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Falk Review

TraderJoe Jan 30, 2013 05:05 PM

I received 2 new Falk pieces today so I thought I'd do a quick review. First I'll start with a word of caution. Falk openly says they do not like returns...and they mean it! Even if the volume and weight listed on their web site is incorrect...they are not easy to work with.
I ordered the 2.5 quart sauce pot. It's actually 2 quarts.
Falk appears to be trying to deny responsibility on that by stating that their web site says they round up to the nearest half quart. I can understand rounding up from 2.3 to 2.5 quarts but this is a real stretch since it's about 20% smaller than the listed size by volume or a full half quart. For comparison the 1.9 quart 2.5mm Mauviel sells for $210. Even with the 15% discount I received on the Falk it was over $66 more than the Mauviel that's finished far better! Ouch. (I thought I was paying for a larger pot!)
The pot is also a half pound lighter than Falk lists on their web site.

There are some notable differences between Falk and Mauviel that rarely get mentioned.
One is the handle. Falk says it's cast iron but it looks more like pot metal. I'd not be surprised if the handles are made in China. The handle is literally full of fissures and is a silverish color. There is no lacquer finish on it nor is the handle sealed in any way like the Mauviel Cast iron handles. The interior of the Falk is an unpolished satin SS. If any one thinks Mauviel is harder to keep clean then they have never tried to clean satin SS. Even a smudge is hard to get out.
Falk rivets are tiny. Maybe 1/3 the size of Mauviel.
I also received a 8 quart stock pot from Falk which I like but at this juncture I have very little faith in their product. Any company is only as good as their customer service. From now on I won't be ordering copper from any one other than Mauviel. Falk is way over priced (IMO) for the quality. It really disappoints me to say that as they are the only copper company to support the ACF.

In the photos I'll be using a 2.25 Quart 2mm Mauviel pot which is several years old for comparison against the "2.5 Quart" Falk.
I also received a 3.6 Quart 2.5mm Mauviel this week so I'll get a review of that up soon. ( The Mauviel is awesome! )

First image is to show the height. 2.5 Quart Falk on the Left, 2.25 Quart Mauviel on the right. (both pots are the same diameter)
http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f22...

  1. TraderJoe Jan 30, 2013 05:07 PM

    Here's a bottom view. 2.5 quart Falk on Left. 2.25 Mauviel on the right.

    http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f22...

    10 Replies
    1. re: TraderJoe
      kaleokahu Jan 30, 2013 05:21 PM

      Since you're in the mood, can you give us a comparison shot or two of the handles, showing angles, width, length, etc.?

      FWIW, I like the curves of the Falk a little better. What's the weight comparison?

      1. re: kaleokahu
        TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 05:17 AM

        "can you give us a comparison shot or two of the handles, showing angles, width, length, etc.?"

        Did the photos I posted show what you wanted to see? If not just ask and I'll post more images.

        1. re: TraderJoe
          kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 06:51 AM

          I was somewhat unclear, sorry. I was asking to see the handle angles (e.g., away from horizontal) , overall handle length and width, escutcheon position (i.e., height of placement on the pan wall). I thought since you have both pans together, a photo of them together might highlight the differences.

          Thanks.

          1. re: kaleokahu
            TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 07:07 AM

            Kaleo I'll try to get that shot later today. Did you want to see the 3.6 Quart Mauviel with the cast iron handle or the 2.25 Quart Mauviel with the brass handle compare to the Falk?

            1. re: TraderJoe
              kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 07:54 AM

              Either way, TJ. I just wanted to compare the handles' angles from a user's perspective. Do the angles vary between the 3.6 and the 2.25 Mauviels?

              1. re: kaleokahu
                TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 09:04 AM

                Kaleo, I'll post soon with a comparison. All of this has side tracked my other duties but I will get to this soon.

                1. re: TraderJoe
                  kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 09:06 AM

                  No worries.

                  1. re: kaleokahu
                    TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 10:03 AM

                    Here's some handle comparisons. This was pretty quick so please forgive the snapshots as I didn't have time to set up a tri-pod or process the images as I normally would.
                    Some quick observations.
                    The Cast iron handle on the 3.6 Quart Mauviel on the far left has a lacquer finish (my descriptive) and is slightly longer than the other two. Angles are very close on all three although the 2.25 Quart Mauviel with the bronze handle has a bit more drop.
                    My favorite handle is the bronze. I like the aesthetic and the bronze is flat on the bottom. The Falk handle is slightly more rounded than the the Mauviel cast iron.
                    One other thing I hadn't noticed is that Falk lids fit a heckuva lot better than Maviel lids which all seem slightly over size.
                    Time to go cook something! :)

                     
                     
                     
      2. re: TraderJoe
        TraderJoe Jan 30, 2013 05:24 PM

        The Falk Handle. You can see the fissures and in the second image the tiny rivets.

        http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f22...

         
         
        1. re: TraderJoe
          kaleokahu Jan 30, 2013 05:41 PM

          Hi, TJ:

          I'm with you on and about the rivets. If you watch Falk's videos, their whole riveting process is one press with a tool that simultaneously melts and compresses the rivet--takes about one second. I think to do it that way they have to use those minuscule rivets. That's one reason I like the large-headed, hand-peened rivets you find on old marks like Duparquet and Gaillard.

          I kinda like a rougher texture on the handles, though. My Rocky Mountain set is almost "pigskin" texture, which I think improves the grip, whereas my Mauviel is so smooth and finished I find it a bit turny in my hand.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

      3. TraderJoe Jan 30, 2013 05:35 PM

        Here's a front on shot. The handle on the Mauviel in this case is wider but this one is bronze. The Mauviel cast iron handle is vastly better than the falk in the finish department.
        The weight of the 2mm 2.25 Quart Mauviel with out lid is 3# 14 oz.
        The weight of the 2.5mm 2.5 Quart Falk with out lid is just a titch over 4 pounds.

        http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f22...

