Looking to make some nachos or mac and cheese? What about some grilled cheese sandwiches? Whatever cozy, warming recipes you’re looking to whip up, cheese can almost certainly improve them. And, while you can buy pre-shredded cheese, of course, it’s generally fresher and tastier if you grate your own.
There are plenty of worthwhile cheese graters out there, but we love box graters for many reasons, including their increased stability and range of functions—most have several options for different types of shreds and grates that can also be used for other culinary tasks such as zesting citrus or slicing veggies. We sent several box graters to our expert product tester as part of our home testing process. Our reviewer spent careful time evaluating each one on its design, ease of use, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Make sure you have plenty of cheese ready because you’ll actually be excited to grate it with these best box graters. Here, the best box graters.
Cuisipro 4-Sided Boxed Grater
Who else recommends it? Reviewed, Wirecutter, and CNN all picked the Cuisipro 4-Sided Boxed Grater.
What do buyers say? 85% of 2,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
Although the Cuisipro is among the most expensive options on this list, it also boasts the best design. First of all, it’s what’s called an etched grater (as opposed to a stamped). Though etched are pricier, they result in sharper, more precise tools. Plus, the Cuisipro graters exclusively have what’s called Surface Glide Technology, which reduces friction and increases the surface area of each blade, meaning each stroke results in more grated cheese, veggies, or whatever else you happen to be working with. But does it matter?
In testing, this did an excellent job with parmesan cheese, and it truly did glide easily. We also liked its performance in making small and large shreds of softer Colby cheese. Using the slicing blade that works like a mandoline, it created thin slices of both carrots and zucchini. However, it only did a fair job when zesting lemon peel. It would be fine for occasional use, but a dedicated zester might be preferred if a lot of zesting is on the menu.
There’s even a bonus ginger grater base for shredding ginger without getting those little strings in the mix. Just note that you should be extra careful when using this grater because it will grate your hand just as easily as it will grate that block of aged cheese. This grater is stainless steel. Hand washing is recommended, but we ran it through the dishwasher multiple times and didn’t notice any ill effects.
Price at time of publish: $42
Dimensions: 9.75 x 3.5 x 4.75 inches | Weight: 10.5 oz | Sides: 4
"It doesn't look particularly upscale, but food slid on it easily, even when I was grating cheese that was a bit sticky." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
IKEA IDEALISK Stainless Steel Grater
On the opposite end of the price spectrum is the IKEA IDEALISK box grater. It’s not the sharpest or the best designed (especially when it comes to grating harder veggies), but it will come in handy when there’s some grating to be done. Plus, it has features that do make it easy to use, such as a top handle and stainless steel construction to keep things rust-free. It’s dishwasher-safe and incredibly budget-friendly. Perfect for college students, newlyweds, folks on a budget, or anyone looking to get a decent kitchen tool for minimal cost.
In testing, this managed to grate parmesan, but it wasn’t as easy as some others. However, it did a fine job with our softer Colby cheese. Slicing carrots wasn’t particularly effective, but it did a fine job slicing zucchini. We wouldn’t use this for zesting citrus unless we had no other options.
Price at time of publish: $5.99
Dimensions: 9.5 x 3.37 x 4.25 inches | Weight: 6.25 oz | Sides: 4
"For the price, this is a good grater for basic tasks." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
THETIS Home 6-Sided Kitchen Box Grater
This grater does it all. With it, you can zest or shred finely (great for garlic cloves and cheese to top pasta with); slice fruit and veggies such as apples, cucumbers, potatoes, etc.; and do medium or coarse shreds. Some of this, of course, could also be accomplished with some pro-level knife skills, but if you’d rather have a grater do the work for you, this is an excellent option. It also comes with a rubber handle and rubber base and is technically dishwasher-safe, but hand-washing is recommended if you have the time. In testing, we ran it through the dishwasher multiple times with no ill effects.
This worked well for both our hard and soft cheeses, and we liked that we could choose large or small shreds as well as ribbon cuts. This also did a good job zesting. This has two options for slicing, for either straight or wavy cuts. Both worked well for zucchini but not as well for carrots.
This is on the larger side of the grater options (not surprising, given the hexagonal shape), but if you’re looking for a grater that can accomplish anything, this is the one! While this does need slightly more storage space, the benefit is that it’s easier to get a hand inside the grater to retrieve stuck-in food, and it’s also easier to get a sponge inside for hand washing.
Price at time of publish: $13.99
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3.1 inches | Weight: 0.2 lbs | Sides: 6
SALT 9-Inch Stainless Steel 4-Sided Grater
The SALT 9-Inch Stainless Steel 4-Sided Grater is both budget-friendly and well-designed, but small. It has a rubber base to keep from slipping and an easy-to-grip Santoprene handle on top for extra stability. It’s also crafted from stainless steel and is dishwasher-safe on the top rack. In testing, we put it through the dishwasher multiple times.
