully, I don't care what the manufacture says if you want you cookware to last don't put it in the dishwasher. With the non-stick coating it takes little effort to clean these so it's not worth it. Also, don't use metal instruments and never use cooking spray. Buy silicon utensils and a oil mister. The utensils are cheap and a mister lasts forever and is less expensive than 2 cans of Pam.

Real world cooking experience. After spending a week with each I gave the Calphalon to my son who recently moved out. They are nice pans and should take most of his abuse but they do not compare with the Kitchen Aid set. Cooking is quicker, food cooks more evenly and they look great. The deep black finish and flat tops are a stark change from the grey, domed cookware you usually see. I did find that the handles of the Calphalon set were slightly more comfortable. But that is subjective. Anyway who holds their pans for more than 10 seconds at a time?Neither sets handles became hot but, as expected, the handles on the lids of both became hot.

Lastly, while I like the look of the flat lids on the Kitchen Aid set, they do have issues. Domed lids like those on the Cal. set allow the condensation to continually drain. The flat lids tend to collect the condensation so that when you remove them... water everywhere. You quickly learn to tilt them as you remove but it is something of which to be aware.

Are they a professional set, no. But restaurants cook 300+ meals a day with people who don't care if the pans last to the next shift. So why pay triple the price? Well, the speed at which a 6mm or 7mm thick set gets to temp. is nice but that's the only difference. Usually, the Kitchen Aid set is slightly more than the Simply Calphalon but the they are worth the difference. So, for a mid-priced set of cookware, I don't think you'll find a better value than the Kitchen Aid.

I hope this is helpful in your decision. Be well.
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on April 9, 2015
This cookware, after very minimal use, became badly discolored. I am uncertain if this is a product defect. I was very disappointed in this product.
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on December 26, 2009
We purchased this set from another venue.

When you first open the box and see the new set you are thrilled. Especially if your old set that you just replaced was horrible.

BUT after you have had it a while you start to realize that owning this set of cookware requires a LOT of effort on your part to keep it looking nice.

The bottoms darken easily and need constant attention to make them look good.

On our particular set, the largest saucepan interior was "bubbled". Well....we are NOT everyday cooks in this house and it only took a few months for the interior finish to begin chipping off the pan.

We had to go out and buy all new utensils and special scrubbers etc. to clean these pans. Most things we had in our drawer just didn't work well with this set. Stick a metal fork in it once and IT'S DONE!

Remember....NO dishwashers, NO metal utensils, NO harsh chemicals, NO abrasive scrubbers, NO cooking spray, NO stacking of pans, NO contact with other surfaces or the exterior WILL scratch!

In short....these pans take your full attention but when you buy anything worth having, you are willing to expend the extra energy and time to take good care of it.

If it weren't for the interior surface chips, I would have to give this set an "ALMOST PERFECT" score!!!!!
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on July 18, 2010
I invested in this set almost 4 years ago. I had this set for less then 2 years when I noticed that some pans were showing signs of peeling. I never washed the pans in the dish washer and I only own bamboo and plastic utensils so I knew the peeling was not from my neglect. I called the Calphalon customer service number and was told I would need to ship the entire set back (at my own expense). I was told it would take 6-8 weeks before I would be notified whether or not the cookware was going to be covered under the warranty. If the cookware was not going to be covered I would be responsible for return shipping on the cookware set. NOT the kind of customer service I would expect from a company as well known as Calphaon. I have purchased cheaper cookware at a big box store and had it last longer then 2-4 years. I will have to replace this cookware and will not be doing it with any products in the Calphalon line.
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on November 30, 2016
I am so happy that I bought this set! I ordered it from Macy's on Thanksgiving/Black Friday 2015, and so I have owned them for a year now. I did receive a bonus piece with my purchase that day (a large double handled wok), and I really use that frequently!

I have been wasting money on bargain buys and great deals, piece-mealing my kitchen together for forever, and waiting for the day of my big upgrade. I realize that comparatively, these pots and pans can still be considered lower end. When my "money isn't an object (when it comes to these things)" best friend gave me her recommendation for the Simply Calphalon brand, I looked into it. She said that she been using it for years (so I had too in her kitchen) and so had her parents. Her parents had even recently used the lifetime warranty with ease. I went into her kitchen and gave her set a good inspection and then went online.

- The dishwasher setback. I vowed to NEVER EVER buy anything that couldn't ride in the dishwasher when I grew up! Being "grown up" now for a couple of decades, I've stuck to this pretty well. I did hand wash these babies religiously for nearly 6 months. They are extremely easy to wash. I'm very lazy when it comes to cleaning up the kitchen. I gave into my other best friend, my dishwasher. I realize how this voids my lifetime warranty. I explained to my husband that the price paid for the set was very good and we probably will not have to replace them for a long time anyway. In they go! They like it in there! I did notice at first that they had a white water spots afterwards, but then I used a dishwasher cleaner by jetdry and that problem went away.

-I have used them to cook both on the stovetop and inside the oven. It's so convenient to be able to finish a dish without having to transfer it into another vessel!

-I've noticed that they conduct much more evenly, provide a faster heating time, and nothing has stuck to them yet- even the plastic utensil that I melted into my eggs once!

