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Swiss Diamond Cookware ?


KLwood
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Once again, I find myself in search of some top notch Nonstick Cookware, and Swiss Diamond seems to be making some impressive claims in terms of heat resistance, and durability... Along with an equally impressive pricetag.

Ive tried a fair range of nonstick cookware over the years , and regardless of handwashing, silicone unensils , and carefull attention to heat, it inevitablly flakes chips and cracks, then winds up in the GoodWill box..

Im only interisted in 12" frypan, an 8" frypan and the 3 Qt saucepan,... for those troublesome egg dishes or cheese sauces.. Has anyone used Swiss Diamond or have an opinion about it ??

Thanks

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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It appears to be overpriced PTFE cookware. If you're OK with that, cool.

Otherwise, stick with the tried-and-true method of occasionally replacing your trusty teflon frying pan, like I do :biggrin:

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I got a Swiss Diamond skillet around the first of the year. I've used non-stick pans by Analon, Look (very similar to Scan Pan) and All-Clad in the past, and never had any problem with them, but I do think the Swiss Diamond is more durable. I've been putting it into the dishwasher ever since I got it and it's been fine. I've overheated it inadvertently and haven't noticed any problems from that either.

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I don't have any experience with the cookware, but there was a lot of discussion about it a couple of years back. Here's a link to that earlier thread.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Wow ! Thanks for the great response, and on my First Post to the eGullet forums no less. :wub:

the link in Joe's reply pretty well killed it , and the link to the previous thread in Smithys post, Buried it.. As I suspected, when something appears too good to be true....

In any event I'll stick to my current tactics, and precautions and change out my nonstick cookware at roughly the same rate as a lightbulb .. Le sigh.

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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Well geez. I didn't respond last night when I saw this topic because there was so much anti-Swiss Diamond sentiment, but I've had mine for almost 3 years and love it. To this day I can still flip over my morning eggs in my 8" skillet with no butter. I've used metal utensils with no effect on the non-stickness, and I've definitely not had any of the issues mentioned where foods stick to the product. So I'm not sure what the difference between my experience and others is. Another plus to SD is the lids - great deep lip with a vent on the handle.

If there's any part of you that is still curious, go get the 8" skillet and kick the tires.

And BTW, welcome to the Society and thanks for your first post.

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I'd recommend against ANY expensive nonstick cookware. If you can get a good brand for cheap on closeout, go for it, but I won't spend more than $25 or so on anything nonstick. Just not worth it. None of the coatings are permanent. Even if the coating lasts forever, its performance will be gone, anywhere from 6 months to a few years from now.

I think of nonstick pans as specialty items. I have one, that i use for crepes and fish with the skin on (i'd use it for omelettes too if I made them). But that's it. Literally everything else I cook does bettter on a regular surface. Stainless steel is the best all around, but seasoned iron, spun steel, aluminum and enamel all have their place. Many cooking techniques are actually impared by a nonstick surface.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 2 weeks later...

First a heads-up/disclaimer : My company is a retailer that focuses 100% only on sales of Swiss Diamond cookware at http://www.swissdiamondstore.com , so I do have a vested interest in this response.

That being said, one should consider that yes, you can spend $25 every couple years to get an el-cheapo pan but then swiss diamond .....

a) has a lifetime warranty ...and yes, that is a real lifetime warranty .... so 1 X 10" frypan , currently at $69.95 (http://www.swissdiamondstore.com/frypans-1/) is as far as I can tell less $$ than 3 or 4 $25 pans over a few years.

b) not any old fry pan is dishwasher safe .... im lazy... i cant tell you how much pleasure I get taking a fry pan and placing it in a dishwasher. See how long your Circulon, Calpahlon, All Clad, TFAL etc product will last ?

As far as these 2 points above, its a no-brainer and applies to only 2 products on the market ...swiss diamond and Scanpan. I hang my pot n pans on a rack in my kitchen. My cookware is almost 10 years old and still looks good enough to hang in public view...... I prepared to put money on the fact that the other brands would not.

The real question you should be asking relates to how the PTFE is applied to the fry pan, and what makes it stay in the fry pan vs landing in your food.