         
        1. w
          will47 Jan 30, 2013 05:55 PM

          Just out of curiosity, are you talking about Falk itself, or their North American distributor?

          I don't own any Falk pans, and don't have any opinion one way or another, but my understanding is that US / Canada sales are handled by an independent distributor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: will47
            TraderJoe Jan 30, 2013 06:56 PM

            My order and the info I'm posting is from the copperpans.com web site as they are the sole representative for Falk in North America.

            1. re: TraderJoe
              kaleokahu Jan 30, 2013 07:45 PM

              Hi, TJ:

              "[T]hey" is Michael Harp, who occasionally posts here.

              Are your issues with your order serious enough that you wish to return the pans? In Jeremy's case (and a few other cases), there have been issues bigger than slightly different capacities and sand-casting irregularities. Certainly a wobbly pan or one of the mysterious "Mauviel staples" would qualify.

              I have come to the belief that Falk is... er... a little idiosyncratic in most things (e.g., offering only a brushed finish). My bet is that your issues are things emanating from Belgium, not from its US rep. But I'm sorry if you're getting any guff from them--their wares are $$$.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

          2. j
            jljohn Jan 30, 2013 07:26 PM

            "First I'll start with a word of caution. Falk openly says they do not like returns...and they mean it! Even if the volume and weight listed on their web site is incorrect...they are not easy to work with."

            My experience as well. I perceived QC issues on 2 items I received from them, and I found the process to be difficult. I lost a substantial restocking fee on a wobbly saute pan. It's really a shame. I'd love to buy a large au gratin from them, but believing that I am likely to suffer for a mistake on their end means that I probably won't buy from them again.

            12 Replies
            1. re: jljohn
              TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 04:33 AM

              Go ahead and call me Gobsmacked. Here's an email I received from Michael Harp;

              "Have you used the pan? Also, the price is not "per ounce". And the volume is accurate given how volumes are calculated for pans in the industry. Also, has your scale been calibrated recently? And, in case you don't know, the site says ≈ 4.5 LBS. That " ≈ " means approximately… Not every pan made weighs exactly the same for various reasons and that's why it says approximately...

              Now, I've asked you to measure the pan you have. It could be that it is off-spec. If so, we'll deal with it. If not, we'll still deal with it. Just humor me and measure it, please. (in red) Think you can do that?

              Also, there IS a legal disclaimer on the site about prices and specifications. I don't intend to mislead anyone and haven't in the 17 years that I've been distributing Falk in the US and Canada... YOU are the first person in that time to have an issue. So, there may be a problem with that pan… please measure it. Measure the circumference of the vessel and height, then solve for volume. If you need the formula, I'll be happy to send it to you.

              Also, please read our FAQ's. We do round to the nearest half quart by gross volume, just like everyone else in the business. If you don't want the pan, send it back and a refund will be issued per our refund policy. Just that simple… If you've used it, it is yours..."

              All I can say is I'll never deal with this company ever again. I notified them with in ten minutes of receipt that the sauce pot was off in both volume and weight.
              Clearly Mr. Harp has never heard of Mauviel as the volumes they list are reasonably precise like the 3.6 quart sauce pot I received earlier this week. In another message Mr. Harp suggested that the Falk volumes are off because in Belgium they use liters.....(no I'm not joking)
              He did ask for measurements at 2am and the message above was received at 3am. Oiye.


              I do have to accept responsibility for the following; I totally over looked the legal ease else where on the site that states they round up to the nearest half Quart. However I never would have imagined receiving a 2.01 Quart sauce pot in place of one advertised as 2.5 quarts. On a pot this size that's a massive difference. The exterior dimensions of the pot on their web site is fairly accurate.
              I also missed the "approximate weights". However a 2 quart pan should NOT vary by seven ounces unless it's not 2.5mm thick as advertised but rather 2mm like some of their other pieces. No doubt they have a disclaimer for that as well.
              As I noted I did see that they do not want returns. I can understand and even appreciate their position in the sense of buyers remorse etc. However I always operate under the premise that I will be dealing with some one reasonable that will do their best to make things right if their is a problem. It appears Mr. Harps version of satisfying his clients doesn't extend beyond sarcasm and excessive restocking fees when an item doesn't live up to expectations. It was clear in Mr. Harps email exchange with me that he was insinuating the pot was used right from the start so he could deny the return and if I do return it I have to eat the freight and pay a 20% re-stocking fee...... that's **IF** he doesn't try to deny a refund altogether and claim the item is used.
              I'll be adding this one to the live and learn file.

              On edit; I've just received an email from Mr. Harp refusing to accept the return of the pot in question even though Falk/Copperpans.com clearly has a 5 day return policy on their web site.
              Buyer Beware indeed!

              1. re: TraderJoe
                l
                laraffinee Jan 31, 2013 05:26 AM

                ...and that is one of the reasons I chose not to buy Falk....but I am not a Mauviel fan either....

                1. re: TraderJoe
                  m
                  mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 05:36 AM

                  Wow, I am really glad that I went with the Mauviel now! Thank you for this review as I am trying to amass (over time of course) a beautiful copper batterie de cuisine and Falk was a contender. Was being the key word there...

                  I agree that Mauviel is wonderful and I have had no problems with their products so far. I did have to exchange a Mauviel stock pot that I ordered from WS as it had obviously been damaged in transport. It wouldn't sit flat and the lid would not fit (large hole in the box led me to believe it had been dropped). WS sent out a new pot immediately and scheduled a UPS pick up for the next day on the damaged one. I received the new stock pot last night and it is gorgeous, hammered and tin lined :) Good luck with this Falk fiasco.

