Cheese graters are not must-have kitchen appliances, but nothing beats that feeling you get when you know you don’t have to endure the pain of accidentally shredding your knuckles instead of the cheese. With a quality cheese grater, you also won’t end up with a big mess or grated cheese spilling everywhere, like you usually do when using a food processor or a vegetable peeler as an alternative. Whether the task at hand is shredding cheese, slicing cucumbers, or grating ginger, your cheese grater is likely to accomplish it all. It’s even versatile enough to serve as a garlic press, allowing you to mince peeled garlic cloves quickly and easily.
For those who love making pizzas, salads, pasta, or any other dishes with perfect shavings of your favorite cheese, vegetables, and fruits, here’s our list of the best cheese graters on the market that are sure to support your creativity in the kitchen.
How to Buy the Best Cheese Grater
When it comes to finding the best cheese grater, one of the most important decisions is choosing between an electric or handheld cheese grater. While both of them are designed to let you shred a block of cheese with minimum effort, each will affect the result differently. There are also other features you should take into consideration, such as durability, stability, and functionality.
Read on for all the information you need on the best cheese graters to buy, so you can decide which is the right one for you.
Types of Cheese Graters
As mentioned above, there are typically two types of cheese graters: electric and handheld. Whatever type you choose, keep in mind the edges of a grater will wear down with use. Once you notice this, it’s advised to replace your current grater with a new one instead of trying to sharpen it like you would with a dull knife.
Electric Cheese Graters
Shredding cheese using an electric cheese grater starts with adding your cheese block into the filling “mouth.” From there, the machine, powered by a strong motor, will turn the food into shredded pieces with its sharp grater. The biggest advantage of motorized cheese graters over handheld ones is they are fully automatic, so they work faster and do not require much physical effort.
In general, electric cheese graters are bulkier than their handheld counterparts. The largest we’ve seen is the KitchenAid KSM152PSNK mixer, which weighs about 32 pounds and is more than 20 inches tall with the cheese grater attachment. With these dimensions, you may need to store it on an open island, as there is no way it can fit in your upper cabinet.
So, if you usually shred large batches of food or find yourself needing a lot of grated cheese throughout the week, we recommend you go with an electric model. But, if your storage space is at a premium with too many kitchen tools already being displayed, then a handheld cheese grater would be your best option. Not only does this tool take up less storage space since it’s shorter and more compact, but it also can be stored anywhere; from a drawer to the side of a cabinet, you can easily grab it whenever you want.
Before you dismiss electric cheese graters as bulky, however, consider that some smaller models are still handy in tiny living quarters like dorm rooms, camping trips, or constricted kitchens. Varying between 11 and 15 inches, they’re often compact enough to sit neatly on any countertop or to carry on any trip or to an outside party.
Handheld Cheese Graters
Compared to electric versions, handheld cheese graters are cheaper, but do require more effort on your part. They are typically categorized according to their style and design, with the box, rotary, flat, and rasp graters being the four most popular. Except for rotary models, all types of handheld cheese graters could scrape your knuckles, especially when you’re struggling to grate a small piece of food.
- Box graters: Made from stainless steel, box cheese graters consist of a handle on top and a rectangular body with several grating slots on its surfaces. They are the most common type, and for good reason: they have multiple grating surfaces (usually four), each of which features a specific set of grating slots with a different size and shape. This allows you to prepare an array of foods at once, without a delay for cleaning between uses.
- Rotary graters: Rotary graters are roughly the same size as electric graters. They’re designed with a plastic housing, multiple stainless steel grater blades, and a detachable handle on the side. Having extra parts means you’ll have more things to clean. Still, in comparison with some of the other styles, these tools offer a more efficient way to keep your fingers safe from the sharp blade. Plus, rotary graters are able to “stick” to a countertop surface thanks to a suction cup mechanism placed on their base, so people don’t have to hold the grater in place while using it. With box graters, you have to hold the grater down on a surface with one hand while you grate the food object with the other. If you’re not careful, you can lose your grip and slice your fingers on the box grater (usually when you are at the end of grating because the food piece is so small)
- Flat graters: Flat graters are made from a single sheet of steel reinforced with an ergonomically designed handle. Their biggest disadvantage over the previously mentioned styles is they only have a single size hole. They are, however, the most flexible tools to use, since you can maneuver them in either a vertical or horizontal manner. With a compact size and simple design, they are also the easiest to clean and store.
