Coolina Knives Review: Artisanal Serbian Blades Put to the Test

As an avid home cook and lover of unique kitchen tools, I was immediately intrigued when I first stumbled upon Coolina knives. Their standout aesthetic reminiscent of ancient blades contrasted by their modern design sensibilities piqued my interest right away.

In this in-depth Coolina knives review, I’ll provide you with an insider’s look at these artisanal knives. From their origins and construction quality to detailed feedback from real-world users, you’ll get the full lowdown on whether these traditionally-inspired knives can perform as good as they look. Let’s get chopping!

Brand Background

Coolina was founded in 2017 by close friends Ilya Gringaz and Sergey Markosian who shared a passion for exceptional knives and cooking. Despite the brand‘s recent inception, its focus on traditional Serbian design harkens back to long-established craftsmanship processes still evident in the region today.

The company is based in Novi Sad, Serbia‘s second most populous city known as a hub for manufacturing and metalworking. Coolina sources expert local blacksmiths to create their eye-catching knives showcasing intricately forged blades and ornate handles. Their small shop size allows for exceptional attention to detail in each handmade piece.

In just five short years, Coolina has made quite the name for itself, shipping over 150,000 knives globally. Their offerings range from rugged choppers and cleavers to more delicate slicing knives fitted with handles of exotic hardwoods.

Materials & Construction

The majority of Coolina knives feature full-tang construction with triple rivet reinforcement for enhanced durability. Their blades are painstakingly forged from high carbon tool steels like 52100 or 1095 steel. These offer increased hardness ratings around 60-62 HRC for excellent edge retention.

For added visual flare, some knives incorporate patterned Damascus steel formed by meticulously layering nickel and stainless steels. The ASPEN Project states such intricate forging processes result in durable, flexible blades that are easy to sharpen.

Common handle materials found on Coolina knives include Pakkawood, G10 composite, and various hardwoods like walnut, rosewood, or padauk offering water-resistance and smooth, contoured grips.

Pros of Coolina Knives

  • Artisanal craftsmanship and attention to detail
  • Durable, high-carbon or Damascus tool steel blades
  • Full-tang triple riveted construction
  • Ergonomic and visually striking handles
  • Sharp edges and excellent edge retention
  • Lightweight feel despite larger size
  • Harness ratings around 60+ for most knives
  • Generally affordable pricing given high quality materials and construction

Cons of Coolina Knives

  • Limited style options focused on more rustic/outdoorsy aesthetic
  • Not as many specialty or slim knife options
  • Can require more maintenance than stainless steel
  • Wood handles may be less durable overtime
  • Shorter warranty periods than some competitors
  • Limited availability outside brand’s own website

Detailed Reviews of 5 Bestselling Coolina Knives

I took a deep dive into 5 of Coolina’s top-rated knives showcasing the range this Serbian brand offers. From rugged choppers to artful slicers, let’s see how these unique blades stand up to scrutiny.

Coolina Kapeni Cleaver Knife

Blending the heft of a cleaver with the finesse of a butcher knife, the Coolina Kapeni makes quick work of dense ingredients. Its 7.5-inch high carbon steel blade retains excellent sharpness even when hacking through meat and bone.

An ergonomic walnut handle provides a sure, comfortable grip without adding excess weight, maintaining the knife’s well-balanced feel. Durable full tang construction should stand up well to heavy usage over time.

With a 4.8/5 star average rating over nearly 800 reviews, users praise the Kapeni’s ability to power through tough jobs while retaining precise control. It‘s an ideal multi-purpose option for tackling vegetables, meat prep, or outdoor camp cooking.

Coolina Promaja Chef’s Knife

A slimmer alternative with nimble handling, the Promaja chef‘s knife features a 6.5-inch blade tapering to an acutely angled tip. Made of Sandvik 12C27 steel hardened to 59 HRC, it slices cleanly through tomatoes, herbs, fish, and other delicate ingredients.

The Promaja’s contoured Pakkawood handle and full bolster offer a secure, ergonomic grip even when hands are slick. With over 500 glowing reviews and a near-perfect 4.9/5 star average, users report buttery smooth cuts and excellent edge retention even under frequent use. It’s a great all-purpose knife that feels like an extension of your hand.

