If you’re wanting value-for-money cookware, products that perform well and last, you might want to check the warranty and guarantee offered by the company. The problem is that the choice of words will differ, making it tricky to know how companies compare in what they cover. Here’s what you need to know.
Paying attention to the warranty wording and whether you can easily get a replacement if necessary, can help with choosing the best product when looking to buy cookware. We often think that a warranty or guarantee suggests the company will back its goods.
Warranty Vs Guarantee
Is a warranty the same as a guarantee? Not in the literal sense. But in practical use, both, a warranty and a guarantee, are a promise from the company, apparently. According to FindLaw 1, “The difference between a warranty and a guarantee is largely a question of word choice.”
How Long Is A Lifetime Warranty?
What does it mean to have a lifetime warranty? A lifetime warranty infers no time limits on claiming against defects and workmanship (for example) or other inclusions of the warranty.
Is it valid for as long as the expected life of the product? Or, is it referring to the life of the owner?
It’s about the expected life of the product’s performance rather than the lifetime of the buyer.
A proviso: the warranty may not continue with the transfer of ownership.
The warranty may only cover the first owner and so effectively, the lifetime is limited to the period it is owned by the initial buyer. That’s not something to get too concerned about as people don’t usually trade secondhand cookware or expect cover for secondhand cookware.
Another exception is when a product line is taken off the market. The company may remove the cover or limit it to a few years after it’s discontinued.
At the end of the day, companies are free to define ‘lifetime’ as they wish.
A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it.Warranties, US Federal Trade Commission, accessed Jan 13, 2020 2
Limited Lifetime Warranty
You’ll find that most cookware companies will offer a ‘limited lifetime warranty’.
What does a limited lifetime warranty mean? A limited lifetime warranty covers your product for a lifetime but has limits to that offer. These limits might be about whether or not you follow care instructions or other limits imposed by the company.
To be fully informed, it comes down to reading the fine print or checking with the customer service for that company if the written warranty is not available.
Time Specific Warranty
Is this really different from a lifetime warranty? I guess the answer is, how long do consumers expect the product to last?
Check The Fine Print
When purchasing your product online, the warranty details are often in the fine print. Sometimes they’re not online and it requires you to contact customer service.
Important: Keep a copy of the warranty and a copy of your purchase receipt!
Most cookware companies have similar inclusions and exclusions. Most offer replacements rather than refunds and do not cover the costs of shipping or incidental damage. The following compares the warranty details (available 13 Jan 2020; US contact details).
|Le Creuset||Limited Lifetime||Covers defects in material & workmanship||Normal home use;|
Follow use instructions
|On official website||877 273 8738|
|Calphalon||Limited Lifetime||Covers defects in material & workmanship||Normal home use; Follow use instructions||On official website||800 809 7267|
|Lodge||Limited Lifetime||Covers defects in material & workmanship||Normal home use;|
Follow use instructions
|Not on website||423 837 7181|
|Zwilling (Staub)||Limited||Covers defects in material & workmanship||Normal home use;|
Normal home use;
|On official website||1 (800) 777 4308|
|GreenPan||Limited Lifetime; |
2-yr on nonstick coating
|Covers defects in material & workmanship; defects in the non-stick coating covered for 2 years.||Normal home use; Follow use instructions||On official website||914 372 7777|
|T-Fal||Limited Lifetime Warranty||Covers defects in material & workmanship||Normal home use; Follow use instructions||On official website||800 395 8325|
10-year Warranty; Special replacement warranty for damage from misuse involving discounts up to 50% off.
|Covers faulty workmanship and/or materials, as well as breakage from thermal shock during cooking||Normal home use; Follow use instructions; Doesn’t cover lids.||On official website||Email to contact page|
Le Creuset’s Signature product is reviewed in my buying guide on cast iron skillets.
Some people balk at the higher price on Le Creuset products, but the products are covered by warranty.
Le Creuset cookware is warranted to you by Le Creuset of America, Inc. to be free from defects in material and workmanship at the time of its purchase.cast iron cookware warranty, Le Creuset, Official Website, accessed Jan 13, 2020
Le Creuset cast-iron products are protected under a limited lifetime warranty.
The lifetime guarantee for its cast iron cookware covers the original owner, whether the cookware item was a gift or self-purchased.
