All Clad has a non stick line that is primarily made in China. Their model classification is changed from the standard aluminum and stainless steel model. As a result there is now a lot of confusion on what it all means. One common confusion is the All Clad Ha1 vs NS1. To the untrained eyes they both look the same. However, if you take a closer look, you will see that the shape differs greatly.
All Clad Ha1 vs Ns1
If you look at the two skillet side by side, the construction are nearly identitical. They are both made of hard andodized aluminum and they have a stainless steel base. But they key thing here is how the shape differs.
Ha1 Skillet Shape
The ha1 resembles a traditional french skillet with a straight edge. These type of pan are great for tossing food, however the tall side makes it difficult to turn food with a spatula. The taller side also prevents evaporation of liquid. The thickness of the sidewall also seems unusually large for some reason. It makes it look “Fat”. There is also no rolled lip on the pan so liquid is very difficult to pour.
Ns1 Skillet Shape
This version is more similar to all clad traditional higher end model. The sides are lowered and the lips are rolled. This makes it easier to turn food with a spatula and pour liquid. I personally prefer this shape for my skillet.
Different Tier Different Shape
Its interesting how they are following a similar model as their mainline of cookware. The “French Skillet” looks like the ha1, and that typically only come in the lower tiered version. As far as I know, there is no copper core version of that pan. However, for the Ns1 shape, there is a copper core and d5 version. I guess if it works for that line, why wouldn’t it work here.
All Clad Ha1 vs Ns1 Shared Features
Hard Anodnized Aluminum
Anodizing is the process of increasing the oxide layer on metal. You can see a lot of video of people doing this online. They pass a electrical current to the metal in a bath of water. The end result is a different color metal. You can also affix different material to the outer layer of the metal. A lot of the copper plated stuff you see is just that. They were anodized with copper powder to give it that color. However, these coating is not permanent and overtime it will wear out.
Hard Anodnized Non stick pan looks like it was just coated with a non stick finish. There are claims that it is more durable than traditional teflon. I can be wrong about this though. Check the Wikipedia Link for more information about anodizing.
Stainless Steel Base
This feature is very interesting. Typically a Stainless Steel base is not preferred because stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. However, they seem to have gone this route to make two things possible.
1) Prevent warping. Since stainless steel is harder than aluminum it is not as prone to warping as much.
2) Induction capability. Induction stove top is the new craze nowadays, I guess they are trying to appeal to a larger market.
I personally would prefer a fully cladded aluminum pan but I think they are trying to cut cost with this line.
Dish Washer and Oven Safe
These are both great features that these pans share. You can clean it easily with the dish washer so that quells a lot of complaints about cooking. Finishing off the food in the oven is also safe due to the metal handle.
They still have the painful handle. It seems like All Clad is very stubborn about this handle even though loads of people complain about it. I personally call it the Mark of All Clad. Once it is burned onto your hand, you have the Mark of All Clad.
All Clad Ha1 vs Ns1 vs D3 nonstick vs T-Fal
I personally believe its better to just buy the mainline stainless steel cookware. They are more durable and the stainless steel lining wont wear out. As with all non stick pan, once the coating go, it needs to be replaced. There is no way around it. You can buy a cheap T-Fal Pan and be done with it. However, if you like All Clad performance and design, than these pans are worth it. You can even get their mainline cookware with a nonstick finish. However, those are quite Pricey.
I hope you like the All Clad Ha1 vs Ns1 comparison, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.