If you are like me, you first found out about the Coolina knives from some Facebook ads (or other ads) that didn’t seem to be going anywhere till you looked at them.
These knives sure look good – and that contributes to the hold that they might have had on you from the first time that you saw them – whether online or in person.
Looking through reviews and other user opinions might confuse you as to whether they are worth your money or not, though.
So, today, I have put up a Coolina knife review to go through all the models, seeing how they compare and whether or not they are worth putting your money on.
What are Coolina Knives?
Coolina knives are a new range of Serbian chef knives with a wide range of unconventional shapes and designs that promises to improve their efficacy. The knives are known for being on the bigger and heavier side to most knives in their category, boosting their functionality.
Likewise, the weight part might be to show that the knives are neither flimsy nor made from substandard materials. What with most buyers associating a lightweight unit to cheap materials and quality sometimes, that line of thought would make sense from the manufacturer’s perspective.
Where are Coolina Knives Made?
There are several reasons why you would ask this.
For one, these knives are advertised as “Serbian,” which might lead the average buyer to think that they are made in Serbia. At the same time, the company has its main office in Israel, but that is not where the knives are made either.
Seeing as they target the US audience with a lot of their marketing, you would expect that they also have a manufacturing arm in the US, but they do not.
The Coolina Serbian chef knives are made in China and imported into the US for sale. This manufacturing decision will help the company to shave production costs off the knives such that they can offer the same products to the desired US market without a high price markup.
Likewise, the company maintains that these knives are designed in Europe, ensuring that they keep to what the western market wants and needs – only choosing to shave off the manufacturing costs without a loss in quality.
Products in the Line-up
Coolina knives come with a distinct set of product line-up, boasting knives that are best suited to different operations.
There are five (5) main knives in the Coolina series and they are discussed below:
The Promaja knife from Coolina is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, in the series.
The Promaja knife resembles a meat cleaver in its form and shape but it is a Serbian chef knife. With that comparison, you know that the knife is surely big and on the heavier side when compared to other knives in your kitchen.
Coolina maintains that this knife was voted the best chef knife in 2018 but I could not find who bestowed that accolade on them. For them to have proudly displayed that information on their website, though, it should mean that the honor was awarded by a reputable listing firm.
Or, it could be yet another marketing gimmick.
No matter which it is, the Promaja Serbian chef knife is a well-built, handmade knife that displays quality craftsmanship on the handle and blade.
First things first, the shape of the LIXY is something that catches your attention.
Not your fancy, just attention.
This knife is one of those plain old meat cleavers with a twist to it. Using high-duty steel makes it applicable for heavy chopping and cutting operations, among other things.
I am a fan of the handle shape and how it slopes into the main blade metal. The ergonomic appeal of that design makes this knife worth it in a way. The small bridge between the knife handle and the metal where the back of your fingers will rest against also shows some good knife safety from Coolina.
If you have ever wanted to perfect the rocking motion on a cutting knife, the Altomino makes that easier.
Coolina designed this knife with a curved handle and blade that goes into every cutting operation with the right motion by itself. For me, that contributes to helping users achieve proper knife usage, get safer cuts, and make the cooking process smoother.
Like the others on this list, I would recommend that this knife be taken outdoors (on hikes, camping, etc). Unlike the others, though, don’t make this a wood-hacking knife.
Looking through the Coolina line-up, this one does look a lot like the Suratu but with some extra bells and whistles. I might just do a comparison between both knives one of these days.
Moving on, the Coolina Altomino knife is the most balanced knife of the two above. It does seem that the company listened to the reviews that it got on the first two models before they launched this one to the market.
The design element remains fairly the same – a large blade knife with high carbon steel build designed to handle everyday cutting tasks. While you might not break it out as much due to the maintenance, it is a nice knife to have for indoor and outdoor usage.
This Chinese knife looks like what you would get on the Promaja if it were longer than it was wide.
That way, Coolina can appeal to another target market that wants more from their knife.
The shape and design of the Coolina Daozi make it even better balanced while staying capable of handling larger bodies of meat at once. That does not mean the knife is only suited to meat – seeing as you can use it on veggies and even hack small wood with it.
Should you Buy the Coolina Knives?
The line-up of knives is impressive and they do look good too, but are they worth your money?
I have discussed the Coolina knives under various headings that will inform your buying decision better below.
These knives seem to be very well made with blades fabricated from high carbon stainless steel.
The knife handle can be of a series of materials but Coolina prefers wooden handles on their units.
Now, choosing high carbon stainless steel is great and dicey for many reasons.
On the good side of things, this material retains its edge better and makes for a longer-lasting knife. It is, however, not as resistant to corrosion as the standard stainless steel. That means you would need to take extra care of the knife to ensure it lasts long.