                  1. re: mandymoo
                    TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 06:03 AM

                    Thank you mandymoo. I did update my post above. Mr. Harp has denied my return altogether violating his own return policy. Thank goodness for AMX!

                    People often put down stores like WS and SLT but in a case like this or in a damaged shipment their customer service is a Godsend. I love the Mauviel as well. which stock pot did you get?

                    1. re: TraderJoe
                      m
                      mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 06:29 AM

                      This is the one I got and it is gorgeous! I love the hammered copper and I plan to put it to good use this weekend as we may (or may not) be getting more snow. Winter weather puts me in a soup and baked goods mood :)

                      As an aside, when I called WS to ask about an exchange the custoer service rep said they would send UPS to my home to pick up the damaged pot, at no charge to me of course, and would then send out a replacement. I asked if that meant I'd be charged for the new pot and then get a refund for the damaged one and she said "No ma'am, we will send the new pot out today regardless and you have 30 days to return the damaged pot. We will take care of this for you by sending out UPS whenever is convenient." UPS picked up the package from my front door when I was at work the next day. Now that is customer service! I am sorry that Falk is so lacking in that department but as you said, thank God for credit cards that will back you up on purchases like this one.

                      http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...&

                  2. re: TraderJoe
                    emily Jan 31, 2013 06:08 AM

                    That's a shocking customer service response.

                    I once had an interchange with the small company that sold me a $2K Italian espresso machine that was in the same vein. Nasty email interchanges re a small $20 accessory I ordered that was misrepresented on their website.

                    People can complain about WS all they want, but every time I've ordered something from their website and there has been a problem, it's been immediately rectified with no nastiness by their customer service department (though I have had a bad in-store experience).

                    1. re: TraderJoe
                      j
                      jljohn Jan 31, 2013 06:17 AM

                      " I totally over looked the legal ease else where on the site that states they round up to the nearest half Quart. However I never would have imagined receiving a 2.01 Quart sauce pot in place of one advertised as 2.5 quarts."

                      I hope he didn't actually tell you they round "up." The website actually says: "Falk Copper Cookware pieces use approximate volumes that are generally rounded to the nearest .5 qt." That means that a nominal 2.5 quart pan should actually hold between 2.25 and 2.74 quarts, based solely on their disclaimer.

                      Every pan I've ever purchased, regardless of the mfg, actually held the same or more liquid volume than advertised. If you run a volume calculation on the advertised specs (Diameter of 7" and Height of 3.7") you get a volume of 2.47 quarts, but that only matters if the stated specs are internal and account for the inset of the lid. If those are external specs, then their volumes are not "accurate given how volumes are calculated for pans in the industry," especially if that measurement includes the width at the lip! If the measurements given on the site are simply the exterior of the cylinder, and the bimetal is 2.5mm thick, the calculated internal volume drops to 2.26 quarts If you take out the lid inset volume, you are down to approximately a 2.1 quart internal volume. At best, you are operating with a pan that can be used with 2 quarts of liquid, given their stated specs.

                      Have you decided what to do with it?

                      1. re: jljohn
                        TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 06:31 AM

                        " I hope he didn't actually tell you they round "up." The website actually says: "Falk Copper Cookware pieces use approximate volumes that are generally rounded to the nearest .5 qt."

                        He sure did. Here's Mr. Harps exact words;

                        " As our site states we normally round up to the nearest .5 qt."

                        Right now I've put the entire charge in dispute with American Express. Mr. Harp is refusing to take the item back even though their web site clearly states they have a five day return policy.

                        1. re: TraderJoe
                          kaleokahu Jan 31, 2013 07:03 AM

                          Re: AmEx.... As long as you're not charged, why worry about whether Harp will accept the return?

                          Whatever else it may be, his treatment of you sounds cranky and patronizing.

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 07:05 AM

                            I've already been charged in full. Mr. Harp is refusing to accept the return in violation of his own policy so that's the reason for the charge-back.

                            1. re: TraderJoe
                              emily Jan 31, 2013 07:51 AM

                              Odd return policy, which isn't really much of a policy at all:
                              "If you do want to return an unused item within 5 days of receipt, call us at 888-575-3255 or send us an email and we'll try our best to ensure your complete satisfaction."

                              What does "try our best" mean exactly?

                              The rounding up policy, as others have noted, is utter crap when talking about .5 quarts.

                      2. re: TraderJoe
                        TheCarrieWatson Jan 31, 2013 08:42 AM

                        Wow - now that's a crazy email. I personally think if you pay a premium for a 2.5 qt pot that you have a reasonable, good-faith, expectation to receive one without having to hire an attorney to pore over the legal disclaimers. The tone of that email seemed harsh, adversarial, and a little conflicted to me.

                    2. emily Jan 31, 2013 05:55 AM

                      The Falk handles are exactly why I won't be buying anymore pieces from them. Every time I use the pot and wash it, I need to oil the handle to prevent rusting (even if I finish drying it on the rangetop) because of the reasons you describe - fissures and lack of sealing. If you're using the pot several times a week, that quickly adds up to a major PIA. On the other hand, my Mauviel pot handle has never needed oiling and has never rusted.

                      I do like the look of Falk's brushed copper, though.

                      1. b
                        Bigjim68 Jan 31, 2013 06:42 AM

                        Since Mr. Falk is a member here, I would be interested in his side of the story.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bigjim68
                          TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 06:47 AM

                          I sent him the link. His response was too juvenile to post here. BTW Even if I has dead wrong Mr. Harps web site clearly states they have a five day return policy and he is refusing to accept any return.

                          1. re: TraderJoe
                            m
                            mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 06:49 AM

                            Wow. Can't say much more than that.

                            1. re: TraderJoe
                              r
                              rbraham Nov 14, 2013 09:55 AM

                              Post it.

