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
- HexClad vs. Anolon X: Video Summary
- Difference 1: Base Construction
- Difference 2: Cooking Surface
- Difference 3: Rivets
- Difference 4: Handle Design
- Difference 5: Shape
- Difference 6: Thickness and Weight
- Difference 7: Heat Conduction and Retention
- Difference 8: Cooking Performance
- Difference 9: Product Offerings
- Difference 10: Price
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy HexClad or Anolon X Pans?
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.
|Base Construction||3-ply stainless steel||Hard-anodized aluminum|
|Cooking Surface Material||Hybrid of stainless steel and non-stick||Stainless steel mesh on top of non-stick coating|
|Cooking Surface Design||Hexagons||X’s that form a diamond pattern|
|Handles||Rounded, polished steel||Flat, polished steel|
|Thickness||3 mm||2.5 mm|
|Weight (10-Inch Fry Pan)||2.5 pounds||2.3 pounds|
|Time to Boil (2 Cups)*||2 minutes and 30 seconds||2 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Water Temperature After 10 Minutes*||102°F||96°F|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||Up to 500°F||Up to 500°F|
|Metal Utensil Safe||Yes||Yes|
|Product Offerings||22 sets and individual pieces||15 sets and individual pieces|
|Where It’s Made||China||United States, Thailand, Italy, and China|
|Company History||Introduced in the U.S. in 2016||Anolon launched in 1989, but Anolon X was released in 2021|
|Price||$$$$ (HexClad.com, Amazon)||$$$ (Anolon.com, Amazon)|
|Top Reasons to Buy||Versatility (from searing to flipping eggs)||Flush rivets, oil stays in the center|
|Top Reasons to NOT Buy||Price: Costs as much as premium stainless steel or copper cookware||Stickier than HexClad, steel X pattern doesn’t protect the sides|
|More Details||HexClad Review||Anolon Review|
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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).
Another key difference between HexClad and Anolon X is the design of their cooking surfaces.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Both handles are Y-shaped to disperse heat and keep them cool when cooking on the stove.
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.
The sides of Anolon X pans are sloped at a higher angle than HexClad.
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.
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.
The HexClad 10-inch fry pan weighs 2.5 pounds, and the Anolon X 10-inch fry pan weighs 2.3 pounds.
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.
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.
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.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Farberware||1 minute and 2 seconds||1 minute and 29 seconds|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Anolon X pan||1 minute and 35 seconds||2 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon Advanced fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|HexClad fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Tramontina fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 52 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 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.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|HexClad fry pan||120.7°F||102.4°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Tramontina fry pan||118.5°F||101.3°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Anolon X pan||114.1°F||96.0°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|Farberware fry pan||112.0°F||95.4°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119.0°F||95.0°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113.0°F||95.0°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
I’ve been testing HexClad and Anolon X in the kitchen, and overall, I’m pleased with both.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
|HexClad 8-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Wok||Amazon|
|HexClad 10-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|HexClad 6-Piece Fry Pan Set (3 pans, 3 lids)||Amazon|
|HexClad 6-Piece Pot Set (2-, 3-, and 8-quart pots with lids)||Amazon|
|Anolon X 8.25-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 3-Quart Saucepan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 12-Inch Fry Pan||Amazon|
|Anolon X 2-Piece Fry Pan Set||Amazon|
|Anolon X 8-Piece Cookware Set||Amazon|
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.
- HexClad Cookware Review: Is It Worth the Money?
- Anolon X Review: Is This Hybrid Cookware Worth Buying?
- Are HexClad Knives Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- HexClad vs. Made In: The Ultimate Cookware Comparison
- Is Anolon Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth Review
- HexClad vs. Ninja NeverStick Cookware: 11 Key Differences
- 4 Best HexClad Cookware Alternatives
- HexClad vs. All-Clad: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. Black Cube Cookware: 9 Key Differences
- HexClad vs. Cast Iron Cookware: 11 Differences
- HexClad vs. Onyx Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- HexClad vs. Misen Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- HexClad vs. Calphalon: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. Stainless Steel Cookware: 7 Key Differences
- HexClad vs. GreenPan Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- HexClad vs. Le Creuset: 7 Differences & How to Choose
- HexClad vs. Caraway Cookware: 9 Key Differences
- HexClad vs. Scanpan: Which Cookware Is Better?
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Cookware Brands
- Misen Cookware In-Depth Review (With Pictures)
- Is Made In Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth and Unbiased Review