Are you shopping for cookware but can’t decide between All-Clad and HexClad?
All-Clad is an established leader in fully-clad stainless steel and ultra-durable, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick cookware. HexClad is a new name in the industry with a unique design and rapidly growing fanbase.
So what’s the difference between these brands? Which cookware is best for you?
In this comparison of HexClad vs. All-Clad, you’ll learn how each brands’ cookware differs in construction, design, performance, price, and more.
By the end, you’ll have the facts needed to decide which cookware is right for your kitchen.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- HexClad vs. All-Clad: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Construction
- Difference 2: Design
- Difference 3: Product Offerings
- Difference 4: Heat Conduction
- Difference 5: Heat Retention
- Difference 6: Induction-Compatible
- Difference 7: Oven-Safe Temperatures
- Difference 8: Where It’s Made
- Difference 9: Company History
- Difference 10: Price
- Difference 11: Downsides
- What Others Are Saying
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or All-Clad?
HexClad vs. All-Clad: Comparison Chart
If you’re in a hurry, the chart below shows the main differences between HexClad and All-Clad. I’ll cover each difference in-depth throughout the article.
|Construction||Hybrid of 3-ply stainless steel and non-stick material.||Fully clad stainless steel (3 or 5-ply) or hard-anodized aluminum (non-stick collections)|
|Design||Cookware comes in distinct hexagon design with riveted stay-cool handles.||Black hard-anodized or stainless steel with stainless handles.|
|Product Offerings||Only one cookware collection||Seven cookware collections and kitchen appliances/accessories|
|Induction-Compatible||All cookware is induction-compatible||Six out of seven collections are induction-compatible|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||500°F||Non-stick: 500°F, Stainless steel: 600°F|
|Where It’s Made||China||Stainless steel: USA|
Hard-anodized: China Ceramic non-stick: Germany
|Company History||Trademark registered in 2016||Founded in 1971|
|Price||$$$$ (view on Amazon or HexClad.com)||$$$$ (view on Amazon)|
Difference 1: Construction
The major difference between HexClad and All-Clad non-stick cookware is how it’s constructed.
Let’s start with HexClad.
All HexClad cookware is fully-clad with a tri-ply construction.
The first layer of magnetic steel is the foundation of the cookware. The importance of magnetism comes into play if you have an induction cooktop (pans made of metals that are not magnetic will not work on induction cooktops).
Next, HexClad uses an aluminum core. This middle layer of aluminum, which is highly-conductive, delivers heat evenly to all areas of the cooking surface.
Finally (and here is where it gets interesting), the interior and exterior features a patented, hybrid mix of PFOA-free non-stick and high-quality stainless steel. Yes, both the cooking surface and exterior are non-stick.
This innovative cooking surface features a connected series of laser-etched hexagons that form a network of peaks and valleys. The peaks are stainless steel, while the valleys are made from non-stick material.
Here’s why that matters:
- The stainless steel portion of the surface lends itself to searing, browning, and deglazing.
- The stainless steel also offers protection against peeling and scratching of the non-stick surface.
- The construction allows you to use any utensil, including metal, without damaging the cookware. When you run a spatula over the cooking surface, it only comes into contact with the steel, sparing the non-stick coating.
- The PTFE non-stick is made from high-grade Japanese ceramic coating and infused with diamond dust for extra toughness.
These pans promise a durable non-stick experience with the appeal and benefits of stainless steel.
What about All-Clad?
All-Clad invented the fully-clad bonding process with stainless steel pans in the 1970s and has established itself as the leader in the category.
The D3 and D5 collections include pans with the same fully-clad base, but the cooking surface is coated with three layers of non-stick coating.
But besides stainless steel, All-Clad also offers three non-stick collections with unique construction:
HA1 (view on Amazon): Heavy-gauge (thick), hard-anodized aluminum exterior with a tri-layer PFOA-free non-stick cooking surface and a magnetic steel base for induction cooking.
Essentials (view on Amazon): Heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum exterior with a tri-layer PFOA-free non-stick cooking surface.