- Rasp graters: Rasp graters (also known as microplane zesters) are specifically designed for small tasks, such as zesting or grating ginger, shallots, garlic, or nutmeg. They are also best suited for handling hard cheeses or other firm foods like carrots and potatoes. All rasp graters function similarly, but some low-quality ones can rip off a fruit’s bitter pith instead of just removing the right amount of citrus rind.
If you want to buy a good box grater or rotary grater, find one that has a stable base. This will help keep it stationary on a counter, thus ensuring safe grating. With other types of graters, like microplane ones, you’ll have to sacrifice stability for the quickness of use. However, it’s also important to make sure your tool is solidly built, with a non-slip handle so it won’t slip out of your hands unpredictably.
- Easy to clean: Most cheese graters are top rack dishwasher safe, but it’s best to check the manual instructions to be sure.
- Versatility: Cheese graters are not only designed for a single shredding task. For extra functionality, however, we recommend you find a box grater with multiple shredding sides, or a rotary grater with different pairs of interchangeable blades.
- Hole sizes: The size of the holes matters because it determines the use of the grater. For instance, coarse holes are perfect for grating vegetables and many varieties of cheeses, while fine holes are useful for zesting citrus, preparing ginger root, and shredding hard cheeses. Some box graters even allow you to make crisp slices from cucumber with their wide blades on one side.
Reviews of the Best Cheese Graters 2021
Here’s our list of the best cheese graters:
- Spring Chef – Best to Buy in 2021
- OXO Etched Box Grater – Best Value Cheese Grater
- Presto 02970 – Best Electric Cheese Grater
- Ourokhome – Best Rotary Cheese Grater
- Utopia Kitchen – Best Parmesan Cheese Grater
- Deiss PRO – Best Microplane Cheese Grater
- KitchenAid Gourmet – Best KitchenAid Cheese Grater
- Zyliss – Best Zyliss Cheese Grater
1. Spring Chef Professional Box Grater – Best to Buy in 2021
The Spring Chef Professional shreds cheese, zests citrus, and slices cucumbers better than many other graters on the market thanks to its incredibly sharp blades. It’s also more versatile than its competitors, as it allows you to enjoy different thicknesses of grated food without any resistance. Plus, we found the stainless steel blade is super durable; it will not be easy to rust and deform, even with regular, heavy-duty use.
- Lifetime warranty
- Ultimate sharp blades
- Wide grating surfaces
- Hard-to-assemble rubber bottom
With its four sides design, the Spring Chef Professional offers flexible ways to prep food with ease. You can use coarse shredding blades to grate root vegetables, fine shredding blades to shred hard cheeses, medium blades to reduce dense-fleshed fruits, or slicing blades to make potato chips. Featuring a removable rubber bottom to prevent slippage, it works well and sits stably on your counter, cutting board, or plate, so you can get creative in your kitchen with safety and confidence. The only drawback is that, while this rubber bottom is easy to take off for cleaning, it’s a struggle to get it back on.
The Spring Chef Professional also impresses us with its ability to hold more grated food inside due to its contoured shape. Apart from trapping food efficiently, this large holding capacity is a big advantage, since you’ll have less mess to deal with. As a result, the clean-up that comes afterward will be simple and fun.
The comfortable, curved handle of the Spring Chef Professional is a unique feature. It conforms perfectly to the shape of your palm, thus reducing hand fatigue, even when you hold it for an extended period.
There are a few complaints about the grater handle, which starts to slip after several uses. We found, however, that this defect only exists in a few defective units. If you unfortunately experience this issue, feel free to return your appliance with proof of purchase. Because the grater is backed by a lifetime warranty, you have no time limit to make a claim.
2. OXO Good Grips Etched Box Grater – Best Value
This grater costs twice as much as our top pick, but it’s absolutely worth the extra investment: Its sharp, etched, stainless steel teeth offer perfect shredding and slicing without requiring any special techniques in terms of cleaning and maintenance.
