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HexClad vs. Anolon X: Which Hybrid Pans Are Better?

HexClad and Anolon X are two of the top hybrid cookware options.

But which is better? What are the major differences?

In this comparison of HexClad vs. Anolon X, you’ll learn how these pots and pans differ in construction, design, performance, price, and more.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

HexClad vs. Anolon X: Comparison Chart

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick comparison of HexClad vs. Anolon X. You’ll learn much more about each difference throughout this article.

 HexCladAnolon X
Base Construction3-ply stainless steelHard-anodized aluminum
Cooking Surface MaterialHybrid of stainless steel and non-stickStainless steel mesh on top of non-stick coating
Cooking Surface DesignHexagonsX’s that form a diamond pattern
HandlesRounded, polished steelFlat, polished steel
Thickness3 mm2.5 mm
Weight (10-Inch Fry Pan)2.5 pounds2.3 pounds
Time to Boil (2 Cups)*2 minutes and 30 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Water Temperature After 10 Minutes*102°F96°F
Oven-Safe TemperatureUp to 500°FUp to 500°F
Metal Utensil SafeYesYes
Dishwasher SafeYesNo
Product Offerings22 sets and individual pieces15 sets and individual pieces
Where It’s MadeChinaUnited States, Thailand, Italy, and China
Company HistoryIntroduced in the U.S. in 2016Anolon launched in 1989, but Anolon X was released in 2021
Price$$$$ (HexClad.com, Amazon)$$$ (Anolon.com, Amazon)
Top Reasons to BuyVersatility (from searing to flipping eggs)Flush rivets, oil stays in the center
Top Reasons to NOT BuyPrice: Costs as much as premium stainless steel or copper cookwareStickier than HexClad, steel X pattern doesn’t protect the sides
More DetailsHexClad ReviewAnolon Review
*See full test details and results in the Heat Conduction and Retention section

HexClad vs. Anolon X: Video Summary

Watch me break down the differences between HexClad and Anolon X in this quick video. You can also watch it on YouTube.

Difference 1: Base Construction

The first difference between HexClad and Anolon X is how the cookware is constructed.

HexClad is made of 3-ply fully-clad stainless steel.

HexClad cookware design
HexClad 3-ply stainless steel
  • The bottom layer is magnetic steel, which makes it compatible with induction cooktops.
  • The middle layer is aluminum, which conducts heat quickly and evenly.
  • And the top layer, or cooking surface, is 18/10 stainless steel.

Anolon X pots and pans are made of hard anodized aluminum. Aluminum heats fast, but it’s not magnetic, so most aluminum pans are not compatible with induction cooktops.

Anolon X hard-anodized aluminum pan
Anolon X hard-anodized aluminum

However, Anolon X pans feature a steel plate bonded to the bottom. This plate not only makes the pans compatible with all cooktops but also makes them sturdier.

Bottom of Anolon X pan
Bottom of Anolon X pan

That said, I noticed the plate on the pan I bought wasn’t completely sealed all the way around. There was a small space between the steel and the aluminum on one side. Although this space doesn’t impact performance, it makes me question Anolon’s quality control.

Gap between steel plate and aluminum on Anolon X pan
Gap between steel plate and aluminum on Anolon X pan

The key takeaway is that HexClad pans are made of fully-clad stainless steel, while Anolon X pans are made of hard-anodized aluminum. Both are durable and high-performing, but aluminum has higher thermal conductivity than steel, so you can expect Anolon X pans to heat faster (you’ll learn if that assumption is true when I reveal the results of my Heat Conduction test in a minute).

Difference 2: Cooking Surface

Another key difference between HexClad and Anolon X is the design of their cooking surfaces.

HexClad versus Anolon X cooking surfaces
HexClad (left), Anolon X (right)

HexClad features a network of laser-etched stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys that form tiny hexagons. The hexagons are shaped by tiny steel dots in the center of the pan and filled-in lines on the sides. The steel pattern goes up the pan’s sides, ending with a solid steel band around the rim.

HexClad cookware hexagonal pattern
HexClad cookware hexagonal pattern

The idea behind this design is that the steel peaks don’t allow spatulas, tongs, and forks to touch the non-stick coating. So you can cook with metal utensils without scratching and ruining the pan.

Anolon X has a similar cooking surface design but with a few key differences.

Anolon X cooking surface
Anolon X cooking surface

The steel peaks on HexClad pans are laser etched into the top layer of the base construction. With Anolon X, the X-shaped (or diamond-shaped) design is a steel mesh fused into the non-stick coating, which is applied on top of the aluminum. They call this mesh their SearTech surface.