Fusiontec (view on All-Clad.com): Induction-compatible, heavy-gauge carbon steel core encased by PFOA-free ceramic, making it non-stick inside and out.
The key takeaway is that HexClad offers one type of construction (fully-clad, 3-ply with a unique steel/non-stick exterior), and All-Clad construction varies by collection.
Difference 2: Design
With HexClad, you get one design across all cookware — a prominent hexagonal pattern contrasting against polished stainless steel.
This unique pattern covers both the cooking surface and the exterior.
HexClad features riveted, polished stainless steel handles. The handles are big, round, and hollow in the middle to disperse heat and stay cool.
All-Clad handles are also stainless steel and riveted, but the design is different. All-Clad handles have a higher, sharper angle than HexClad, and they’re less substantial.
Unlike HexClad handles, which have a slight bend, All-Clad handles on most collections are straight.
HexClad and All-Clad’s non-stick collections come with tempered glass lids with stainless steel rims. But, All-Clad’s D3, D5, and Copper Core collections come with stainless steel lids.
With All-Clad, you get more choices.
The stainless steel cookware has either a brushed, polished, or copper-accented finish.
The Copper Core collection features a distinctive copper cutout around the pan.
Even the non-stick offerings come in polished stainless, dark gray aluminum, or matted black exteriors.
Difference 3: Product Offerings
With seven unique cookware collections, All-Clad’s product lineup is significantly more extensive than what HexClad offers.
Here’s what you can get with All-Clad:
- D3 Stainless (3-ply stainless clad with non-stick pieces)
- D5 Brushed (5-ply stainless clad)
- D5 Polished (5-ply stainless clad)
- Copper Core (5-ply stainless clad)
- HA1 (hard-anodized aluminum non-stick)
- Essentials (hard-anodized aluminum non-stick)
- Fusiontec (ceramic non-stick)
- Bakeware (ceramic non-stick)
- Kitchen Electrics
- Kitchen Tools and Accessories
HexClad has one collection of hybrid stainless steel and non-stick cookware.
When you compare HexClad vs. All-Clad in terms of variety, it’s no contest. All-Clad covers all your cookware needs while HexClad offers just one collection.
Difference 4: Heat Conduction
Heat conduction refers to how fast and evenly cookware heats up. To see how All-Clad and HexClad stack up in this category, I performed a quick experiment.
I poured two cups of cold water in the HexClad 12-inch pan and All-Clad D3 12-inch pan and placed each on the stove. After turning the burners on high at the same time, I set a stopwatch to measure which pan boiled the water faster and which had a more even distribution of bubbles.
The results were somewhat surprising. The HexClad pan boiled water in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and the All-Clad pan boiled water in 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
Although the difference is minor, my experiment proved that HexClad conducts heat faster than All-Clad.
With both pans, the bubbles were evenly dispersed, indicating uniform heat distribution.
Difference 5: Heat Retention
After I recorded the heat conduction test results, I tested each pan’s heat retention. Pans that retain heat well are ideal for searing because they can maintain a high temperature when you place cold ingredients on them.
To determine which pan had better heat retention, I poured out the boiling water and set both pans on the countertop.
After five minutes, I placed my hand on the cooking surfaces. The HexClad pan was significantly warmer than the All-Clad pan.
After ten minutes, the HexClad pan was ever so slightly warm, and the All-Clad pan had lost all its heat.
One caveat with both these experiments is that I used a pan in the All-Clad D3 collection. Had I used one in the D5 or Copper Core collections, the results could have been much different.
Difference 6: Induction-Compatible
All HexClad cookware is induction-compatible. Each piece has a magnetized steel base, which is necessary for induction cooking.
All-Clad’s stainless steel clad collections (D3, D5, and Copper Core), the Fusiontec ceramic collection, and the HA1 hard-anodized collection are all induction-compatible.
Essentials, which is the most affordable of All-Clad’s offerings, is not induction-compatible.
Difference 7: Oven-Safe Temperatures
HexClad and All-Clad pots and pans are safe to use in the oven, but the maximum oven-safe temperatures differ.
All HexClad cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F.