                          2. k
                            Klunco Jan 31, 2013 06:58 AM

                            I'm sorry to hear about your horrible experience, but thanks for posting this. Besides bad customer service, I'm with you, it's ridiculous to round a half quart up.

                            Although Falk has been on my wish-list for a while and I do like the brushed look, it looks like I'll have to look elsewhere when I choose to upgrade.

                            1. TraderJoe Jan 31, 2013 09:01 AM

                              I just received a phone call from Mr. Harp. There was a bit of confusion in this case as Mr. Harp is in China so there was a time delay in some communications. For what ever reason it appears we both started off by rubbing each others ru-barb the wrong way.
                              After speaking we were able to work things out. It was a bit of a long conversation and while I don't want to disclose any personal info that was confided to me I will say that any one who has gone through something difficult in life can appreciate how challenging it can be to run a business at the same time.
                              I know when my wife had cancer I was not a very pleasant person even though that was not my intention.
                              The most important thing, and I mentioned this up thread is how difficult situations get handled when a problem arrives. Mr. Harp offered two resolutions and I opted to keep the pot after he made a very generous refund offer.
                              Mr. Harp struck me as a fellow copper fan and admitted that at one time he cut a pan in half just to measure it. I haven't gone quite that far down the rabbit hole yet but I am very particular about volumes and measurements.
                              The bottom line here is that we worked it out, exchanged mutual apologies and I'm satisfied with the end result. I want to thank both Mr. Harp and Chow Hounds.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: TraderJoe
                                m
                                mandymoo Jan 31, 2013 09:21 AM

                                Glad it was resolved.

                                1. re: TraderJoe
                                  TheCarrieWatson Jan 31, 2013 09:27 AM

                                  What a relief!

                                  1. re: TraderJoe
                                    sherrib Feb 13, 2013 06:49 AM

                                    China?

                                  2. w
                                    wabi Jan 31, 2013 06:14 PM

                                    It's nice to hear a reasonable solution to a sticky problem. Its nice how a face to face or in this case a voice conversation is so much better than an email or letter exchange. We can then come across as the humans we are, and not the assholes we might look like from our letters.

                                    To play devil's advocate, I wanted copper pans recently and went with the Falk. I am quite happy with it. The rust on the handle post washing it doesnt bother me...its part of the charm. I went with the Falk as I am loathe to want to polish glossy cookware. Different strokes for different folks. Both the Mauviel and the Falk are some of the best cookware in the world. It all depends on your preferences.

                                    1. m
                                      mharpo Feb 12, 2013 11:06 PM

                                      From the managing director and third generation owner of Falk in response to Trader Joe (?)

                                      David,

                                      The INO2516SF saucepan has the following specifications.
                                      Made in 2,5mm thickness (90% copper 10 stainless steel)
                                      Weight: 1,9 kg
                                      Height: 8,8 cm
                                      Diameter top: 19cm
                                      Diameter inside: 18cm (without lip)

                                      Volume: 9cmx9cmx3,14x 8,8 = 2,24 liter

                                      Converted into US quarts this equals to = 2.367qt.

                                      In the terms on copperpans.com it literally says this is an estimation rounded to the nearest 0,5qt.

                                      quote
                                      Falk Copper Cookware pieces use approximate volumes that are generally rounded to the nearest .5 qt.
                                      unquote

                                      There is not written that it is rounded down to the nearest qt, so this pot shouldn't be reflected as a 2qt pot, like you claim.

                                      Therefore, I disagree with your claim and support my US distributor on this matter.

                                      Furthermore, any request for returns are to be addressed to copperpans.com

                                      Sincerely,

                                      Jan Van Achter
                                      Director

                                      Falk Culinair N.V.
                                      Dijkstraat 52
                                      3150 Wespelaar
                                      BELGIUM

                                      Email: info@falkculinair.be
                                      Tel: 0032 16 60 21 69
                                      Fax: 0032 16 60 21 68

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: mharpo
                                        kaleokahu Feb 13, 2013 09:37 AM

                                        Sheesh, just when we thought grace and humanity had shone through! Way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...

                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                          m
                                          mandymoo Feb 13, 2013 09:44 AM

                                          Well said.

                                          1. re: kaleokahu
                                            m
                                            mikie Feb 13, 2013 01:55 PM

                                            If I can quote a song by Kenny Rogers, "ya gotta know when to hold um, know when to fold um, know when to walk away, know when to run . . . " A lesson that was obviously lost on Mr. Van Achter. It was long since time to fold um and walk away. Now all that's left is to run.

                                            Or another of my favorite sayings, "It's better to remain silent and be thought the fool, than the speak and remove all doubt. When the axe is burried, is not the time to start digging. It was done, put a fork in it.

                                            Sheesh, I like that.

                                          2. re: mharpo
                                            j
                                            jljohn Feb 13, 2013 10:06 AM

                                            I love how he (1) rounds up the height and (2) fails to subtract the bottom thickness before his calculations, and then rounds to the nearest 1/2.

                                            There is really no need for a company to be so obtuse. How hard would it be to be specific? For example: "max volume to rim is 2.35 quarts; max volume with lid on is 2.2 quarts; expected usable volume is 2 quarts." When you round your measurements, then round again before calculating, and finally round your calculated volume, shouldn't you expect consumers to get upset? It's a problem on any size pan, but on small saucepans, where such rounding can yield 20% margins of error, it's really unfortunate.

                                            1. re: jljohn
                                              kaleokahu Feb 13, 2013 10:39 AM

                                              Hi, Jeremy:

                                              You know, I don't care so much about the rounding. But if you get the damn pan and it's too big/small, you ought to be allowed to exchange it.