The only downsides:
--The smallest little baby sauce pan isn't of much use, you really can't even heat a good sized can of soup in it. We really only use it once in a while in a pinch.
--Word to the wise-If you have a TEENAGER, make sure that you THROW AWAY anything that might be used in your new pots and pans that isn't wooden or plastic!!! My daughter decided to stir pasta with a metal outdoor grilling utensil, and it did scratch the bottom of the pot. This happened several months ago, I was terrified that it would lead to the undoing of that pot- but unbelievably it hasn't deteriorated further whatsoever!

*For the record- I have a glass top stove, use these pots and pans everyday, would buy them again for myself or as a gift! But I guess I would like it if they were made for the dishwasher ;)
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on December 10, 2016
I saw all the other great reviews on this set and got very excited. Little did I know how crappy this set is. I used wooden spoons and yet the coating inside still peeled and cracked. Then I washed them in the dishwasher and the pain on the outside of the pots and pans started wiping off. I called Amazon and they stated that I needed to contact Calphalon because they couldn't help me. So I tried contacting them but no one returns calls there. In other words save yourself the risk and find a different cook set this just horrible.
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on August 13, 2015
I purchased these in May 2013, and it is now February 2016. I still have every single one of these pots and pans and use them on a daily basis for the past three years. Let me just reiterate that I cannot recommend these enough. If I need to buy a new set, I'll buy another of this exact set before buying anything else.
Original Review:
Oh, man, where do I start with these? I had never bought a full cook set before. I did painstaking research and wanted only the best, and this is where my chips fell. We took them out of the box and they were just beautiful. The non-stick surface is excellent and the entire thing is lovely. Now, it says they're not dishwasher safe, but I definitely put them in the dishwasher. I've been doing so for the past 3 years. I haven't noticed any warping or disfigurement whatsoever. I used them first on an electric stove and then on a gas stove with open flame. I'm not sure when the bottom began to change color and retain whatever's on it - grease, oil, something that looks brownish and kind of shiny - but it's stuck and it's not coming off. The same can be said for the screws that hold the handles on, BUT this stuff is gritted onto it and not coming off onto my food, which is all that matters. They still clean up nicely and work like a charm and the food coming out of them cooks easily and tastes great. I will say this: under NO circumstances can you use any kind of metal utensil in these. I'm a little bit frustrated because I've had house guests and tenants who used my cookware set and simply stuck a fork in there to stir (even though all the -cooking- utensils I have are wood or plastic, even the whisk and measuring cups) and the non-stick coating came off. This is their fault, and mine for not warning them, not a product flaw. Just keep that in mind when buying this, before it's too late: ALWAYS tell guests who may enter your kitchen for any reason, that they CANNOT use metal on the cookware. When it's time to buy new ones (it's been a few years) I'm going to buy this exact set once again and donate the old set to a friend. They're still very useable. I've read that you "can't" use a nonstick dish once the nonstick coating has been torn, but meh. I'm not gonna die, so it's fine. Anyway, I'd always recommend this product. I still love this set a ton.
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on November 15, 2016
I'm a bit disappointed in this set. As it's a Calphalon cookware set I had high expectations for it, I realize this is their low-end set but I replaced an entry-level set from Macy's and when new I feel it was better made than this one.

The non-stick surface is fine but the pans feel rather light and not very durable. One of my skillets already has loose rivets and the handle wobbles a bit. Each pan just seems "not quite" big enough for common tasks. The stock pot is a bit small for boiling spaghetti or making soup, the large skillet is too small for stir fry. I'm comparing these to the set I had before, guess I just need to purchase additional pans.

Overall the set is just OK, I wish I'd paid a bit more and got a better set with better construction and larger pots and pans.
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on June 19, 2016
I bought this set wanting to use them as a display on my kitchen pot rack and also to use them for perusing my passion for cooking.. They are extremely functional for cooking but get a minus zero for display. The bottoms of two of the saute pans burnt to the point that I have to hide them in my pot cabinet. Of course Calphalon told me I was using harsh detergents (Dove?) and/or abrasive pads like Brillo (I don't own anything harsher than a scrub sponge). Their response was "Unfortunately these items would not be covered under the manufacturer warranty as they are not defective in quality or workmanship". Really? It's the same old story, you get what you pay for. I think I'm going to replace them with All-Clad, a little pricier but much better reviews.
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on May 8, 2016
While much cheaper than the "Scanpan Classic" and the "Swiss Diamond Classic" (both of which are ranked slightly higher by CR whom I've been subscribed to for 35 years now) we have been very pleased with these pots and pans. For us they have worked just as nicely as the two Scan Pans we've had for the last year, maybe better in some ways. The handles on the Calphalons were a slight disappointment at first. They felt a little too insubstantial and thin, but an unexpected bonus is how well they stay cool during use. We have never had to use a potholder for any of the pans. After a few days of use even the texture of the handles has won us over.

There was a incident/problem with one of the pans; something which could have happened anywhere from the factory floor until they arrived at our door. A call to Calphalon and the issue was resolved very quickly, competently, and thoroughly satisfactorily.
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