Hi there -
I recently asked this forum for input on stainless cookware. After I decided on what to buy, I was informed of an unofficial rule here to post a review on stuff that the helpful members helped me choose. This seams only fair and the courteous thing to do, and I said I would, so......
I initially had criteria that I felt was important to me. Keep in mind I am just an everyday middle class guy who prefers to buy things that last. I'm not a chef or pro. We just like to eat good food and drink great wine. I wanted high quality; it could not be made in China, I wanted edges that were rolled or designed for drip free pouring, the handles had to be comfortable and raised / angled in a way that they would not interfere with over pans on the same cook top, and I also wanted welded handles. I gave up on the welded handles after finding out there just isn't many choices for that option. Demeyer was my first choice, but it was just more money than I wanted to spend. So at any rate, the DeBuyer Affinity was suggested, I checked them out on line and liked what I saw. They are also reasonably priced when considering they are 7 ply construction. Just keep in mind that the prices on most of the pieces does not include lids. You have to buy them separate. Fortunately, De Buyer did make several pieces the same diameter, so you don't really 'need' to buy a lid for every piece. I bought the following pieces.
"DeBuyer Affinity 12.6-Inch All Frypan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3.17-Quart Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 1.8-Quart Rounded Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer 9.4-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer Affinity 1.2-Quart Saucepan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer 7.9-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer 5-1/2-Inch Stainless Steel Lid, Fits both Affinity and Copper"
"DeBuyer Affinity 9.4-Inch All Frypan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3.17-Quart Rounded Saute-pan, Stainless Steel"
"DeBuyer Affinity 3-1/2-Quart Saucepan, Stainless Steel"
We have not used many yet. Just a fry pan actually.
The exterior is polished and looks way too good to use really. The interior is a brushed finish. I need to figure out a way to clean them without scratching them in the sink, as the fry pan has some blemishes already. I think bar keeper's friend will take care of that. Oh well, they are tools after all. I'm not terribly worried about it. I did effectively burn some spices on the fry pan and left a heck of a mess in the pan. A splash of wine and some rubbing with a wood spoon took it right off though. I need to learn how to cook with SS cookware I believe. I'm not a big oil user. I might try some non stick spray....
The pans themselves are not as heavy as I thought they'd be. They definitely have some heft to them, but I don't find them overly heavy. I am a 195 pound fella that's been weight training for thirty years though, so they may be heavy for smaller folks. The balance seams perfect to me.
The handles are a polished cast SS design. They are not too long or too short, just right. They have a rectangle shape of sorts with rounded edges and the underside has some reliefs machined into them for fingers. If your hands have oil on them, I'm pretty sure these finger reliefs will help keep the pan from slipping out of your fingers. Time will tell I suppose. All in all, I find the handles to be quite comfortable.
I bought a couple of the rounded saute pans to give that type of pan a go. I think they will be my favorites. They are just slightly taller than the same sized saute pan, so I think they'd work great for flipping food around in them, although I have to admit that I have yet to acquire that skill. I tend to fling food across the kitchen whenever I try it.
I'm not a reviewer of cookware and don't really know what else to say. If anyone has specific questions, I'd be happy to do my best to answer them. Take measurements, pictures, whatever. Just let me know.
Thanks to everyone who helped me make up my mind.