                                              What I don't get is the prickly *attitude*. Especially since there seemed to be an accommodation reached. For the owner and distributor to gratuitously and publicly slap TJ after the fact just seems to be a textbook example of poor PR. To me, this is more infuriating than rounding up/down/all around.

                                              It's Mr. Van Achter's company. If he and Mr. Harp want bad PR for Falk here, they've succeeded. No matter how good Falk is, bad reviews are going to cost them business.

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                b
                                                Bigjim68 Feb 13, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                I agree. To me it is the attitude, not so much the method of measuring the pot. Since I don't measure ingredients in quarts, the liquid measurement does not mean much. More important is the weight of the pot and its dimensions. The weight because anyone with a kitchen scale can get that right, and if I know the dimensions, the thickness of the copper, and hence the quality can be estimated. Rounding up doesn't giving me usable data.

                                                I would guess that a fair percentage of potential high end copper purchasers are represented on this or other similar forums. Probably not the place to piss off customers.

                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                  j
                                                  jljohn Feb 13, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                  Fair enough. To be a little more clear, my perspective is this: If the company wants to have a 'no return' policy, then they need to be very accurate in their descriptions and precise in their manufacturing. In the absence of high accuracy and precision, then, I agree, that the return policy is a problem. The "Prickly attitude" is always a problem.

                                                2. re: jljohn
                                                  k
                                                  khuzdul Mar 2, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                  I agree with your premise that rounding up to the nearest 0.05 quarts would be much better, however the interpretation of the rounding up on his volume calculations is wrong. He is using pi r squared times height (18 cm is the diameter, so 9x9x3.14 for volume of circle, x8.8 for height... No, he did not subtract the width of the metal on the bottom, and his rounding up to the nearest 0.5 qt is egregious as that "rounding" is a small but significant percentage of the final advertised volume.

                                                3. re: mharpo
                                                  TraderJoe Feb 13, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                  Jan Van Achter, Some one much wiser than myself once said "If you don't have any thing good to say then don't say anything at all". So in response to your post well after this matter was completely resolved with Mr. Harp that's exactly what I'm going to say...........................

                                                  Nothing at all.

                                                  1. re: TraderJoe
                                                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 13, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                    This is like watching a car crash in slow motion.

                                                    1. re: TraderJoe
                                                      kaleokahu Feb 13, 2013 03:32 PM

                                                      Hey, TJ:

                                                      They may have been Van Achter's words, but it was Michael Harp (mharpo) who posted them. The only thing left is the attribution: poor judgment or personality disorder?

                                                      This isn't just bad customer service. It's hostile. It's like they have The Fecal Touch.

                                                      Wanna volunteer the deal you were promised?

                                                      Aloha,
                                                      Kaleo

                                                      1. re: kaleokahu
                                                        TraderJoe Feb 13, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                        "They may have been Van Achter's words, but it was Michael Harp (mharpo) who posted them"

                                                        WOW! I didn't realize that at all. Thanks for pointing that out.
                                                        I received a partial refund from Mr. Harp that I thought was very fair and it was received very quickly after being promised.
                                                        I wish Mr. Harp well. Clearly he is in a very dark place. In my younger years I went down a few of those paths myself so I have a bit of empathy but it is wearing thin.

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                                          Jay F Feb 13, 2013 06:17 PM

                                                          "The Fecal Touch"...hahahahahaha

                                                          Trademark that one, K.

                                                          "The Fecal Touch"

                                                    2. Chemicalkinetics Feb 13, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                      What a horror story.

                                                      1. s
                                                        Seitan Feb 24, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                        T.J. Could you possibly elaborate more on the S/S brushed lining of the Falk and how it affects cleaning and cooking?

                                                        Thanks.

                                                        20 Replies
                                                        1. re: Seitan
                                                          f
                                                          FalkUSA Sep 4, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                          Hi, we are here for any questions.

                                                          1. re: FalkUSA
                                                            j
                                                            jljohn Sep 5, 2013 04:23 AM

                                                            May I ask how you are structured in the US now? Is there a single-man distributor, or do you have a person or group of people that work directly for Falk?

                                                            1. re: jljohn
                                                              f
                                                              FalkUSA Sep 5, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                              Hi, we are a company independent from Falk Culinair N.V. and we have exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. We have a very close working relationship with Falk Culinair, however, and have been coordinating with them regarding improvements to customer relations such as our new Return Policy. We expect to be a multi-channel distributor in 2014 and are engaging in preliminary discussions with some retailers right now. However, our focus at the moment is on our direct-to-consumer business.

                                                              1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                kaleokahu Sep 5, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                                Is Mr. Harp affiliated with FalkUSA? Has copperpans.com's sales and distribution relationship with Falk, N.V. been ended?

                                                                Where can we find a statement of your new Return Policy?

                                                                [Edit] Nevermind, I found it. Seems overly restrictive to me:

                                                                "However, all returns of our cookware must be in unused, restockable condition. When you receive our products, you will find a tamper-proof label that must be intact and undamaged. Any returns without the tamper-proof label in place will not be honored."

                                                                Is there an additional written Warranty or Limited Warranty that would allow return of a defective pan that failed in use?

                                                                Thanks,
                                                                Kaleo

                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                  f
                                                                  FalkUSA Sep 5, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                  Hi, all Falk products have a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects. The warranty runs to the original purchaser. We will repair or replace any defective product for its life if it was used under normal conditions (no meth labs, please).

                                                                  Unfortunately we cannot accept a used item as a return. Why is that overly restrictive? We want people to have the opportunity to inspect the quality of our products. If for some reason it doesn't meet your expectations, you can send it back.

                                                                  [Edit] No, we are not affiliated with the prior distributor in any way.