I know folks don't like us to rant about products here..so if you are interested in more input , let me know by responding to this message. Bottom line, and this is just my opinion..... there is more to selecting a fry pan than price alone, and also these are not just regular old PTFE fry pans.

Edited by regenbauma (log)
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It appears to be overpriced PTFE cookware.  If you're OK with that, cool. 

Otherwise, stick with the tried-and-true method of occasionally replacing your trusty teflon frying pan, like I do  :biggrin:

Joe ...you may consider that http://www.newstarget.com is in the business of selling google ads. The best way to sell google ads is to be as controversial as possible as that creates traction. This guy cares nothing about the consumer..he cares about selling ads ..so dont take all this at face value.

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I'd recommend against ANY expensive nonstick cookware. If you can get a good brand for cheap on closeout, go for it, but I won't spend more than $25 or so on anything nonstick. Just not worth it. None of the coatings are permanent. Even if the coating lasts forever, its performance will be gone, anywhere from 6 months to a few years from now.

I'm interested to hear why you say that "even if the coating lasts forever, its performance will be gone, anywhere from 6 months to a few years from now." What do you mean -- that food will start sticking to the surface? Do you have any evidence to back this up?

As I mentioned above, I've had a Swiss Diamond skillet for 6 months or so. I use it several times a week on average, don't take any particular precautions with it and put it in the dishwasher. The surface is still as non-stick as when I got it.

I've also had an Analon skillet for almost 6 years and have used it several times a week (at least) without being really careful, although because I didn't have a dishwasher for most of that time, I washed it by hand (now I put it into the dishwasher.) The surface is fine.

Can you ruin a non-stick surface? Certainly. But it's not inevitable.

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regenbauma, I have a few questions and concerns perhaps you can address.

With respect to the warranty -- Your web site says: "Swiss Diamond USA Inc (we are not Swiss Diamond, we are a retailer of their products) will repair or replace, at their discretion, any item found to be defective, to the original purchaser. The decision whether an item is considered defective under this warranty rests solely with them. " What does this mean, exactly? There are plenty of things that ordinarily happen to degrade the coating on nonstick-coated cookware that would not be considered "defective." Where can we see a list of "defects" allowable under the warranty? And, where are defective pans sent for warranty claims? To the manufacturer in Switzerland? Or somewhere in the US?

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss most of the criticisms on the NewsTarget.com web site. Most of them are absolutely correct from a scientific basis. For example:

As to the claim that the pans have "outstanding heat distribution with no hot spots" due to the use of diamond dust: This assertion is ridiculous on its face to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of thermal physics and heat transfer. The only way the diamonds could meaningfully contribute to the overall thermal conductivity of the pan would be if diamond constituted a meaningful percentage of the material from which the pan is constructed. Aluminum with a microfine dusting of diamond dust on the outside will have the thermal conductivity characteristics of aluminum, not diamond.

A reading of Swiss Diamond publicity materials reveals that these are aluminum pans coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (aka PTFE) and diamond dust. There are several ways the publicity materials are misleading as to the coating.

First, the claim that the pans are not coated with "Teflon" is only true insofar as "Teflon" is a registered trademark of DuPont. In fact, PTFE and "Teflon" are the same substance and so it is untrue to claim that Swiss Diamond's coating is meaningfully different from "Teflon" as to safety or any other characteristics attributable to "Teflon."

Second, the Swiss Diamond publicity materials make a big deal out of saying that their coating does not contain any Perfluorooctanoic acid (aka C-8 or PFOA). PFOA is considered a carciniogen and it is used in the manufacture of PTFE. However, PTFE does not contain PFOA, and Swiss Diamond's PTFE is no different from anyone else's PTFE in that respect. Ironically, the publicity materials claim that one reason this is so is because Swiss Diamond pans "use far less PTFE . . . than any other non-stick pan." I would hardly call this an advantage, and it is likely that these pans are able to use less PFTE because the diamond dust creates a "sacrifice layer" (more on this later).