- Multiple grating sides
- Removable microplane zester
- Non-slip base
- Angled slicer for a smooth cut
- Convenient container
Like most box graters, the OXO is dishwasher safe and comes with multiple grating surfaces for different recipes. Because the medium and coarse blades are ideal for grating firm vegetables, fresh fruits, and hard cheeses, it’s best to use them to prepare salads, coleslaw, pizza toppings, and more. If you want smooth cuts for your Parmesan tian, on the other hand, the angled slicer with its wide, exposed surface will help you get the job done with consistent outcomes.
The stainless steel zesting surface is also very useful. It makes quick work of any zesting tasks without catching your knuckles. Sometimes, however, you might end up with a lot of tiny food bits jutting outside of the container. To avoid this issue, you can take the microplane off to zest the ingredients right over a bowl or plate. With a removable design and non-slip base, the zester is stable, yet easy to remove. For sure, this tool will make all your zesting tasks a pleasure.
At the time of writing, the OXO is the only box grater on the market with the added benefit of having a container with measuring marks. You can either use this add-on as a food storage container, or attach it underneath the grater to prevent shredded food from escaping out the bottom.
Still, the container, including its lid, seems to be made of low-quality plastic, which could discolor over time. It also cannot ensure an airtight and watertight seal, so we don’t think it would be a great idea to use the container to store and transport liquid. Having the container attached to the bottom of the cheese grater is good, but it also comes with a drawback: your tool won’t remain stationary while you grate.
3. Presto 02970 – Best Electric Cheese Grater
With a one-button operation, the Presto 02970 offers an easier way to slice, chop, and grate your favorite ingredients, compared to its handheld counterparts. Crafted from high-grade plastic, it’s lightweight and highly portable, so you can comfortably hold it to add shredded food right when you want. Measuring about 11.5 inches in length and 8.5 inches in width, the grater is also compact and shouldn’t take up too much storage space.
- Straightforward to use
- Easy to clean
- Compact, yet powerful
- Multiple cone blades
- Slicer easily clogged
We found the Presto 02970 is not the most powerful electric cheese grater on the marker, but it’s stronger than most. Powering the whole machine is a 120-watt motor, which works with four interchangeable blades to serve different needs.
The rapid working process and ease of cleaning are other features that make this grater stand out from the rest. Thanks to these advantages, you can spend less time in the kitchen while still having tasty dishes for parties or meals. More impressively, all parts of the machine, with the exception of the motor, are dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning.
Beyonds the four interchangeable blades for regular slices, thick slices, ripple cuts, and shreds, the Presto 02970 also includes a funnel guide attachment. This add-on helps guide your food exactly where you want it to go, especially into small areas— an efficient way to curb messes. Still, sometimes, you’ll need to shake the machine slightly to release moist ingredients that get caught in the funnel, such as lettuce and carrots.
The slicer works well for firm vegetables like potatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, but it could easily be clogged up when slicing food that has skin on it, like tomatoes and mushrooms. Unless you take the blade out and wash off the stuck food, it’s impossible to keep using the machine.
4. Ourokhome – Best Rotary Cheese Grater
The Ourokhome can tackle nearly any ingredient without slipping on your counter. It’s easier to use than many rotary cheese graters and might be one of the most stable ones you find on the market. If you’re looking for a reliable grater with a modern touch, but isn’t powered by electricity, then this unit is definitely a no-brainer.
- Comfortable to hand crack
- Safe to use
- Space saving design
- The included tool is useless
The Ourokhome is comparable in size to our pick for the best electric cheese grater, the Presto 02970, so it should be easy to tuck away in your drawer or cabinet. It also can be put in the dishwasher to save you time and effort. Since this grater is not as durable as some other styles of cheese graters, however, we recommend you wash it by hand in water less than 60 degrees for best long-term use.
Featuring an ergonomic and easy-to-rotate handle, the cheese grater allows you to slice vegetables quickly and effortlessly for healthy salads. With other interchangeable blades, like coarse shredding blades and fine shredding blades, it also is efficient for crushing nuts, chocolate, and almonds for beautiful cake toppings.
