The 6 Best Cheese Graters in 2021

Make tasty grated and shredded cheese—and more—with these handy gadgets

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The Rundown
With two sizes, an angled slicer, and a detachable zester, this falls at the top of our list.
Whether you’re grating cheese for a casserole or prepping veggies, this pick keeps the control in your hands.
Choose one of five color hues for whatever matches your kitchen best.
Whether you’re left- or right-handed, this Zyliss tool will work for you, thanks to a simple feature that switches the crank.
Simply point the appliance at your dish, load in the cheese, and let it get to work.
This finely etched zester will create dreamy wisps of your Parmesan, Pecorino, or Locatelli.

Whether you’re ready to make the switch from grocery store grated cheese to something fresher and more delicious, or you just need to upgrade your current tool, there are countless options on the market that are “brie-lliant” in their own ways. Another advantage to taking an extra few minutes to grate your own cheese? Many packaged grated and shredded cheeses are coated in cellulose to prevent clumping.

As a bonus, many cheese graters can also be used beyond the world of fromage. Think potatoes for latkes or hash browns, veggies for salads or stir-frys, and even citrus and spices. From coarse slices for casseroles to fine sprinkles for pasta, there are plenty of ways to get the job done, but only so many tools that stand out among the rest.

Here are the best cheese graters to narrow down your options and make your shopping experience a little easier.

Best Overall, Box: OXO Etched Box Grater With Removable Zester

What We Love: Comfortable, soft grip; non-slip footing on container
What We Don't Love: Takes up a bit of space in your cabinet

With two different grater sizes, an angled slicer, and a detachable zester, it’s a no-brainer that this falls at the top of our list. Try the medium or coarse graters with your favorite semi-soft cheeses, the removable zester for parmesan over pasta, and the slicer for an easy charcuterie board or veggie prep.

Plus, this comes with an easy-to-attach container that stores inside the box when not in use. The container even measures freshly grated strands of cheese which can be sealed with a container lid for easy pasta sprinkling all week long.

Material: Stainless steel, alloy steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.4 x 4.5 x 12 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Overall, Handheld: OXO Good Grips Etched Coarse Grater

What We Love: Easy to store, non-slip grip on handle
What We Don't Love: Only creates one size of shreds

Whether you’re grating cheese for a casserole or prepping veggies, this pick from OXO keeps the control in your hands. The non-slip foot allows for secure grating when angled on your plate or cutting board, and the comfortable handle grip won’t be a pain to hold.

Plus, it comes with a protective cover so you won’t accidentally nick your fingers while rummaging through your drawers. You'll see why the cover's included: Users praise how sharp this grater is, making it a breeze to use on hard cheeses and vegetables like potatoes—in fact, some caution to make sure to pay close attention while using it.

Material: Stainless steel, rubber, plastic | Dimensions (LxWxH): 1 x 4.5 x 13.3 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Budget: Spring Chef Professional Box Grater

What We Love: Non-slip bottom
What We Don't Love: No attachable container

Looking for a grater that does it all and won’t break the bank? This four-sided box grater from Spring Chef is multi-use and affordable. It allows for slicing as well as coarse, medium, and fine grating, and keeps you safe with a top handle and removable rubber bottom to prevent slipping or damage to your counters and cutting boards. 

Several reviewers praise this grater's solid construction and high-quality non-slip rubberized base—especially for its price. Plus, the rubber bottom slips off for easy cleanup. Choose one of five color hues for whatever matches your kitchen best.

“I'm honestly partial to my cheap box grater for most medium to large shreds of medium-firm cheese because it's an all-purpose tool. Work in batches to make sure the cheese contained inside the grater doesn't meld together as it gets full.” Pamela Vachon, Sommelier and Cheese Enthusiast

Material: Stainless steel, rubber | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6 x 5 x 7.5 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Related: The Best Cutting Boards

Best Rotary: Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater

ZYLISS Classic Rotary Cheese Grater

What We Love: Good for kids, lightweight
What We Don't Love: Odd shape to store, more difficult to clean

Pencil sharpener? No. Cheese grater? Yes! While these may give you flashbacks to elementary school or dining at Olive Garden, rotary graters get the job done just fine. 

Plus, whether you’re left- or right-handed, this Zyliss tool will work for you, thanks to a simple feature that switches the crank. Users give this tool points for making easy work of hard cheeses like Parmesan, as well as hard foods like ginger, and the results turn out fine and uniform.

Material: Plastic, steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.3 x 3.2 x 4.5 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Electric: Presto Salad Shooter Electric Slicer/Shredder

What We Love: Less manual work
What We Don't Love: Bulky, needs to be plugged in

This bestseller from Presto is called a shooter for a reason: It literally shoots out cheese! Whether you need to get a bunch of cheese grated in a pinch or are prepping veggies for a shredded salad, this has you covered. 