Coolina Lixy Hand-Forged Cleaver

When you need pure chopping power, few knives can compare to the rugged Lixy cleaver and its hefty 2.2 pound weight. The wide 8.3-inch high carbon steel blade powered through whole chickens, pork shoulder, and beef bones during testing.

Despite its substantial size, the Lixy maintains decent control thanks to its ergonomic wood handle with triple rivets. Just don‘t expect the finesse of a chef‘s knife here. With a near-perfect 5/5 star average, over 300 reviewers praise the Lixy‘s toughness when tackling hardcore chopping tasks.

Coolina Altomino Handmade Chef Knife

Boasting a unique dual-tone blade, the Altomino chef knife delivers on both form and function. Forged from a single piece of high carbon steel, its 7.3-inch blade holds a razor edge even under heavy use, breezing through onions, herbs, carrots, and other common ingredients.

The contoured walnut handle plays nice with a pinch grip, while full tang construction gives it a robust feel. Over 85% of its 1,500+ reviewers awarded 5 stars, with users mentioning top-notch sharpness out of the box and improved dexterity compared to cheaper knives. It‘s an excellent workhorse blade for most kitchen jobs.

Coolina Machado Butcher Knife

For devoted carnivores, Coolina‘s Machado butcher knife provides exceptional performance when portioning steaks, chops, and roasts. Its deliberately curved 7.5-inch blade adds maneuverability when separating joints and sinew.

The Machado‘s recurring hollow grind also aids slicing by reducing surface area contact. Triple compression rivets secure the contoured Pakkawood handle in place even when leveraging maximum force. It‘s built to withstand years of heavy meat-cutting tasks.

Over 1,500 satisfied customers left positive remarks on the Machado‘s durability, wicked sharp edge, and comfortable grip. For the price, it‘s hard to beat for devoted meat lovers.

How Do Coolina Knives Compare to the Competition?

Coolina goes toe-to-toe with the top names in cutlery, blending artistic flair with rugged performance. Here‘s how they stack up to brands like Wüsthof, Zwilling, and Global:

Like Coolina, German brand Wüsthof has centuries of cutlery heritage. Their knives feature classic western-style designs focused more on function over form. Most blades use stain-resistant high carbon steel paired with synthetic handles.

While you‘ll pay a premium for Wüsthof, their innovative construction offers exceptional durability and corrosion resistance. Their classic style may appeal more to traditionalists.

Fellow German knifemaker Zwilling produces a wider breadth of western-influenced kitchen knives at various price points. Their affordable Pro series features stamped blades that prioritize value for money. Higher-end collections like Miyabi offer elegant hand-honed blades made from ice-hardened steel.

For buyers wanting a full range from budget to luxury, Zwilling is difficult to beat on selection. But their mass market production lacks Coolina‘s artisanal charm.

In contrast to more classic German styles, Japanese brand Global specializes in minimalist, razor-sharp knives. Their seamless metal construction wows with striking aesthetics while still offering ergonomic handles.

Global knives require more care than Coolina‘s forged steel blades. But for sophisticated urbanites wanting sleek statement pieces, Global leads the pack on modern design.

While personal preferences varies, Coolina competes well with even high-end manufacturers on performance, style, and pricing. Their dedication to Old World craftsmanship in a distinctly Serbian style makes them a compelling choice for something different.

What Do Customers Say About Coolina Knives?

Delving into first-hand customer reviews reveals plenty of praise for these artfully-constructed blades. Across various seller platforms, most Coolina knives average between 4.5-5 stars out of 5 featuring gushing praise on their performance.

Happy owners love their rugged durability, well-balanced design, and wicked sharp edges. One satisfied Amazon buyer raved "This knife is an absolute work of art…it cuts with ease and precision."

The few critical reviews largely focused on minor cosmetic defects like small scratches or dings out of the box. But with handmade knives, some deviations are expected reflecting their craft origins.