Every knife in the Coolina line-up is hand forged, so you cannot expect the same level of attention to detail as machine-manufactured/ stamped knives.
Still, I believe that the company could have paid better attention to detail on some parts of the knife blade and handle.
Some units of the Promaja and LIXY have been known to come out of the box with slightly splitting handles. Even though the handles are fastened to the tang, those small gaps will allow water in, causing the tang to rust fast after which the handle starts coming off too.
I’m also concerned about some blade irregularities on the knife line-up. I would expect a smoother blade finish, not one that had irregular elevations and depressions across the frame.
Again, this could easily be traced back to the fact that the knives were hand-forged. For a company of this repute, though, they should have a better quality control process.
Looking elsewhere, the knives are well built – and they could be better if the issues above are fixed.
I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again:
High carbon stainless steel knives have better edge retention than average stainless steel knives.
Coming down to Coolina knives, the edge retention is above average. It is not the best that you would get in the market, but it is decent for this price point. I have seen reviews from other users who have had their knives for more than six months and it doesn’t have any issues cutting yet.
You should also know that the knives are very sharp out of the box. Check out the short video below to find out how sharp they are for yourself:
Now, while you won’t have to sharpen high carbon steel knives as much, the rate at which you use them can cause the blade to dull at varying speeds. If unsure, you can test out your knife sharpness with any of the methods suggested here.
While sharpening should be limited to a few times per year, honing the knife will help you get the most out of it between each sharpening session. You will also benefit greatly from learning how to strop your knives by yourself.
PS When the knives do get dull, 1095 carbon steel is easier to sharpen. Look through this whetstone sharpening guide to get that done correctly.
These knives are highly versatile, and that is saying a lot.
At the price point that they come at, most users would not mind if they were only able to handle a dedicated task with the knife and nothing more. Save for the Altomino which is better suited to cutting meat, you can slice through meat, vegetables, fruits, and other food items with any of the other blades.
I also mention that the knives are great for both indoor and outdoor usage. That puts a bigger boost on their applications and functionality. If you are not a big fan of lugging too many knives around with you on trips, pack any of the Promaja, LIXY, or Daozi and you are good to go.
The best part is that it would come with a sheath for better storage. Speaking of sheaths…
I have let this cat out of the bag already, but the sheath is a nice addition.
At first, it seems that the knife will cut through these leather sheaths in no time. If you replace the knife right every time you want to return them into the sheath, though, you won’t have to worry about that.
Alternatively, adopt any of these knife storage tips which work when you’re home or traveling with the knife.
Furthermore, having a full tang on such relatively heavy knives make all the difference in better handling. Otherwise, you might risk cutting yourself or handling the knife improperly, which could lead to some accidents.
What I love most about the Coolina Knives
The fact that Coolina took us back to the way knives were supposed to be – or how they used to be – stands out for me.
Hand-forged knives combined with original high carbon stainless steel are a premium throwback for me. This is also one of the reasons why this would be a great gift for men, especially those who love the outdoors and do some cooking too.
Besides that, the rustic feel and appeal of the knife also make it original. This could as well be a con of the knife (I discuss that below), but it does give you something different to look at.
These full-tang knives are equally enjoyable to cut with. That’s what you get from a nicely balanced, sharp blade that gets the job done as promised.
Given the price point that they come at for all on offer, it is a great choice for those who want to go for it.
What I don’t like about the Coolina Knives
For all the good that they do, Coolina should get its quality control team to work harder. This means no more gaps on the handle-tang aspect, a more uniform finish on the blade body, and a better edge definition.
If you are not used to high-maintenance knives, you might want to stay away from this one.
Being a high carbon steel blade means that you have to wash the knife as soon as you are done using it, and dry it as soon as you are done washing too. Besides other general knife maintenance practices, that is.
You will also need to oil the knife from time to time to prevent rust. When rust starts showing on the knife, follow this guide to get rid of those rust stains ASAP.
Finally, you probably already know this but the Coolina knives have too much hype around them. I don’t like that because such overhype means users expect too much from the knife. Thus, even if it performs normally, you are left feeling like you could have gotten more from them.
I understand that it is all good marketing to make more sales but it is probably time that Coolina lays off the hype and focuses on the issues they need to address.
Overall, I don’t have any problems with going for this knife if you want to.
It is not perfect, far from it, but there is rarely a perfect product out there. The knives are also sold at great prices for the unique experiences they bring to your kitchen, cooking experiences, and possible outdoor applications.
Be prepared to take good care of these knives, but beyond that, they’ll be a joy to own.
If you have ever owned one of these knives – or are about to get one – let me know your thoughts in the comments below.