Simply point the appliance at your dish, load in the cheese, and let it get to work. Plus, you can swap out four interchangeable cones (thick slices, ripple, regular slices, and shredded) for whatever you’re in need of.

Material: Plastic, stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7 x 3.5 x 9.5 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes (except for motor base, which wipes clean)

Related: The Best Vegetable Steamers

Best Zester: Microplane Select Series Fine Blade Cheese Grater

What We Love: Perfect for creating a fine dusting of cheese
What We Don't Love: Only works well with firm cheeses

This finely etched zester will create dreamy wisps of your Parmesan, Pecorino, or Locatelli to wow your friends and family on pasta night, but also works great to finely shave citrus, chocolate, ginger, nutmeg, and more.

Even if your box grater comes with a pinhole edge, a handheld option like this Microplane one works more delicately.

Material: Plastic, stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 11.25 x 3.25 x 0.8 inches | Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Related: The Best Garlic Presses

Final Verdict

The best overall cheese grater is the OXO Good Grips Etched Box Grater (view at Bed Bath & Beyond), which is a box grater with multiple sizes and a detachable storage container. Looking for a handheld option? Go with the OXO Good Grips Etched Coarse Grater (view at Amazon). It may only produce one shred size, but it should get the job done in most cases.

What to Look for in a Cheese Grater

Types of Graters

With so many different types on the market, it really comes down to what you’ll use most in the kitchen. If you live in a small space with limited storage, a handheld flat grater might be your best bet in terms of space and budget. But if you’re in need of multiple shred sizes for different occasions and space isn’t a constraint for you, go for a classic box grater that offers a variety of shred sizes. 

For those with a food processor or stand mixer, an electric attachment can be added to your collection. These are typically sold in a set with multiple shred options. Have kids? A rotary grater is ideal for getting your kids safely involved at dinner time.

Lastly, rasp-style graters give a much more delicate shred of cheese—perfect for the serious chef who would be using the tool for more than just Parmesan.

Ease of Use

Let the cheese do the work for you when grating and keep it on the cold side until it’s ready to be used. Unlike when you’re making a charcuterie board (where your cheese should be room temperature), it will hold up much better to the friction of being grated when cold.

“While cheeses do well to temper in most cases, for shredding you want to use it right out of the fridge, or better yet, after a quick turn in the freezer for the best outcome. If you're shredding cheese to melt into something, it doesn't matter as much, but for salads or garnish, keeping the cheese cold gives you the shred integrity of pre-shredded cheese without the filler.”Pamela Vachon, Sommelier and Cheese enthusiast

Sharpness

Cheese graters aren’t necessarily easy to sharpen, so a more budget-friendly option might not withstand the test of time as well as a slightly pricier option. Ultimately, taking good care of any kitchen tool will help it through use and time. 

Cleaning

Many cheese graters may claim to be dishwasher-safe, but you can prolong the life of yours by sticking to handwashing.

“Don't put it in the dishwasher. Let it soak for a bit so the cheese comes off easily, then carefully hand wash. I use a dish brush for this and clean with upward motions (the opposite direction you'd use to grate cheese). Easy! If it comes with a cover or protective sleeve, store the tool in that when you're not using it.”Alexandra Jones, Author, “Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know”

FAQs

How do I choose a cheese grater? 

It really depends on what you’ll be using it for. A box grater is a tried-and-true classic because it usually has multiple sides that save you from purchasing a few different handheld options, but that’s not what everyone prefers. One thing to look out for is the type of blade: stamped or etched. Etched graters have teeth-like indents that are super sharp, but leave the shreds shorter in length. As for stamped, their thicker blades tend to stick out and can cause more pain should your finger get caught.

What’s the difference between a zester and a grater?

At the end of the day, the main difference between the two mainly comes down to the size of the hole. A zester typically has all the same functions as a grater, just on a smaller scale. You won’t usually find as many zester options compared to the graters on the market. 

How do I clean a cheese grater? 

You’d be surprised at how fast cheese can cling to your grater, so be sure to clean it as soon as you can to avoid any heavy-duty scrubbing that could result in a cut on your finger or a shredded sponge. Your best bet is to grab a stiff brush (think pastry or dish brush) and scrub away, which can get into the perforations without getting damaged. 

Why Trust Simply Recipes?

Jacqueline Weiss was quite literally raised in a cheese shop, first opened in Philadelphia by her grandfather in 1963 and later owned and operated by her father until 2019. She has grown up working with tools of the trade, which she now uses in her Los Angeles kitchen on vegan and non-vegan cheeses. To choose the best options for this article, she consulted third-party and consumer reviews, spoke with experts, and considered functionality, design, and price.

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