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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 December 1, 2017
Nice cookware not great. If your expecting Calphalon thick industrial aluminum....this set will let you down. I do however prefer these lids to my other higher end Calphalon cookware. Another nice feature is silicon on the handles to insulate. As for non stick....don't even let it see a metal utensil, it will peel right off. But as a 100$ish price point set, it's usable.
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on August 10, 2016
Picture made it look bigger. When it arrived it looked like I bought miniature pots and pans
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on October 29, 2016
I purchased this set to replace a well worn T-Fal set. I ordered it after visiting a local merchant that carried Simply Calphalon, but I was still concerned that Calphalon would be too heavy and I would not be pleased that the pans could not be placed in the dishwasher. The set arrived and it is fabulous! It is aesthetically pleasing and while it is not as light as T-Fal, it is still lighter weight than other grades of Calphalon. So far, the food I've cooked has been 'non-stick', so cleanup has been a breeze. I highly recommend this product!
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on April 20, 2016
The items in this set look to be well made but there was one pan that had some small interior surface rubs on the non-stick coating. Called Calphalon only after they did not respond to my email through their customer service. I found out they consider surface rubs normal so it does not meet their Warranty policy and as a result it is not an exchange item. If in fact you had a valid return Calaphalon does not provide a return shipping label so it is at the buyers expense. Was somewhat disappointed that I could not send the pan back for an exchange under their Warranty so it will have to used as is.
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on July 10, 2016
Great Set to replace older pots and pans. Love the modern look. Super happy that handles do not get hot. Pots and pans are smaller, but perfect for a family of 3. Set is light too, no longer have to strugle to pour constants out without burning myself like with my previous set. Have not had any problems with scratching pan but I only use plastic or wood utensils.
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on September 20, 2010
When I moved to my new apartment, I decided to treat myself to a matching cookware set. I ended up with the Calphalon set and I couldn't be happier. The set is very durable and after 6 months still looks great. I originally had the circulon set but really there is no comparison. Food doesn't stick, these clean easy, heat is even, and it is affordable. The look of the set is very polished and clean. This alone is one of the main reasons I love the set. The weight is decent and the balance feel good when I'm holding the pot or pan.

The exterior is a little sensitive and these can and do scratch. They do show wear and tear after awhile as well but anything that is used will show wear. If you take care of it, then the set will likely last a long time. If you don't treat these well, then they won't last but that goes with anything.

I will have to reiterate because this is important information with this set:

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

I would really give it a 4.5 but it isn't perfect since the set is so sensitive. Calphalon definitely has built a brand with me though. I will likely check out more of their products over time because my experience with this set has been so positive.
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on August 22, 2017
Be careful with the coating on these doesn't hold up to any and I mean any metal utensils. Otherwise a great set for the money
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on October 11, 2017
Excellent cookware! I'd been wanting this set for a while and caught it on a great sale around Christmas. Best amazon purchase to date.
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on May 9, 2017
This was a gift for my daughter and her boyfriends 1st time home. They truly were surprised and are still using 2 years later
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