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.
I’ve reviewed dozens of nonstick cookware products over the past few years and created this article to help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of Swiss Diamond. The Classic High Density (HD) series is by far their most popular product, so that is what I’ll focus on here.
In creating my Swiss Diamond cookware review, I spent 10 hours collecting owner feedback, sorting through product specifications, and comparing features with competitor products. My hope is that by reading this, you’ll save time and stress in finding the right fit for your kitchen, and be equipped with good expectations of what to expect from these pots and pans.
In the nonstick category where products are notoriously short-lived, Swiss Diamond cookware provides unexpected durability. Many owners say that their pan is still going strong after 5 years of regular use.
What we like
- Exceptional durability.
- Fast and even heating.
- Lids and handles provide great balance.
What We don’t
- Wash only by hand.
- The induction compatible model costs extra.
- Warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and tear.
Swiss Diamond Buyers Guide
It’s exceptionally durable.
Swiss Diamond is among the best non-stick cookware sets for durability. It’s common for these pots and pans to last 5 years with regular use and proper care, which is a substantially longer lifespan than you’ll find with most nonstick competitors.
There are certainly more affordable options for nonstick out there, but many of them commonly require a replacement after only 2-3 years or, mostly, sooner if you’re using a PTFE-free product. In the end, the extra you’ll pay for Swiss Diamond is probably similar to what you would pay for a cheaper product given that you’d replace it in half the time.
If durability is your main priority, you might also consider cast iron or stainless steel cookware. You’ll make significant trade-offs with cost and convenience, but those are materials that last more than a lifetime.
Non-stick food release is top-notch.
Traditional PTFE-based nonstick pans are unmatched when it comes to convenient food release, and Swiss Diamond is a top performer. This means that you shouldn’t have difficulty cooking delicate foods (eggs, fish) and keeping them intact. It also means that cleanup won’t be difficult, though you will want to wash by hand.
Each Swiss Diamond 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.
Fast and even heating.
The Swiss Diamond HD Classic series is fast and even heating on electric and gas cooktops.
If you intend to cook on an induction stove, the brand does produce a Classic Induction line that incorporates magnetic material into the pan base which is required for proper function on an induction cooktop.
The HD Classic pans are constructed atop a 6mm pressure-cast aluminum base, using only recycled materials. Aluminum is an incredible heat conductor, second only to copper in the cookware world. Fortunately, aluminum is also significantly more affordable than copper cookware.
Swiss Diamond also inlays industrial diamond dust into the nonstick coating, which provides an incremental improvement in heat transfer from the pan’s base directly into the food you’re cooking. The diamonds have an added benefit to food release and deflecting abrasive forces from the PTFE nonstick coating, which is usually the first part of a nonstick pan to wear out.
A sturdy base avoids warping.
Two common issues with nonstick cookware: cheap pans tend to warp when treated poorly. And it’s often not clear from the manufacturer’s instructions what type of behavior will cause this result.
Swiss Diamond’s 6mm aluminum base is thick enough that no owners I surveyed reported any issues with the pan losing its bottom shape.
At the same time, be aware that rapid changes in temperature can have a negative impact on the constitution of this or any pan. Let your pan cool before cleaning, and don’t overheat it. Many people don’t realize that nonstick cookware, the entire product category, is intended only for low-to-medium heat cooking.
Glass lids and handles with balance.
The handles on the frying pan are well-balanced, so it won’t tip off your burner. In the current millennium, this should honestly be a requirement, but not all other pans are designed equally.
Aside from being even-balanced, all the pots and pans in this set 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. While the rim of the glass lids is less convenient to clean than a metal lid, it’s probably a tradeoff worth having for the benefit of being able to monitor your food as it cooks.
Should only be washed by hand.
While Swiss Diamond also promotes this set as metal utensil and dishwasher safe, owners say otherwise.
Metal utensils are quite abrasive to the non-stick surface of the cookware, and in many cases seem to have created a negative impact on the lifespan of a set. Choose wood or silicone-tipped spoons and spatulas for use on your set.
While in some cases it may be safe to run your Swiss Diamond through the dishwasher, I would wholeheartedly recommend against it. Outside of metal utensils, there is no more common way to scratch and chip the nonstick surface. Pots and pans encounter an incredible amount of friction in-cycle as they knock and slide against one another and the dishwasher rack. Some dishwasher detergents are also more abrasive than you might expect.
Transparent and sustainable.
While there is still debate on the merits and sustainability of PTFE products, I do like Swiss Diamond’s commitment to sustainability throughout the manufacturing process. They use recycled aluminum and renewable energy. And the company is also uncharacteristically open to publishing detailed product information.
Induction compatible models require an upgrade.
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.
In the US, induction ranges account for less than 15% of households, so for most of our readers, I would expect the base model to work fine. If you do plan on cooking with an induction stove then check out Swiss Diamond’s Classic Induction models. The price is slightly higher, and you’ll probably need to purchase as individual pieces since they aren’t widely available a bundle.
Pieces vs. Full Collection
The Ultimate Kitchen Kit is an investment. The price is slightly higher than the average for non-stick cookware. Many owners decided it was most practical to start with daily use frying pans only, pairing them with a bargain brand for the lesser-used pots and pans.
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-inch fry pan or 10-inch fry pan. While you can find an 11- or 12.5-inch model, those are often too big for the most common sized home burners.
In my kitchen, we only use a non-stick frypan and stockpot. But for most owners, the Ultimate Kitchen Kit is a popular choice. If you are most of your cooking on a nonstick set and this is within your target budget, this set all practical pieces that most kitchens are going to use regularly.
If you think you might only use a few pieces regularly, then I’d encourage you to check out only the individual items that apply to what you like to cook. If you’re just getting started, a fry pan and large saucepan is probably a great place to start.
Other Things Worth Knowing
I sorted through some of the most common questions from Swiss Diamond buyers, and those who were exploring nonstick cookware for the first time:
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. I 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. I 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.
How do I care for Swiss Diamond?
Take a few moments to learn the most basic care instructions and you’ll save yourself a lot of headache, and probably some money too. 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.
We recently published an article on the most common ways you’re probably ruining your nonstick pan, and how to avoid them. It’s a great primer.
Other Products Worth Considering
If you’ve read this far, then you already know I think Swiss Diamond is a good choice for nonstick cookware. At the same time, I realize that traditional nonstick isn’t for everyone, and this product does have a few drawbacks. Here are a few alternatives worth considering,
Scanpan offers 10 lines of PTFE-based nonstick cookware, across a wide range of price points. They have a lot in common with Swiss Diamond, but in my view the cosmetics are better. I especially like the Scanpan Professional and CTX collections which includes 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.
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.
I like Swiss Diamond cookware based on the pans’ performance and durability. I also like the transparency and ethical considerations taken by the manufacturer.
These pans are expensive, so consider 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 piece is probably the 10-inch fry pan.