All-Clad non-stick cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F and the stainless steel collections can withstand up to 600°F.
All-Clad lids are not oven-safe, and the non-stick cookware can’t be used under the broiler (you can get away with it for a minute, but I don’t recommend it).
Difference 8: Where It’s Made
HexClad cookware is designed in California, but it’s manufactured in China.
All-Clad stainless clad cookware is made just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Their hard-anodized non-stick and ceramic bakeware is manufactured in China. The Fusiontec ceramic non-stick collection is made in Germany.
Difference 9: Company History
HexClad is a Los Angeles-based start-up that was launched in 2016 by its two co-founders: Daniel Winer and Cole Mecray.
Winer and Mecray, who have been in the cookware industry since the late ‘90s, discovered the technology behind HexClad and began working with the inventor to bring it to the United States market.
They wanted to combine the ease of non-stick with the superior performance and toughness of stainless steel.
Much of the cookware’s popularity can be attributed to the direct-to-consumer model and early use of digital advertising campaigns — something the cookware industry wasn’t doing at the time.
You can watch Winer test the durability of HexClad on this video. He scrapes the pan with a metal spatula, presses a hand mixer with metal beaters into the interior, and runs a metal pizza cutter across the surface.
It’s a pretty convincing demonstration of this unique cookware’s ability to tolerate sharp, metal utensils, something you wouldn’t dare to do with other non-stick cookware.
All-Clad was founded in 1971 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, by John Ulam, an innovative metallurgist who invented the process to make fully-clad stainless steel cookware. At the time, this was a significant breakthrough because it combined the durability of stainless steel and the heat conduction of aluminum.
Since then, fully-clad cookware has been adopted by most cookware brands, including HexClad. However, All-Clad remains the industry leader thanks to its focus on quality craftsmanship and premium materials.
Difference 10: Price
All-Clad prices vary across collections. For example, the Essentials hard-anodized aluminum non-stick collection is the least expensive, and the Copper Core collection is, by far, the most costly. The HA1, D3, and D5 collections fall in the middle.
If you compare HexClad to All-Clad’s high-end stainless steel collections like Copper Core and D5, the prices are similar. But if you compare it to All-Clad non-stick collections, HexClad is much more expensive.
Considering HexClad uses non-stick material that will eventually wear down, it’s difficult for many home cooks to justify such a high price.
To see current prices for both brands, refer to the chart below:
|HexClad 12-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 7-Piece Set||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Wok||Amazon|
|HexClad 10-Inch Frying Pan||Amazon|
|All-Clad D5 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|All-Clad D3 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|All-Clad Copper Core 8-Inchv Fry Pan||Amazon|
|All-Clad Essentials 10-Piece Set||Amazon|
|All-Clad D5 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
Difference 11: Downsides
While HexClad and All-Clad come with many benefits, there are a few downsides to consider.
Both Brands Are Expensive
As you learned in the previous section, both brands are a significant investment. Spending hundreds on a premium stainless steel set is justifiable since you can expect it to last for years, but all cookware that’s made with non-stick coating (including HexClad) eventually needs to be replaced.
So consider that as you shop. And, since HexClad is still new to the market, only time will tell how long the cookware will last.
Customers Complain That All-Clad Handles Are Uncomfortable
Many home cooks describe All-Clad handles as being uncomfortable or too lightweight for the heft of the pans. I’ve never had an issue with All-Clad’s handles, but enough people have complained that it’s worth mentioning.
HexClad handles are round and very comfortable; you won’t find many complaints about them.
Food Sticks to All-Clad Stainless Steel
If you’re looking for a non-stick experience with All-Clad stainless steel collections, you won’t get it. The top complaint about All-Clad stainless steel pans (and stainless steel pans in general) is food sticks.
Delicate Food Sticks to HexClad
Several HexClad customers have complained about the cookware performance when it comes to delicate foods such as eggs or crepes. I’ve found in testing HexClad that this complaint is completely valid.
I’ve tried cooking eggs several times, and, in most cases, the eggs stuck as if I was using a traditional stainless steel pan.
