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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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I really like this set in terms of quality - they're fairly thick so I'm not worried about them warping, the non-stick coating seems to be very durable, etc. If you use them on an electric stove my review would probably stop there and I'd be happy.

The downside: What's not obvious from the photos is the handles only have a partial silicone wrap - the sides are metal the whole length. On a gas stove these conduct heat very well and mean you always have to use a hot pad to move the pans around. I've burned myself twice already on them because I'm used to an Anolon set I had previously that did have a full-wrap handle.

One minor nit to pick: the lids are made of some sort of odd material - I think it's silicone, but it has a bit of a texture to it. This seems to pick up haze REALLY easily and I have a very hard time cleaning them without them turning white/hazy again. I don't have particularly hard water so I don't know what the story is here. I'm sure it's not harmful, but it's definitely unsightly.

The upside: Having every lid have a built-in strainer is a nice feature. Other reviewers are correct that the lids don't fit very tightly, but it hasn't really been a problem for me.
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on January 2, 2017
My wife wanted a new cookware set for Christmas. She told me to get her a Calphalon cookware set. I ordered this set . She initially liked it. After just a few uses , we noticed food sticking and the pans becoming harder to clean. You could see the pans flaking in the center. Do not purchase this set. We are very disappointed in the quality and durability of this cookware. We have thrown it away after only two years.
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on March 22, 2016
I've been using Calphalon stainless for years and finally got a set of non stick. This is a great brand and will last forever. The stainless has been nothing but great except for the fact that they easily burn things due to the good conductivity. The nonstick set I recieved is beautiful Calphalon quality and from the little use I've gotten so far they work great. They heat up fast and nothing has stuck to the inside with using very little oil. You do want to cook at a lower heat with these pans of using a radiant cook top, they keep heat very well. The only way I see these losing quality is if they're cared for improperly. I usually don't wash anything by hand, if it fits in the dishwasher you best believe it's going in. These pots and pans will never go in there though. Certain detergents will damage nonstick pans (father is a professional appliance repairman so I know what these cleaners do to dishwashers also) so I suggest always hand washing of you want your non stick to last. Also use only wood or non metal utensils or you'll have a scratched up ruined pan. These of course aren't professional grade pans so don't expect them to out perform the best of the best, but for the price these are some of the best you can get. My stainless set has lasted for years, even through the dishwasher, and there isn't a single piece that has anything wrong with it. If you're looking for a great quality set that will last I highly suggest anything by Calphalon. Unless you're a professional chef and have to have 15 layers of metal surrounding a copper core that was hand forged in Europe somewhere, this is one of the best sets you can have in a home kitchen.
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on February 26, 2017
I've always been a fan of Calphalon and these don't disappoint. They ship very well packed with most the material being cardboard. The pots and pans have pretty thick bases so they take alittle longer to heat up than some other pans that I've used. The plus side is that there are no hotspots and they all heat up very easily.

I also like the fit of the lids. They're fairly heavy and have a nice snug fit, holding in steam very nicely. The handles also don't get hot, which is nice.

I want to be clear that the only reason I'm giving this set 4 stars is that they are only rated to 450 degrees in the oven. I'm assuming it's because there is silicone on the handles. It's great for controlling heat and being nonslip, but it limits the temperature that they can be used in the oven.

I would highly recommend this set to anyone looking for something nonstick. They've performed flawlessly and the price is unbeatable.
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on April 10, 2018
Caphalon never disappoints. This brand is reputable for it's high quality products. I had this item back in college when living with boyfriend. I had them for 5yrs and they were still like brand new as the first day I brought them. So now I needed new pots and pans because I was tired of buying the cheap sets Farberware you get from Wal-mart. Those cheap brand only lasts a year or two then you have to go buy new ones again. So I decided to invest in this brand again. I'm so glad I did. Upon receiving this item, I immediately can see how highly detail the quality is compared to the cheap ones. This pot looks like it'll last me another 5yr or more. Definitely worth paying a little more for the investment then buying cheap sets at Walmart that costs $69-$89 and last for only a year.
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on May 29, 2017
I've had this set for just under a year, and I use them regularly (I cook a few times/week). I also followed all of the care and usage instructions - no metal utensils, wait for them to cool before cleaning, and using dishwasher detergent + non-abrasive sponge to hand wash them. While most of my pots and pans are still in good shape, a couple of them are no longer non-stick. I didn't notice any peeling or other issues; they simply stopped being nonstick and I have to use lots of oil/butter to prevent my food from sticking, and even then it often doesn't work.
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on December 31, 2015
I was assuming from the picture since it had 3 size skillets that the large one would be like a jumbo chicken fryer which I really needed. But it is only a 10" skillet very disappointed. This description doesn't tell you the sizes I had to go to another site that sells this set to be sure thats what was suppose to be included as I bought this for a christmas gift and my son asked why I got such small pans??
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on January 31, 2017
Minus one star because the set arrived with the 2 quart lid missing. This was not an Amazon issue but a factory issue. Calphalon did eventually replace the lid but It took my time to take Pictures of the pot in order to prove to Calphalon that the lid was not in the box. I would take the time to unpack and make sure everything is in the box if you order this. Besides this annoyance, the set is strong and beautiful
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on July 16, 2016
My old set of cookware was in need of replacement as the teflon finish in the skillet was starting to look rough. After some research on the internet, I decided on this set. When the set arrived I was amazed at how light the pans, skillets, and pot were. I was even more amazed at how quickly they heated and how even the heat was distributed over the bottom surface. Cooking with these pants is a pleasure and has improved my cooking and the food I prepare.
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