Close up of Anolon X steel mesh
Close up of Anolon X steel mesh

Unlike HexClad, Anolon X’s steel mesh is only on the flat part of the cooking surface. It does not extend up the sides. So there’s no protection from scratching if you accidentally scrape the walls.

Another difference is the level of texture. You can feel the gritty texture if you rub your hand over HexClad’s hexagonal lines and dots. Anolon’s mesh has a subtle texture but is not as rough, and the steel is not raised as high.

Anolon X flat steel mesh
Anolon X steel mesh

Additionally, the steel pattern on Anolon pans exposes more non-stick coating than HexClad. This spacing, along with the flatter mesh, makes Anolon X more likely to scratch if you scrape the surface with metal utensils.

Don’t get me wrong, Anolon X’s is still less prone to scratches than traditional non-stick pans, but the non-stick coating is less protected than it is on HexClad pans.

Difference 3: Rivets

One feature I really like about Anolon X pans is the flush rivets. Unlike HexClad, which has standard rivets that protrude out, interrupt the cooking surface, and collect oil and grime, Anolon X rivets are flat.

HexClad standard rivets and Anolon X flush rivets
HexClad standard rivets (left), Anolon X flush rivets (right)

Flush rivets allow you to utilize the entire cooking surface. They also make the pan easier to clean. You don’t have to worry about grease and food getting stuck around the rivets.

Difference 4: Handle Design

HexClad handles are round, which makes them comfortable, but I’ve noticed my hand slipping several times as I slid food onto a plate. If your hands are greasy or wet, or you’re holding a towel or pot holder, there’s a high risk that the handle will rotate.

HexClad cookware handle_2
HexClad handle

Anolon X handles are flat on the top and bottom with a slight curve to rest your thumb. This design provides a more secure grip and reduces the risk of the pan rotating in your hand.

Anolon X handles
Anolon X handle

Both handles are Y-shaped to disperse heat and keep them cool when cooking on the stove.

HexClad versus Anolon X handles
HexClad (top), Anolon X (bottom)

However, I’ve noticed Anolon X handles stay cooler. HexClad handles tend to get hot about two inches beyond the Y-shaped portion, while I can safely grip Anolon handles right up to where the metal forks out.

Difference 5: Shape

The sides of Anolon X pans are sloped at a higher angle than HexClad.

Anolon X versus HexClad shape
Anolon X (top), HexClad (bottom)

With HexClad, you get a slightly larger cooking surface, and it’s easier to slide food from the pan to a plate. But Anolon X does a better job containing ingredients and minimizing splatter.

Difference 6: Thickness and Weight

When I held HexClad and Anolon X pans for the first time, I noticed right away that HexClad pans were thicker and heavier.

I confirmed that feeling by measuring the walls of each pan with a micrometer and weighing them on a digital scale.

HexClad pans are 3 mm thick, and Anolon X pans are 2.5 mm.

Thickness of HexClad pan walls 3 mm
Thickness of HexClad pan walls 3 mm
Thickness of Anolon X pann walls 2 and a half mm
Thickness of Anolon X pann walls 2.5 mm

The HexClad 10-inch fry pan weighs 2.5 pounds, and the Anolon X 10-inch fry pan weighs 2.3 pounds.

HexClad 10 inch pan weight
HexClad 10 inch pan weight
Anolon X 10 inch pan weight
Anolon X 10 inch pan weight

Generally, thicker and heavier cookware is more durable, less likely to warp, and retains heat better. But it’s more challenging to maneuver and heats slower.

Difference 7: Heat Conduction and Retention

I conducted a simple test to see how quickly and evenly HexClad and Anolon X heat up.

First, I poured two cups of cold water into each pan. Then, I put both pans on the stove and set the temperature to high.

The water in the Anolon X pan started bubbling after one minute and 35 seconds and came to a full boil after two minutes and 22 seconds.

Anolon X pan boiling water
Anolon X pan boiling water

HexClad wasn’t far behind. The water started bubbling after one minute and 40 seconds and boiling after two minutes and 30 seconds. The bubbles were uniform across the cooking surface of both pans, indicating even heat distribution.

I run this test with every cookware brand I review. As you can see in the results below, HexClad and Anolon X both heat extremely fast.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
Made In fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Anolon X pan1 minute and 35 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Anolon Advanced fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds

I conducted another quick test to measure heat retention. After the water in both pans began boiling, I removed them from the heat and set them on the counter to cool.

After five minutes, the water in the HexClad pan was 120°F, and the water in the Anolon X pan was 114°F. After ten minutes, the water in the HexClad pan was 102°F, and the water in the Anolon X pan was 96°F.

