7-zip’s reputation in the file archive genre speaks for itself. The open-source tool wins over various paid file compression utilities including WinRAR and WinZip. While the number of features it offers might not be on par with its paid counterparts, this is actually an advantage for most users who don’t require those advanced features. Though 7-zip isn’t the only free file archiving utility out there; Recently when we reviewed KuaiZip for Windows, we were impressed by its compression algorithm, and even added it to our top Windows applications of 2012 list. Today, we’re bringing you another promising file archiving tool called CoffeeZip. Even though it’s not the most feature-rich app from its genre, its extensive format support – especially for file extraction – seems great. It allows you to compress and extract ZIP, WIM, TAR and 7z files. In addition, you can extract (but not compress) ARJ, ALZ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, EGG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z files.
The tool has a pretty barebones design and the minimalistic interface makes it usable for even most casual users for their file archiving and extraction needs. The main window houses three buttons at the top named New, Open and Extract for archive creation, opening and extraction respectively.
Unfortunately, the file compression ratio of CoffeeZip is not the very best and falls short in comparison with KuaiZip. On the other hand, the performance remains on par with 7-Zip and WinRAR. To compress a new file or folder, you can click New within the application window and then add your desired items via clicking Add Files. Having done that, select the archive format, compression level (Store, Fastest, Fast, Normal, Maximum, Ultra) and optionally choose if you want to split the output file into multiple volumes by specifying the file size. To add an extra layer of protection, the tool lets you add an archive password as well.
The application’s Preferences window contains a few generic settings under Association, Explorer Menu, Extract and Language panes, which are pretty much self explanatory. For instance you can specify the files formats to be assicuated with CoffeeZip under the Association pane, and the Explorer Menu lets you specify the options related to the right-click context menu.
In a nutshell, CoffeeZip is a decent file archiving tool that stays on par with 7-Zip when it comes to compressing the files. If you are looking for a more powerful file compressor, give KuaiZip a try instead. CoffeeZip works on both 32-bit & 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.