TL;DR – Is Swiss Diamond cookware any good?
Owners rate Swiss Diamond among the best of non-stick cookware sets, so long as the care instructions are closely followed. It’s common for these pans to last up to 5 years with regular use and proper care. They are priced toward the high end of the market, so it may be helpful to consider if all of the pieces in the set are practical for use in your kitchen. We also like the transparency that Swiss Diamond provides into their manufacturing process.
What is Swiss Diamond Cookware?
Swiss Diamond cookware was invented by researchers at a facility exploring non-stick materials and coating surfaces in Switzerland in the late 1990s. Originally, the HORT Coating Center manufactured titanium-reinforced PTFE products. After discovering that diamonds offered better reinforcement for their non-stick coatings, the Swiss Diamond brand was born.
Swiss Diamond now produces a variety of cookware lines. By far the most popular product is the Classic High Density (HD) series that we’ll be reviewing in this article.
Swiss Diamond Ultimate Kitchen Kit
The Ultimate Kitchen Kit is sold as a 10-piece bundle. It includes some of the most frequently used pot and pan configurations for most kitchens. The pans are constructed atop a 6mm pressure cast aluminum base, using only recycled materials. Compared to pans that have been pressed from a sheet of metal, the cast base is less likely to warp during regular use.
Each pan is coated with three layers of high-density PTFE non-stick, sprayed atop a primer layer that prevents contact between food and the cast aluminum base if the pan is scratched. The primer creates a strong bond with the non-stick surface, improving its durability. Diamond crystals are inlaid to improve heat transfer properties and create a surface texture which deflects abrasive forces and enhances food release.
The pans are equipped with stay-cool handles, which make them oven safe to 500 F. They are attached without rivets in order to prevent food build-up inside the pan which may lead to bacterial growth. Glass lids are included for most pieces in the set.
Swiss Diamond also promotes this set as metal utensil and dishwasher safe.
What We Like
We like Swiss Diamond’s commitment to sustainability throughout the manufacturing process. The company is also uncharacteristically open to publishing detailed product information.
Many owners say the pans heat slowly, but hold an even surface temperature afterward. Weight balance is good on the fry pans, so they won’t tip off your burner. The pans are designed with an excellent edge slope extending from the cooksurface to the pan edges.
We found only a few complaints about scratching, flaking or carbon buildup on the pan surface. In most of those cases, it seems that the pan’s owner regularly used metal utensils or dishwasher cleaning. With proper care Swiss Diamond cookware often lasts several years with consistent non-stick performance.
What We Don’t
Because Swiss Diamond HD pans are built atop a non-magnetic aluminum base, they won’t function properly on an induction cooktop. Be aware of this if you use an induction stove in your kitchen.
Some owners wish the pans had a concave lip for pouring on the pan edge. This feature would be particularly helpful when cooking fatty foods like bacon. Most other complaints we discovered were connected with misunderstanding the pan’s warranty or care instructions. We’ll explore both topics later in this article.
The Ultimate Kitchen Kit is an investment. The price is slightly higher than average for non-stick cookware. Many owners find it practical to start with daily use frying pans only, pairing them with a bargain brand for the lesser used pots and pans.
- 8” fry pan
- 9.5” fry pan
- 3.2-quart saute pan with lid
- 1.4-quart saucepan with lid
- 2.2-quart saucepan with lid
- 8.5-quart stockpot with lid
The Frypan Only Options
Buying the full collection can be expensive, so Swiss Diamond also offers their HD products as individual items. The most frequently used piece in many kitchens is an 8” or 10” fry pan.
Many owners purchase one or both of these items, and fill their collection of stockpots, saute and saucepans using a more affordable brand. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door.
What to know before you buy.
Is Swiss Diamond cookware safe?
Swiss Diamond cookware is manufactured without the use of lead, cadmium, mercury or PFOA. Rivetless handles prevent bacteria buildup on the cook surface that could impact food safety. All manufacturing is completed under the guidance of European health and safety standards.
Do the pans contain PTFE?
Yes, Swiss Diamond uses a PTFE-based non-stick coating. They mix their own coating with raw ingredients including industrial diamond crystals at their Swiss factory, rather than buying a prefabricated mixture from a third party. The coating is made and applied without using PFOA, the controversial chemical that is under investigation by the EPA and potentially linked with health conditions.
Is the nonstick any good?
Owners give the non-stick performance excellent marks out of the box. The most common complaints about the coating are derived from owner expectations about its durability.
How long do they last?
Many owners report that their pans are still going strong after 5 years. Depending on what type of cookware you’ve used in the past, this may seem like a long time or not. Owner feedback on this topic varies widely. As a practical comparison, ceramic nonstick pans rarely live longer than 2 years. And cast iron may last a lifetime. In our kitchen, 5 years is a good target for a PTFE-coated pan.
It’s important to note that pan care is highly correlated with the lifespan of these pans. We encountered some owners who reported their pan did not last long. The common thread to many of these cases was periodic use of a dishwasher when cleaning. While the manufacturer says these products are “dishwasher safe”, they recommend hand washing. High dishwasher temperature, water hardness, and chemicals found in some detergents can be incredibly abrasive.