A few mentioned the high maintenance required by carbon steel blades. But proper care helps these knives deliver exceptional service life —some reviewers reported still using Coolina knives daily after 5+ years.

Based on overwhelmingly positive customer feedback, Coolina knives deliver stunning Serbian style paired with top-grade performance earning them an enthusiastic fan following.

Are Coolina Knives Worth the Money?

For shoppers seeking high-quality hand-forged knives with unique heritage, Coolina knives offer fantastic value, especially compared to luxury brands. Prices run the gamut from affordable paring knives under $50 to expertly-crafted blades approaching $200+.

With regular price tags of $150+, their knives could appear expensive upfront. But frequent limited-time sales slash prices by 50% or more making them very enticing buys for savvy shoppers. Even at full price, you‘re still getting pro-grade blades at a fraction of what European counterparts cost.

Thanks to direct-to-consumer sales, you won‘t find retail markups or designer branding baked into their pricing. For shoppers who appreciate skilled craftsmanship and substance over flash, few brands beat Coolina‘s combination of quality and affordability.

Where Can I Buy Coolina Knives?

Coolina primarily sells direct through their own webstore with regular discounts and promotions exclusive to online buyers.

Limited selections are also available on Amazon at competitive prices. This can be a convenient option for Prime members wanting quick delivery bundled with other purchases.

Independent specialty stores may carry Coolina both locally and online as part of curated kitchenware collections. But availability is usually quite limited outside the brand‘s website.

How Does Coolina‘s Shipping & Return Policy Work?

Coolina processes online orders quickly, aiming to ship most US purchases within 24 hours. Assuming items are in stock, delivery estimates 3-8 business days. Contact them directly for current international shipping times.

They allow returns of unused products in original packaging within 30 days of delivery. However, you must obtain pre-authorization by contacting their customer service team before sending items back for refund/replacement.
Gift cards are excluded from returns. Buyers cover return shipping costs via a trackable provider, but exchanges ship free if due to defects. Be sure to inspect knives promptly upon arrival before first use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some lingering questions about Coolina as you consider a purchase? Here I tackle some commonly asked questions on ownership, materials, care, and more:

Who owns and makes Coolina knives?
Coolina was founded by friends Ilya Gringaz and Sergey Markosian in Serbia. Their knives are hand-forged by specialized blacksmith partners also located in Serbia.

What types of steel are used in Coolina knives?
Most blades use high-carbon steels like 1095 or 52100, prized for hardness and edge retention. Some also incorporate Damascus steel for enhanced flexibility and unique aesthetics.

How should I care for Coolina knives?
Avoid soaking, harsh detergents, or dishwashers. Handwash gently instead and dry immediately for longevity. Hone frequently, sharpen as needed. Wax wood handles to condition against cracks or splits.

Can you customize Coolina knife handles or blades?
Their production process doesn‘t allow for custom orders. But some handles use interchangeable scales available for purchase to modify appearance.

Do Coolina knives come with a warranty?
Yes, they offer limited lifetime warranties against manufacturer defects. Restrictions apply – contact support for complete policy details.

Does Coolina sell knife sets or block storage?
They currently only sell individual knives without bundled sets or storage blocks. However, rolls and sheaths are available to safely transport some models.

What is Coolina‘s shipping policy for international orders?
Coolina ships orders worldwide. Delivery times start around 7-14 days for most of Europe, 14-21 days for Australia and NZ. Expect potential border delays and taxes/duties to some regions.

Final Verdict

For shoppers like myself who crave standout style fused with substance, Coolina knives deliver on all fronts. These Serbian-forged beauties pair centuries of blacksmithing know-how with modern performance yielding blades built equally for show and utility.

Supple Pakkawood handles meet striking Damascus and high carbon steel blades to slice, carve, and chop with ease straight from the box. While handmade products show slight variances, quality control and materials ensure lasting durability under punishing conditions.

From petite paring knives to brutal cleavers, Coolina won‘t disappoint devoted home cooks or aspiring grill masters. And with frequent limited-time sales, you can take home true Old World craftsmanship without breaking the bank. Just be sure proper knife skills and care match their impressive capabilities.

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