                                                                  1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                    kaleokahu Sep 5, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                    Hi:

                                                                    I consider it overly restrictive insofar as I'd think you'd be confident enough of your product to allow inspection to progress through actual use. We have a concrete example here (the OP) who discovered a discrepancy in the capacity of one of Falk's pans. How is a buyer to know the capacity without unwrapping it and filling it with something, e.g., cooking in it?

                                                                    My point here is that one's "expectations" cannot be judged solely from visual inspection of a tamper-proofed product.

                                                                    But it's Falk's company, therefore their choice of policy. I just wanted to gauge if they'd lightened up any from Mr. Harp's days. Seems not to be the case.

                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                      f
                                                                      FalkUSA Sep 5, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                                      Hi, actually, you could fill the pan with water, measure the water and return the pan to us if you felt there was a discrepancy. That would not affect the label. You could not apply heat to the pan, however. I appreciate your comments though. We are trying our best to be reasonable.

                                                                      Also, you will find our measurements are converted directly from the metric measurements of the manufacturer. We don't round up or down to the nearest half-quart.

                                                                      1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                        kaleokahu Sep 5, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                        Hi, Falk: "We are trying our best to be reasonable."

                                                                        That's really good, thanks. Frankly, as this thread indicates, Falk has developed a reputation for being a little UNreasonable, so please pardon my cynicism. The prior prickly-ness never made any sense to me, given how excellent and expensive your products are.

                                                                        I wish you and Falk N.V. all the best luck.

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                          TraderJoe Nov 11, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                          I'll just do a brief follow up here. A lot of chit-chat has taken place over time about the SS in Falk Vs Mauviel. Here's what I can say for a fact. I have SS line Mauviel pieces that are a solid 15+ years old. No pitting in the SS.
                                                                          The Falk stock pot I have is now roughly ten months old. It is lightly used and well cared for. So far there are two very visible pits right in the bottom of the pot in the SS. The bonding process of Falks satin SS is either defective or they are using inferior SS. By inferior I mean I suspect Falk SS has impurities in the metal which cause the "pops" or pits in the SS on the bottom where it takes the most heat.
                                                                          As far as Falk not rounding off the Measurements I think we've proven that's not accurate.
                                                                          Sorry to see that neither their math or the return policy has improved.

                                                                          1. re: TraderJoe
                                                                            kaleokahu Nov 11, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                            Hi, TJ:

                                                                            Welcome back, it's been awhile.

                                                                            My sense is that whoever really controls Falk (Mr. Van ____?) does it his way and the world be damned. Mr. Harp probably took more heat here on CH than he deserved.

                                                                            Your theory about different SS liner alloys between Falk and Mauviel is completely plausible. I'd still like to hear from someone who knows *what* the alloys are, and can confirm or disprove that Falk Culinaire rolls together a different bimetal for itself than it rolls for Mauviel.

                                                                            Really sorry about your stockpot--for the price, you'd expect them to be bulletproof. I think you can have the SS lining tinned over. That might prolong its working like and be a hedge against delamination.

                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                              f
                                                                              FalkUSA Nov 11, 2013 03:28 PM

                                                                              Hi,

                                                                              Falk Culinair held the original patent to their bimetal technology (which has since expired) however they are not a supplier to Mauviel. I have no other information about Mauviel's bimetal or their suppliers, so I can't provide any further insight into their product.

                                                                              1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                                kaleokahu Nov 12, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                Hi, Falk:

                                                                                Oh, the patent expired? Was that recently? I ask because it's always been taken as Gospel here that Falk Culinaire actually made everyone's bimetal.

                                                                                Was this true prior to the patent expiration? If, not was the processed just licensed out to companies like Mauviel?

                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                  f
                                                                                  FalkUSA Nov 13, 2013 03:31 PM

                                                                                  Hi, The patent expired in 1994. I don't think the rumor of them manufacturing and distributing bimetal has served them well over the years. Falk is a small, family-owned company that takes pride in their cookware designs and hand-finishing, as well as the contributions they've made to the industry regarding the patented technology. I think a lot of that has been lost through misinformation. Its much more in line with the size of a Brooklyn Copper than a Mauviel. Take a look at their manufacturing video sometime if you want to get a better sense of their operation.

                                                                                  Here's the patent if you're interested:

                                                                                  http://www.google.com.mx/patents/US45...

                                                                                  1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                                    kaleokahu Nov 14, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                                                    Hi, Falk:

                                                                                    Thank you very much. The patent explains much. It was never really about the *bonding* or bimetal per se, but rather about reducing grain growth in the copper layer when the SS layer was annealed. This makes deep drawing more reliable and eliminates the "orange peel effect".

                                                                                    Can you shed any light on why all Falk is 2.3/.2 bimetal? That is, why is 2.3mm the maximum foil thickness?

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                      f
                                                                                      FalkUSA Nov 14, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                      Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                      The patent is actually related to the bonding process. I think this is the key paragraph (excuse the translation):

                                                                                      "The invention has thus mainly for object to obviate such various drawbacks and to provide a method which allows to manufacture a bimetal plate whereby a copper layer with an arbitrary thickness is directly secured in a very strong way, on another metal plate which is preferably from chromium-nickel steel."

                                                                                      As for the 2.3/.2 bimetal question, I'm drifting a little out of my lane here. I'm neither the proper person, nor do I have the technical background to argue their position. I'll leave it to the manufacturer to explain their reasoning. If you want to contact them directly, I'm sure they'll be open about it.

                                                                                      1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                                        kaleokahu Nov 15, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                                        Hi, Falk:

                                                                                        Thanks. I read the patent laguage as putting the emphasis on: "...mainly for object to obviate such various drawbacks..." The end being a bimetal sheet that remains soft enough to deep draw dependably,

                                                                                        Where would you suggest I contact Falk with more questions? I speak no Dutch or French.

                                                                                        Finally, do you have any comment on the pitted stockpot being discussed here? Is there a possibility of a return?