I’m not surprised by these results because HexClad pans are thicker and have more material to absorb and retain heat.

Below are the results from nearly two dozen other pans I tested. As you can see, HexClad is near the top of the industry in terms of heat retention, while Anolon X is closer to the bottom.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Made In fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
Hestan fry pan114°F98°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Difference 8: Cooking Performance

I’ve been testing HexClad and Anolon X in the kitchen, and overall, I’m pleased with both.

Cooking chicken in an Anolon X pan
Cooking chicken in an Anolon X pan

Both pans cook more like non-stick than stainless steel, but since the cooking surfaces aren’t completely smooth, they grip and sear meat better than most traditional non-stick pans.

Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan
Cooking chicken thighs in a HexClad pan

I’ve used HexClad and Anolon X to cook bacon, chicken, fish, pancakes, vegetables, and more. Both pans heat up quickly, maintain a stable temperature, and deliver consistent results.

Crispy bacon cooked in a HexClad pan
Crispy bacon cooked in a HexClad pan

However, cooking eggs in both pans is tricky. Eggs stick to HexClad and Anolon X if you cook them without greasing the pan. You can get away without oil or butter with traditional non-stick pans, but that’s not the case with hybrid pans.

Eggs sticking to an Anolon X pan that's not greased
Eggs sticking to an ungreased Anolon X pan

Eggs don’t stick to either pan when the surfaces are properly greased. You can slide a spatula underneath the eggs and flip them without issue.

However, HexClad’s surface is a bit slicker than Anolon X. When I shook both pans, the eggs in the HexClad pan loosened and moved slightly, while the eggs in the Anolon X pan remained in place. Not a major difference, but worth noting.

Eggs sticking slightly to a greased Anolon X pan
Eggs sticking slightly to a greased Anolon X pan

Anolon X claims that its SearTech surface keeps oil in the middle of the pan. Unlike traditional non-stick pans that allow the oil to run to the edges, Anolon’s design keeps the oil directly under the food, resulting in less sticking, more even caramelization, and a better sear.

I tested this claim by pouring oil into a hot Anolon X pan, and the mesh does, in fact, keep the oil in the center. You can tilt the pan to spread the oil across the cooking surface evenly, but it doesn’t immediately run to the edges and leave the center dry.

Although the oil moved slightly off-center in the HexClad pan, it was still easy to control and coat the entire surface evenly.

Difference 9: Product Offerings

Anolon is a well-established cookware brand that’s been in business since the 1980s, but Anolon X is one of its newest collections. Because of that, the selection is limited.

Currently, only ten individual pots and pans and five sets are available in the Anolon X collection.

HexClad is a much newer company, but these hybrid pans are its only collection, so more products are available.

Currently, HexClad has 17 individual pieces and five sets. They also just released a Damascus steel knife collection.

You can browse all the options across both brands at the links below:

Difference 10: Price

HexClad pans are significantly more expensive than Anolon X. Expect to pay between 40% and 80% more for HexClad, depending on the product.

Although they look similar, producing fully-clad stainless steel pans with laser-etched steel ridges (HexClad) is more costly than installing a stainless steel mesh on top of an aluminum pan (Anolon X).

The chart below shows the current prices of HexClad and Anolon X’s most popular pots, pans, and sets. Click on the prices to learn more about each item on Amazon.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Anolon X Pans?

If you’re still on the fence and need help deciding between HexClad and Anolon X, here’s my advice.

Hybrid cookware is not for everyone. It lasts longer and sears better than most non-stick pans, and releases food better than stainless steel. But if you’re looking for a true non-stick pan to cook eggs without oil, or a stainless steel pan that you can use to broil and cook at extremely high temperatures, you’ll be disappointed.

It’s a great option if you have limited space in your kitchen and need to consolidate your cookware. And it can simplify life in the kitchen because you can use it for every meal and never have to think about which pan is best for each recipe.

If you’re convinced that hybrid cookware is right for you, go with HexClad. I prefer HexClad over Anolon X because:

  • The fully-clad stainless steel base is thicker and more sturdy
  • The stainless steel hexagons extend throughout the pans so you won’t scratch the sides
  • It looks and feels like higher-end cookware
  • Eggs are less likely to stick to a well-greased surface
  • The quality control is much higher

Anolon X is not bad cookware. In fact, it’s one of the best alternatives to HexClad, especially if you’re on a budget. But I don’t recommend it above HexClad even though it costs less due to its quality control issues, limited mesh area, and thinner walls.

You can read more reviews of both brands and compare the current prices at the links below.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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