While I think it’s possible to get good results with proper temperature and the right oil, you’ll save yourself some frustration by using a traditional non-stick pan with those ingredients.
HexClad Non-Stick Coating Might Wear Down
All non-stick cookware will eventually wear down.
The stainless steel peaks protect the non-stick valleys on a HexClad pan, but over time, high temperatures, soaps, and utensils will contact the non-stick coating and degrade its non-stick properties. Check out HexClad on Amazon and search the critical reviews to see proof.
HexClad Requires Seasoning
If you want a maintenance-free non-stick pan, stick with traditional. HexClad recommends seasoning before the first use and periodically throughout the life of the pan. All-Clad non-stick cookware does not need seasoning.
What Others Are Saying
HexClad and All-Clad are endorsed by Michelin-star chefs and receive high praise from independent product testers. HexClad boasts tons of positive press, and All-Clad is a frequent headliner or contender on top cookware lists.
Here’s a quick look at these brands’ recent accolades.
CNN Underscored named the HexClad 10-Inch Fry Pan as the Best Restaurant-Quality Pan. It was one of three pans to receive top honors by the review site. It was described as a “tough-as-nails pan you’d find in professional kitchens.” Reviewers praised the HexClad pan for its construction, design, and cooking performance.
Good Housekeeping chose the All-Clad Essentials 10-Piece Cookware Set as the Most Versatile Non-Stick Cookware. They loved the even heating, effortless food release, and high oven-safe temperature (500°F). The set also got accolades for the space-saving design.
Good Housekeeping also selected the HexClad 12-Inch Wok as the Best Non-Stick Wok according to kitchen experts and reviewers. Calling it “sturdy, but relatively lightweight to handle,” the wok is loved for being dishwasher-safe and mimicking stainless steel’s heat qualities.
CNET gave the All-Clad D3 10-Piece Cookware Set the top honor, naming it as the Favorite Overall Cookware Set. According to CNET, it’s arguably “the absolute best cookware set, no matter the price.” Reviewers noted the even heating, beautiful appearance, and limited lifetime warranty.
Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or All-Clad?
Now that you know the differences between HexClad and All-Clad, it’s time to decide which is right for your kitchen.
All-Clad is continuously at the top of the “best cookware” lists, but HexClad is getting serious attention due to its unique and innovative design.
So, which should you choose?
Before I answer, let’s recap the key differences:
- All-Clad has a 50-year track record of delivering high-quality cookware, while HexClad is still new and unproven.
- All HexClad pans are induction-compatible, while most All-Clad pans work on induction cooktops.
- All-Clad stainless clad cookware can handle a higher oven temperature than all of HexClad’s offerings.
- All-Clad has more cookware options than HexClad in terms of construction and design.
- All-Clad uses traditional and ceramic non-stick coatings, while HexClad utilizes an innovative hybrid non-stick surface combining stainless steel and PTFE non-stick.
- HexClad and All-Clad are dishwasher safe, but All-Clad recommends hand washing its cookware for better results.
- With HexClad, you can cook with any utensil, while All-Clad’s non-stick cookware is not metal utensil-safe.
- All HexClad offerings are made in China, while All-Clad manufactures in the United States, China, and Germany.
If you’re looking for a nudge in one direction, I recommend All-Clad. It’s one of the best cookware brands in the world with a proven track record of superior performance and durability. Plus, its non-stick cookware is long-lasting and significantly less expensive than HexClad.
HexClad’s hybrid construction is an interesting invention, but some cooking scenarios are better suited for either stainless steel or non-stick. Combining the two won’t provide optimal performance for all cooking scenarios.
HexClad costs as much as premium stainless steel cookware, but it won’t last forever. You’ll eventually have to replace HexClad when the non-stick portion of the cooking surface wears down (likely in 5 years or less, depending on how frequently you use it).
Bottom line — All-Clad is an established brand that’s been consistently delivering performance, durability, and style for decades. HexClad is a market-disrupting start-up getting much-deserved praise for its stainless steel/non-stick hybrid cookware.
Both are excellent options, and the right cookware choice comes down to your personal preferences.
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