                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                                          f
                                                                                          FalkUSA Nov 15, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                          The people at Falk in Belgium speak English and are very responsive if you send them an message through their website.

                                                                                          As for the stockpot, I mentioned before that if he contacts me directly, I'll be happy to help him out if he has a defective pot. I'd rather not handle matters like this over an internet message board, as you can imagine, so I encourage him to reach out to me.

                                                                                          1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                                            kaleokahu Nov 15, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                                                            Hi, Falk:

                                                                                            Thank you so much for the information.

                                                                                            I appreciate your approach to letting TJ resolve the problem with you privately. Hopefully, a happy outcome *can* be announced here to counter what has gone before.

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                            2. re: TraderJoe
                                                                              f
                                                                              FalkUSA Nov 11, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                              Hi, I understand that you may feel your complaint about your purchase was originally handled dismissively. I can’t argue with your position on that. Perception is reality and my company was not involved with Falk at that time. However, if you take a look, you’ll see that our new website does not round up or down to the nearest ½ quart. We are trying to give the most accurate information as possible and will always try to improve our site and our policies based upon customer feedback. FWIW, the change towards more precise measurement conversions are a direct result of your prior complaint.

                                                                              Admittedly, our website does not go into some of the technical information that some of you would like as most customers don’t take things like alloy content into consideration in their purchasing decision (maybe they should). However we will look to provide that type of information on our website in the near future for people who are interested in the more technical nature of the product. I can say that we are not aware of any flaws in the manufacturing process, stainless steel or our bimetal bonding that you’re describing. Our bimetal bonding actually comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime guarantee. I’m not questioning your individual experience, but what you described is not a widespread problem.

                                                                              1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                                TraderJoe Nov 11, 2013 04:04 PM

                                                                                I've no idea if it's a widespread problem. what I do know is I have a $500 stock pot that's less than a year old with two noticeable pits in the bottom. They are odd shaped and resemble "Pops" more than pits. This is an issue that others have brought up here in the past with Falk but IIR the thought process was that this is from salt.
                                                                                In either event it's disconcerting at best. I'm glad to hear Falk is working on their site.
                                                                                @ Kaleo, it's good to see you are still here. My Mazzetti is getting much love. I'm off to London in the spring and hope to search some shops for old copper while there. In regards to the alloy I'm right there with you. I see this a lot like knives. There's VG10...and then there's Hitachi G3. Both SS but with very different properties. I'm just baffled by the pitting. Maybe some day we'll get ......The rest of the story. Until then if we don't speak again I hope you and yours and every one else at CH has a Happy Turkey day. Believe it or not it's snowing here in SE Mi....YIKES!

                                                          2. r
                                                            rbraham Nov 14, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                            Jesus.

                                                            I just checked in here, late to the thread.

                                                            What a devastating review, as to the product, of course, but _ far_ more seriously, to the company.

                                                            FalkUSA, saying "perception is reality" is hogwash on a par with the politician's "mistakes were made" and "if anyone was offended...." The phrase implies that some other "reality" exists, distinct from the happenstance, nonce "perception" that may differ from person to person or time to time.

                                                            The original, first (!) reply was obnoxious, sarcastic, dismissive, aggressive, and challenging as if begging for a reply only so that the Falk rep could let loose another one. Never, ever, in my life have I seen someone who does not belong in his job, and who, judging by his "perception" of his daily employment, may have borderline personality disorder. Yes, counseling, etc.

                                                            He should be fired, and would be, at any other company, or at least suspended pending assessment. Considering the absurd follow-ups of various masters and minions of the company revealed in this thread, I have no hesitation, and think it correct, to trumpet the intrinsic miserable nature of Falk, using as many chances as I can.

                                                            This is one for the general-purpose, can you top this of business stories, not just cookware or cooking. I'm of a mind to look up the many copper threads in Chowhound, among other boards, simply to cite this thread.

                                                            Call me gobsmacked, and I'm American and don't know the lingo.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: rbraham
                                                              kaleokahu Nov 14, 2013 10:39 AM

                                                              Hi, Rob:

                                                              I think he *was* fired. Let's give the new distributor a chance, hmm?

                                                              Aloha,
                                                              Kaleo

                                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                b
                                                                Bigjim68 Nov 14, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                For me, it is too little, too late. If Falk wants to make right the problems with TJ's pot, to insure that steps have been taken to avoid problems in the future, to institute a satisfaction guarntee, and to ensure correct measurements on products going forward, then I may reconsider.

                                                                1. re: Bigjim68
                                                                  f
                                                                  FalkUSA Nov 14, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                  Hi, we have addressed the measurement issue on our new website and I offered to help him if he feels he has a warranty claim with regard to the stock pot. As I read through the thread, it looks like the prior distributor made him an offer which he declined regarding the saucepan. Our company wasn't involved at that point, so I have no more information about this issue than what I've read here.

                                                                  1. re: FalkUSA
                                                                    TraderJoe Nov 29, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                    "As I read through the thread, it looks like the prior distributor made him an offer which he declined regarding the saucepan"
                                                                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                    Some time has passed since those events and I have not gone back and re-read every post. However I do believe I posted that Mr. Harp put forth an offer on the Saucepan that was accepted.
                                                                    I no longer own that piece.
                                                                    I 've only just read the offer on the stock pot. In all fairness at this point I'm a bit on the fence about calling the pot "Defective" with two "pops" or "pits".
                                                                    Disappointing-Yes.
                                                                    Disconcerting-Yes
                                                                    If this is a problem that persists to the point that several pits develop then I would contact Falk.
                                                                    Again that pot has seen very light use and there's zero chance those are salt pits.

                                                                2. re: kaleokahu
                                                                  b
                                                                  Bigjim68 Nov 14, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                  Another quick point. Falk compares his company to Brooklyn. They have been out of business for about a year.