We appreciate the suction cup’s design, allowing it to be fixed firmly on a smooth surface. As long as you keep the bottom of the machine entirely clean, it is unlikely to slip or fall off your counter.
Apart from three stainless steel drums, also included is a plastic tool to help you push down food more easily. Sometimes, however, you have to use your hands to get off all the hard-to-remove shredded food. So, for us, this add-on is useless.
The grater drums have a little too much clearance between the edges of the plastic cylinder where they sit inside. So, with soft foods like cheddar cheese or watery vegetables, it creates a mush around the drum as it pulls material with it into that small space rather than grating it into the center. Not a deal breaker, but it does add to the clean-up.
5. Utopia Kitchen – Best Parmesan Cheese Grater
The biggest advantage of the Utopia Kitchen is that it has up to six super sharp grating sides. But unless you’re particular about Parmensan, we think it’d be better to go with four-sided box graters, even though this unit provides a greater variety of shredding thickness.
- More grading surfaces
- User friendly
- High stability
- Narrow rubber grip handle
- Not good at zesting
This is because while this model occupies roughly the same amount of work space, each side of it offers a narrower strip for shredding, which is not efficient when it comes to shredding a big block of cheese. Plus, not all the grating surfaces work well. Because the grater’s stainless steel construction is quite thin, it tends to impair the performance of the slicing blades. The slicing blade pushes/bends inwards when you press something against it, so it can’t dig into the food piece deep enough for a good slice; the blade only catches a little on the food, so when you scrape the food down it, it makes really thin slices.
Additionally, the fine blades, which are meant to zest lemons without leaving patchy spots or taking off too much pith, do not perform well. Several users complain that almost all of the zest gets stuck in the blades, and there seems to be no way to tap it off other than slightly shaking the tool.
We’re also disappointed by the ergonomically designed handle that seems to be too small to grip comfortably, especially for those with large hands. But for an inexpensive price tag, honestly, we couldn’t expect more.
The Utopia Kitchen comes with a 1-year warranty to let you prep food with peace of mind. To clean, just toss it into your dishwasher. However, hand washing is highly recommended to prolong its functionality.
6. Deiss PRO – Best Microplane Cheese Grater
While you can use a box grater, vegetable peeler, or even paring knife to add a zingy, sweet citrus flavor, there is no better way than using a microplane zester, like the Deiss PRO, to get the most finely grated zest.
- Useful slip-resistant loop
- Razor-sharp etched teeth
- Premium quality construction
- Comfortable-to-hold handle
- Exceptional durability
- No discernible flaws
Made of high-quality stainless steel, the Deiss PRO is one of the sturdiest zesters we found. It’s also one of the most precise cheese graters that can get to the last bit of parmesan without causing you to end up with injured knuckles or fingernails. The Deiss PRO is also exceptional in its ability to reach every nook and cranny on citrus fruits thanks to its reasonably narrow face and curved sides. This unique design also makes this tool extremely solid and allows you to apply extra force comfortably when it’s needed.
The grater’s handle is made of rubber reinforced with raised bumps to ensure it will not slip out of your palm. Some users say they prefer this non-slip handle over metal graters since it’s lighter, thus allowing for a more comfortable grip, while others assume rubber has a short lifespan and tends to discolor with use.
The etched teeth are razor sharp and won’t clog up the way other zesters often do, but if they do, you can easily remove stuck bits by soaking the zester under running water. With the Deiss PRO, cleaning is as easy as one-two-three.
We’re also intrigued by the slip-resistant loop at the end of the microplane, which promotes extra stability and slip protection. For those with elegant stone countertops, this rubber foot surface is particularly important to prevent scratches.