How does the warranty work?
Swiss Diamond offers a limited lifetime warranty on its products. We found that many owners didn’t read beyond the word “lifetime,” and were frustrated to learn that the manufacturer would not replace their products after several years of regular use.
The warranty specifically covers manufacturing defects, and expressly does not cover normal wear and tear. The warranty does not cover glass lids or handles. It also does not apply if an owner has not closely followed the brand’s use and care instructions.
For most buyers, the warranty is not going to have any real utility. It won’t cover stains, discoloration, food odor, scratches or dents. But it will come in handy if you were shipped a defective product with a misformed base or where the non-stick was peeling out of the box. It is incredibly rare for eligible cases to slip through quality assurance at the manufacturing facility, but it is nice to know you have some recourse if you open your box and find a bunk product.
Where is Swiss Diamond cookware made?
Swiss Diamond products are manufactured in Sierre, Switzerland. The company touts that all products are made from recycled aluminum and their factory is powered by a hydroelectric source in the Swiss Alps. The facility runs at all hours and all days of the year, so that they don’t waste energy with regular start-up and shut-down activities.
We’ve seen that many brands manufacture the metal base of their pans in a different facility, or with a different supplier, from the non-stick coating. Swiss Diamond fabricates both in-house, importing raw materials and shipping a finished product. They cite the need to control quality and steward environmental impact of the process as their reasoning for keeping all manufacturing under one roof.
Who should buy Swiss Diamond?
In our view, Swiss Diamond makes a good product that will last several years if treated properly. We found few owner complaints about these pans quality and durability. The cost of the full-set is a commitment though. Especially if you are just getting started, it may be most practical to start with a single Swiss Diamond pan as your daily fryer. You can supplement your collection with a more affordable brand for items that won’t generate frequent use.
Learn The Care Instructions
It’s helpful to learn the difference between how you “can” treat your pans, and how you “should” treat them. The care features used in online product listings and advertisements can be misleading.
Avoid the dishwasher.
Almost every non-stick pan is advertised as “dishwasher safe.” But what does that actually mean? Generally it means that nobody gets hurt when your pan goes in the dishwasher, except the pan. The chemicals found in some detergents can be incredibly harsh on the non-stick coating of your pan. If you read the fine print, Swiss Diamond advises hand washing.
Use silicone utensils.
Swiss Diamond recommends using silicone or wooden utensils on the cooksurface. Metal can be especially abrasive, and may easily scratch, dent or flake the pan’s nonstick. We recommend silicone as the softest cook-safe utensil for non-stick pans. They are also incredibly easy to clean. Do not chop or cut the contents of the pan. Any tool with a sharp edge can damage it.
Preheat briefly, and cook below high heat.
Before cooking, preheat the pan for 2-3 minutes. To confirm if the pan is properly heated, you can sprinkle a few water droplets on the cook surface. If the water evaporates on contact then the pan is too hot. If the water sizzles then the pan is ready to cook. Overheating can damage the cook surface, so it’s advised to start on a medium heat and adjust upward if needed.
Avoid butter and spray oils.
It is worthwhile to cook with high-heat oil. Fats that smoke at a lower temperature will tend to leave greasy residue on your pan which can be difficult to clean and can ruin the non-stick coating. Find a high-heat oil that works for you, and specifically stay away from butter and spray oils as your primary pan lubricant.
Protect your pans when storing them.
We recommend against stacking pans, but realize this isn’t a practical storage option in some kitchens. The friction between stacked pans causes a lot of wear on the cooking surface. If you will be stacking pans to store them, place a paper towel or felt between them to prevent scratches. You can make your own cheap solution, or check out the 5-Piece Felt Protector Set that Swiss Diamond designed for this purpose.
Alternative Products To Consider
If Swiss Diamond cookware doesn’t sound like the right fit for you, or if you’re simply looking to comparison shop here are a few alternatives to consider:
Le Creuset Signature
If you’re looking for a super-simple cookware set that will last forever, look no further. Le Creuset is a leader in both fashion and function. Cast iron isn’t for everyone. It’s heavy, expensive and requires regular seasoning. The surface isn’t non-stick at times, but it looks great, performs at a high level and will last a lifetime.
If you are looking to upgrade materials, performance and durability, take a closer look at Scanpan. The Danish brand offers 10 lines of cookware, across a wide range or price points. We like the Scanpan Professional collection for our kitchen with it’s sleek stainless handles and durable Stratinum non-stick coating.
If you want to consider a PTFE-free option, GreenLife makes a decent medium heat ceramic pan for a discount price. Their products are offered in 7 unique colorways, for those seeking a distinctive look.
We like Swiss Diamond cookware based on the pans’ performance and durability. We also like the transparency and ethical considerations taken by the manufacturer.
These pans are expensive, so we recommend considering how often you will use each piece before splurging on the full set. Several pans in the set are available for purchase individually.
For our kitchen, the most practical pieces are the 8” and 10” frying pans. Find out more about Swiss Diamond cookware and check the current price by clicking here.