Third, the claim that the coating is a "nano-composite" is misleading at best. Yes, one may call anything with parts that are smaller than one micrometer (i.e., something that would be measured in nanometers) "nano-whatever." However, it's not as though Swiss Diamond's coating incorporates nanotubes or buckminsterfullerene, or was assembled on an atomic level. Rather, the coating is made of PTFE with really small pieces of diamond mixed into it.

Fourth, the claim that the coating derives any meaningful advantages from the supposed non-stick characteristics of the diamond dust is of dubious legitimacy. Swiss Diamond claims that "there are over 200,000 diamond crystals in each Swiss Diamond pan." Let's examine that. Let's assume that each crystal has a surface area of 1 square micrometer (in reality they would have to be smaller to be considered "nano"). Okay, 200,000 square micrometers is equal to 20 square centimeters. Let's be generous and double that amount. Let's say each pan has 40 square centimeters of diamond dust surface area. Now let's think about a small 9.5 inch (24 centimeter) frypan. A little math tells us that the cooking surface of that pan will be 452 square centimeters. So, at a generous doubling of Swiss Diamond's marketing claim diamond dust still only comprises a maximum of 9% of the surface area of the pan. The rest of the pan is good old regular PTFE, just like every other non-stick coated pan. Even assuming that diamond really is super-non-stick, it's hard to imagine that an 9% diamond dust surface area will contribute meaninfully to a non-stick coating's non-stickness or durability. If the diamond bits have any effect whatsoever, it is likely that they create "microbumps" above the main surface of the PTFE coating, which reduces wear on the main body of the coating and facilitates even oil dispersion in the pan (variations of this process are employed on most modern PTFE coated cookware).

I find the scratch test done by the NewsTarget guy to be quite compelling as to the durability of Swiss Diamond's coating. I'm not saying that I would expect better durability from any other PTFE coating. But it does demonstrate that Swiss Diamond's coating is no more durable than most any other PTFE coating. I also think you're off base in suggesting that the NewsTarget report is overly sensationalistic and "against" Swiss Diamond in an effort to profit from Google ads. I don't see any evidence of Google ads on the site, and the About NewsTarget page says:

The NewsTarget Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NewsTarget Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501©3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

Here at the NewsTarget Network, we believe that information should empower people, not just entertain them. News should be practical and unbiased, not influenced by money from big advertisers. Accordingly, the NewsTarget Network has adopted the Declaration of Journalistic Independence, which clearly spells out our ethics and behavior as a news organization. Unlike most news organizations, the NewsTarget Network never solicits, nor accepts money from the companies we write about. This is one reason why our information is known around the world for its authenticity and honesty, and why our readers find tremendous value in the content we offer.

The one area where I take exception to the NewsTarget report is where the writer engages in scare tactics with respect to the possibility of eating particles of PTFE. In fact, PTFE is one of the most benigh substances in the human body, and has great biocompatibility with humans. This is why PTFE has been used in artificial tendons and other sorts of things that stay in the body for years and years. The main danger of PTFE is that is sheds microfine particles when it is exposed to excessive (>660F) temperatures, which can clog the breathing apparatus of birds and potentially some very small animals.

So, in sum, I don't see how Swiss Diamond cookware is in any way worth a huge markup over buying something like Calphalon nonstick on one of the occasional Amazon.com supersales, or simply buying and discarding a $20 commercial pan every few years. I have friends who have owned (and diswasher-washed) Calphalon Commercial Nonstick pans for around 10 years, and the pans are still performing quite well. But no pan that has been subjected to regular use and cleaning over this time period is quite as nonstick as a brand new PTFE-coated pan.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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Just to be clear, a dishwasher won't hurt a PTFE surface; DuPont is straightforward on this issue. The reason non-stick manufacturers tell you not to put this stuff in the dishwasher is because of other materials -- in particular, anodized aluminum -- in the pan, which don't fare so well.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'm interested to hear why you say that "even if the coating lasts forever, its performance will be gone, anywhere from 6 months to a few years from now." What do you mean -- that food will start sticking to the surface? Do you have any evidence to back this up?

No evidence, just the accumulated experience of all the cooks that I know.