7. KitchenAid Gourmet – Best KitchenAid Cheese Grater
The KitchenAid Gourmet features four stainless steel grating surfaces, a solid metal handle, and non-slip rubber base. Despite the compact size, this cheese grater ensures a generous cavity that is sufficient so you will not have to empty it frequently.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel grating surface
- Large capacity plastic container with lid
- Ergonomically designed handle
- Wide range of color options
- Blades can get clogged
Like our pick for the best value cheese grater, it also comes with a handy BPA-free collection box with measuring lines to eliminate mess and waste while grating, but we found this container is higher quality so it will possibly give you more years of service. It is even dishwasher safe to get you out of the kitchen faster. Still, not all of the shreds will go right into the container; some could either end up outside, while a small portion can still get caught on the grating surface.
As stated by KitchenAid manufactures, this box cheese grater is available in four different colors: aqua sky, black, red, and pomegranate. Note, however, that this aqua sky color is not the same as the aqua sky of other KitchenAid appliances; the grater’s color is a darker blue, while other aqua sky shades are closer to mint green.
8. Zyliss – Best Zyliss Cheese Grater
The Zyliss is a reliable piece of food equipment that meets the requirements of NSF standards— the benchmark that ensures your tool is safe for use under restaurant conditions. As a rotary cheese grater, it requires you to turn its crank constantly to rotate the drum, and the sharp blade helps finish the job of finely grating the cheese. But for faster results, you’ll need to press down on the lid so that greater force is applied against the drum.
- Easy-to-handle crank
- NSF-certified for restaurant use
- Best suited for left-handed individuals
- Dishwasher safe
- Small capacity
- Less versatile
With a modest capacity, the Zyliss can make just enough shreds for a small or medium pizza, depending on how cheesy you want it. It can be a hassle to grate a full block of cheese. And, since this shredder includes only one type of grating blade, it isn’t as versatile as other picks on this list.
The Zyliss is dishwasher safe. It’s also easy to wash by hand, with the drum and handle separating easily for thorough cleaning. As a bonus, these two parts can be switched on either side, so this grater is suitable for both right- and left-handed grating.
Top-Rated Cheese Graters Comparison Chart
|Spring Chef Profession||Box||Yes||Stainless Steel|
|OXO Good Grips||Box||Yes||Stainless Steel|
|Utopia kitchen||Box||Yes||Stainless Steel|
|Deiss PRO||Rasp||Yes||Stainless Steel|
|KitchenAid Gourmet||Box||Yes||Stainless Steel|
How to Clean a Cheese Grater
As with many kitchen tools, handwashing is the best way to prolong their lifespan, and a cheese grater is no exception. Of course, you don’t have to clean your grater right away after each use, but doing so can prevent food remnants from hardening on the grating surface. As a result, the cleaning process will become much easier and faster.
Many people have a habit of using a sponge to remove stuck-on bits, but we don’t think this is a good idea since, if you use it incorrectly, like wiping it against the direction of the blades, you’ll probably tear it up and put your knuckles in danger. So, the best way to protect you and your tool against damage is to keep away from sponges and to use a scrub brush instead.
Following are step-by-step instructions on how to clean a box cheese grater thoroughly.
- Soak the tool in a sink of warm, soapy water for 5-10 minutes to soften the sticky residue (longer than this can cause the grater to rust).
- Wipe each side with half a lemon or raw potato.
- Scrub the grater inside out using a scrub brush with dishwashing liquid (always rub the brush in the direction of the blade)
- Rinse the cheese grater under warm water until it’s completely free of dirty substances.
- Let it air dry prior to storing.
If you don’t clean your used grater and let food bits solidify on it overnight, washing with water is not a good idea; especially with hardened cheese, wetting will gum up the grater. Instead, the best way to clean stuck-on food is to take a hard piece of bread (either a stale piece or the heel) and run it on the grater from bottom to top. By going in the opposite direction, the bread piece is able to loosen and pick up hardened bits.
If you’re a fan of cheese, but don’t want to pack your favorite dish with tons of added preservatives from pre-shredded bagged cheese, it’s probably time to find a quality cheese grater. From zesting citrus to slicing tomatoes, the best cheese grater will make your food prep tasks a lot easier, especially those that would be harder or impossible to do with a knife.
In general, cheese graters are available in a wide range of styles. But whatever type you choose, be advised that your tool will wear down and lose effectiveness over time. Plus, while most cheese graters are top-rack dishwasher safe, some units will possibly last longer if washed by hand.