If the product is defective or breaks through normal household use where care instructions have been followed, the company is happy to replace it. The limit of cover stops at overheating or any use contrary to their care instructions, however.
You can’t claim the cost of repairing or replacing affected property, e.g. chips in your floor tiles, marks on your bench or similar, nor transportation for the warranty service, or other consequential damages.
You can contact them Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST by calling 877.273.8738.
First up, Calphalon’s original cookware lines, e.g. ‘Pots & Pans”, only had a 10-year warranty and so are no longer covered under their warranty program.
The later Calphalon products come with a limited lifetime warranty. This means you can return them for a replacement if they are defective or damaged on arrival or during use (with exceptions).
Some things they don’t cover…
Minor imperfections, surface markings as a result of shipping, and slight color variations are normal.Calphalon, Official Website, Jan 13, 2020
What they don’t cover: Any damage that doesn’t come under “normal household use and cared for according to the instructions”. Shipping costs are also excluded. Other exclusions include theft and fire.
Sending in photos to prove the damage is a great way to speed up the claims process and help ensure you get new cookware as quickly as possible.
However, if you aren’t internet-savvy, don’t panic, as the company doesn’t require this.
You can call them Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST by phoning 800-809-PANS (7267).
Yet another company that offers a limited lifetime warranty on their cookware is All-Clad. Their warranty states that they will repair or replace products that are defective and have been used and cared for following the company’s use and care instructions.
There are some exclusions to the warranty, such as normal wear and tear on the product, accidents caused by fire or flood, and deterioration or metal separation that was caused due to exposure to very high heat.
They have a list of exclusions – see the link to download the warranty in the Info Sources section below.
You can contact them by phoning 8800-255-2523.
Lodge produces high-quality cast iron cookware (see my reviews here), including a range that is protected with a durable porcelain enamel covering.
It covers the item to be free from defects and lasts from the purchase date for the entire lifetime of the product in terms of the original owner.
However, to ensure the warranty applies, users must follow care instructions provided with the cookware, similar to conditions mentioned above for other cookware brands.
Covered damage will result in the company repairing or replacing the cookware without any charge. When returning the cookware, users must include information about the damage or defect.
You can contact them by phone on 423-837-7181.
Staub (all Zwilling cookware)
This product is made in France.
Thanks to their great quality control, Staub feels confident offering a 30-year guarantee on their cast iron products.
However, this Staub warranty covers purchases in the UK and Ireland. Zwilling is the parent company and US customers can refer to its warranty.
The guarantee has a fairly inclusive scope, and covers all material, functional, and manufacturing faults in the cookware, as long as it has only been used for normal domestic use and care instructions have been followed.
There are exclusions to this guarantee that users will want to consider before sending in their cookware for the company to evaluate, as Zwilling want to examine the products before agreeing to repair or replace the product. You can return them to the point of sale.
You can contact them by phone on 1 (800) 777-4308
Products produced by GreenPan, including the set covered in my ceramic cookware guide, are covered by a limited lifetime warranty that encompasses defects in workmanship and material, but only if the pan was not used in a professional setting.
They offer a 2-year manufacturing defect warranty on their Thermolon ceramic non-stick coating.
The company reserves the right to fully examine any cookware products that users claim are damaged or not functioning correctly before they will repair or replace them.
This means that home cooks must be willing and able to return items to the company so that they can examine them and determine whether or not the damage falls under the warranty, as there are exclusions.
You can call them Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST by phoning 914 372 7777.
I cover two of T-Fal products in my buyer’s guide on nonstick ceramic frying pans.
T-Fal offers a warranty on their products that covers the replacement or repair of damaged cookware, but their warranty only extends to products that are used in the country where they were purchased. 5
For cookware to be eligible for the warranty, users must follow care and use instructions, and the item must be defective in workmanship, construction, or material.
They do not cover damage that the user caused by mishandling the cookware when using it. After a warranty evaluation by a professional representative from the company, T-Fal will provide a replacement for a faulty product, but you may need to show proof of purchase.
You can contact them by phone on 800-395-8325.
While shopping can be fun, considering the warranty is important. I’ve put this together for your benefit with the best information available at the time. It will give you an idea of what to expect when and if claiming under a warranty.
Please be aware that the warranty details are subject to change by the company at any time.