As far as I've seen, all the lifetime warranties refer the coating remaining intact, but say nothing about the more difficult to prove issue of whether or not it still works.

I'd be very curious to hear if Swiss Diamond's warranty is an exception to this.

And I agree with all of Skinsey's challenges to the company's dubious (or i'd say ludicrous) claims.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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I'm interested to hear why you say that "even if the coating lasts forever, its performance will be gone, anywhere from 6 months to a few years from now." What do you mean -- that food will start sticking to the surface? Do you have any evidence to back this up?

No evidence, just the accumulated experience of all the cooks that I know.

It is worthy of note that typical restaurant use of nonstick-coated pans (and all cookware in general) is far more abusive than what most home cooks would do. Almost certainly restaurants violate the warranty and instructions of any PTFE-coated cookware, most commonly by using much higher heat settings. In restaurant kitchens, PTFE-coated pans might be used over very high heat --higher than most home stoves can achieve -- with very little oil to cook "crispy-skin fish fillets" and things like that.

All of this is to say that the professional cook's experience that PTFE coatings don't tend to last more than 6 months to a year is not necessarily at odds with the home cook's experience that they can last and continue to be effective for a much longer period of time. The pans are simply being used in radically different ways.

However, the general point about not spending big bucks on PTFE-coated cookware still stands. So long as the pans have similarly thick layers of thermal material (typically, aluminum) the PTFE coating on a $38 restaurant-grade pan ought to last just as long as the PTFE coating on a $109 Swiss Diamond pan.

I think that's more a customer service issue.  I've sent pans back to a number of companies over the years.  Some argue with you and some just say 'here's a new pan'

My experience is that SD leans toward - here's the new pan.

That's your experience? As in, you sent them a pan for warranty replacement because the PTFE coating was degraded/damaged and they sent you a brand new one, no questions asked? If so, I could see spending the extra money and simply getting a free replacement pan every few years...

--

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Before I understood the technology, I sent back a pan that had lines on the bottom. I now describe them as the marks you see after you run your fingers over velvet - you can see them but no difference in feel. There was nothing wrong with my pan, and they sent me a brand new one - no questions asked.

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All of this is to say that the professional cook's experience that PTFE coatings don't tend to last more than 6 months to a year is not necessarily at odds with the home cook's experience that they can last and continue to be effective for a much longer period of time.  The pans are simply being used in radically different ways. ry few years...

Sure. I was refering mostly to friends who are serious home cooks (most restaurant kitchens could probably trash anything in 6 months, coated or not ...)

Personally, I expect my nonstick pan to last many years, because I use it as a specialty item, maybe once a week. I also don't have a household full of people (kids, etc) getting their hands on it, exercising destructive skills that rival those of a resaurant crew.

A typical household that uses the nonstick pans for everything will likely wreck them a lot faster than i will, but not as fast as the line cooks who toss them from one stack to another all day long.

Notes from the underbelly

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A specialth item! Geez, I use mine 3-5 mornings for eggs, and probably every night for something...I even throw in a lunch here or there. Sarcasm aside, these aren't marketed for the commerical kitchen - they are marketed for home use, so they should be judged for the use they were intended...and I still say that mine looks today just like it did when I got it, and performs the same too.

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...I still say that mine looks today just like it did when I got it, and performs the same too.

Right. Mine too... only I'm talking about a $25 PTFE coated pan I've had for around 5 years, not a $100 one.

--

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  • 3 years later...

I am bringing this topic back up because I"m looking at getting and additional swiss diamond pan. I currently have an 11" swiss nano pro pan and wonder if I can now get that in the states? I've had mine now for almost 6 years, use it all the time and have had nothing but great results. Swiss_Chef helped me get mine directly from Europe. Is the Nano Pro available here now? Is it still available in Europe?

I have since gotten a second non-stick pan, a calphalon at about 40-50 with lid from Williams Sonoma about 3 years back. It's fine for eggs and such but nowhere near as verstaile as the SNP pan. As for cost, I think it has been well worth it or I wouldn't be looking at getting another. It's performance is just so good that it is truly worth the price.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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