                                                                  1. re: Bigjim68
                                                                    kaleokahu Nov 14, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                    Hi, Bigjim:

                                                                    I was as startled as anyone to hear a comparison drawn between Falk and Brooklyn Copper Cookware. I think it was drawn only to convey that they are both small companies.

                                                                    Last I heard, BCC's shutdown is not forever. Mac Kohler is an indomitable force, and I expect him and/or BCC to be back.

                                                                    Soothing feathers ruffled by poor CS is always daunting. I take it as a good sign that the "new" Falk has acknowledged as much in this thread and taken a more contrite approach. Hopefully, they can get past the damage that has been done, because the Falk *wares* are quite good.

                                                                    The issue of bimetal linings pitting is not a new one, or even one unique to Falk. It's an issue I try to raise with folks who are led to think SS linings are perfect or a panacea. In truth, you need to be careful with salting foods, and I would not DW these pans. The makers should, IMO, make a bigger deal of disclosing this issue up front.

                                                                    There are only a few sites where this stuff gets talked about much (e.g., here, eGullet, GardenWeb), so if I were a maker, I'd take great pains to make things right, and get some *positive* news out there.

                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                    Only TJ can speak to his treatment of his stocker, but I accept on face value that he was careful and his pot was only lightly used. It may well have been a defect, and to just tell a customer who sunk $500 into a defective pot "Sorry" isn't a good marketing move.

                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                                                      r
                                                                      rbraham Nov 15, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                      When last I spoke to Mac, quite recently, he was full of stories about scouring the countryside of Ohio for metallurgists and machine designers--rich pickings, apparently, because of the huge sub-contracting industry for Detroit, when Detroit was Detroit. He's hired some old-timers who still have the skillz, and the engineer is building the shop from ground up to his and Mac's specs.

                                                                      His plan is to keep a sales/showroom office in NYC. (Hey, Brooklyn, right?) I never asked him, frankly, if he is open for business _right now_; my guess is he still is. I'll drop him a line.

                                                                      Rob

                                                                      1. re: rbraham
                                                                        kaleokahu Nov 15, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                        Hi, Rob:

                                                                        Great news! I can't picture Mac as anything besides Eastern Seaboard, but whatever it takes...

                                                                        Keep us posted with any more news, OK?

                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                        Kaleo

                                                              2. s
                                                                SomersetDee Nov 15, 2013 08:08 AM

                                                                Hi Joe
                                                                Great review.

                                                                For rbraham below I can understand what you mean.

                                                                I find spots of discolouration inside my Flak pans :(

                                                                On the whole they appear to get less attractive as time goes by. The brushing on the copper is too intense. It takes a good couple of years for the outside copper surface to "age well". But the inside bothers me because they have provided no information and the insides have spots and blemishes that appears to have gone deep into the metal (hence not removable with scrubbing)

                                                                I also do not like that they are not as high with saucepans. Ideal dimension for saucepan should be the radius as the height of the pan. So a 20cm saucepan should have a height of 10cm. This ratio tends to make a saucepan look "beautiful" to us. Manufacturers who go against such natural ratios end up making their saucepan look less attractive. This also affects capacity to a small extent, and you end up having to use bigger pans.

                                                                Straight edged Mauviel has a rather 'functional' appearance, but over time it appears to look better with age!

                                                                hope this helps.
                                                                kind regards
                                                                Dee

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                  b
                                                                  Bigjim68 Nov 15, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                                  I don't understand the pits and discoloration on the interior of Falk. I have something around a dozen SS lined copper pots, all at least 15 years old, and all get used. None have any interior blemishes. Why would Falk have this prolem?

                                                                  1. re: Bigjim68
                                                                    s
                                                                    SomersetDee Nov 15, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                    Hi Bigjim,

                                                                    Yes that intrigues me as well. I am extremely delighted with the Falk Culinair people and their exemplar service. They were very polite and always available if you need to speak to them. Ask for Neil if you contact Falk in UK. I can gladly say that atleast in the UK I am happy to recommend them. The story appears to be different in the other side of the pond. Over here they are happy to replace if the customer is not satisfied. I wrote a glowing review that is on their website and I meant what I said there in that review. I think it is very important that Falk change the inner steel lining to a less reactive 18/10 and then make it brushed to keep with their style. For now I am certain it is not 18/10. 18/10 is used in kitchens for a reason.

                                                                    1. re: SomersetDee
                                                                      f
                                                                      FalkUSA Nov 15, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                      Hi, just to clear up the stainless steel speculation, Falk uses 200 micron austenitic 18/8 stainless steel. This is a non-reactive stainless steel that is widely used in the cooking industry. As you probably know, the 18 refers to the percentage of chromium in the alloy, which gives SS its non-reactive nature. The 8 refers to the nickel content. There is no noticeable difference in reactivity between the two grades, however the presence of some nickel in SS is important. 18/0 would be a problem. Both 18/8 and 18/10 are considered Type 304 stainless steels and are both considered non-reactive grade. The reason that Falk doesn’t use 18/10 is because of the additional rigidity of that product. At only 200 microns thickness, with 18/10 there’s a slight risk of micro-tears, cracking or other damage to the SS during the production process that could go undetectable at the factory. They don’t have that concern with 18/8.

                                                                      For anyone who wants to read a brief “Intro to Stainless Steel “ here’s a link to a short paper by the British Stainless Steel Association ( click on "see the article here") that describes the corrosion resistance of SS well. http://worldstainless.org/news/show/39 On the chart on page 2, our SS is classified as ESN 1.4301, the highest of the austenitic SS.

                                                                      I’m sorry you had a difficult problem with Falk in the past, as the new distributor if you need anything from us please feel free to contact us.

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