The bottom rubber can be taken off for cleaning and may give you a bit of trouble as you’re putting it back on, but that’s the biggest potential problem you’ll have with this one. It's a very solid grater, especially for the price.
In testing, this did a good job with both hard and soft cheeses, but the smaller face meant we couldn’t grate super-large pieces of cheese. The small face on the slicing side meant it couldn’t handle our zucchini as it was a bit too large for the slicer. It made thin slices of carrots, but they weren’t as pretty as we would prefer. Still, it got the job done well enough for our salad. When it came to zesting, it did a decent job, but felt rough.
Price at time of publish: $22.56
Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.5 x 3.3 inches | Weight: 4.5 ounces | Sides: 4
"This is much smaller than the other standard box graters, so it stores easily but that also meant it had less surface to grate on." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set
Part zester, part box grater, this set makes grating as easy as storing. The set comes with four surfaces, one each for coarse grating, medium grating, straight slicing, and julienne slicing. The container includes non-slip feet, a comfortable handle for gripping, and a tined food holder. The transparent, 2-cup capacity lid holds the surfaces when not in use and also catches your cheese, veggies, or whatever else you’re grating or slicing. The surfaces are color-coded, and the whole thing is top-rack dishwasher safe. This is sturdy and reliable, but even if you experience any trouble, OXO has a “Better Guarantee” policy, meaning that it will repair or replace products with issues.
In testing, we liked that we had a choice of cutting or grating with the inserts in the holder, or holding them up at a steeper angle, like a mandoline. The smallest grater wasn’t as small as some of the graters we tested, but worked well for both cheese and zesting. The larger grating surface also worked well. The julienne blade made small thin slices that were smaller than a traditional julienne cut, but worked well. The slicer was one of our favorites, slicing both carrots and zucchini with ease.
Price at time of publish: $34.99
Dimensions: 9.5 x 3.25 x 4 inches | Weight: 1 lb, 8.75 oz | Sides: 4
"This is a cross between a mandoline and a box grater that's been taken apart. It works well, and the fact that you only need to wash the pieces you use is nice." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
OXO Etched Box Grater With Removable Zester
This clever box grater, another OXO product, includes a medium grater, coarse grater, slicer, and removable zester. That’s right, removable! You can choose to use it directly on the grater if you prefer, but if you just need a quick lemon zest in a bowl or onto a surface, you can remove the zester and use it at your convenience. We liked that option since zest tends to cling to the back of grating surfaces, and this made it easier to scrape off every bit.
This also did a good job with our hard and soft cheeses. While it was able to slice both carrots and zucchini, it wasn’t as good as some others we tested, making some rough cuts along the way. Still, if we had the grater out and didn’t want to grab a knife, it would be handy.
This grater also comes with a container, storable inside the grater, which conveniently catches and measures anything you happen to be grating. Said container also comes with a lid if you’re pre-grating something that you want to store in your fridge. The grater’s surfaces are etched (sharper!), plus has the things we like about other graters—a grippable handle and a nonstick base.
Price at time of publish: $32.95
Dimensions: 10 x 3.5 x 5.25 inches | Weight: 1 lb | Sides: 4
"The removable zester is genius, and works well. It's nice to be able to remove it, use it, and just wash that one piece." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Space Saver
When it comes to box graters, this little guy literally comes in a box. Or a plastic storage cube, to be precise. The grater itself has three grating sides, one open side, and two grippable sides which are needed since there’s no handle. The graters are small, medium, and ribbon, but there’s no large grating surface—which makes sense since this is rather petite. The ribbon cutter was our favorite for softer cheese, but all three surfaces worked well for both hard and soft cheese. This also did a great job for zesting. Since it’s small, it’s not going to shred as quickly as larger graters with more surface area, but it works efficiently and doesn’t take a lot of storage space.
The grater is dishwasher safe, and we ran it though the dishwasher multiple times during testing. The box should be hand washed, but if it’s only used for storage it shouldn’t need a lot of cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $22.99
Dimensions: 3 inch cube | Weight: 7.5 oz | Sides: 3
"This was fun to use, and super-efficient for quickly grating small amounts. This was one of the few that did a good job with testing." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best for Kids
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder Cheese Grater
Cartoon lovers of all ages will love this officially licensed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder Cheese Grater. If you are not a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, this may seem like a strange theme. If you are, you’ll know that there’s a villain on the show named “Shredder,” and doesn’t that seem like a great opportunity to make a cheese grater? With Shredder’s bust atop the grater, shredding, grating, and slicing are fun.
Price at time of publish: $29.99
Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 0.96 lbs | Sides: 4
How We Tested
We sent the top box graters to our experienced product tester, who spent hours putting them to use in the kitchen. She grated different types of cheeses, including hard and soft varieties, taking care to note the texture of the final product and the level of difficulty to use. The graters were also assessed based on how easy they were to use and clean. Her final evaluation of each product was based on the key features of design, comfort, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
Other Options We Tested
- Spring Chef Professional Box Grater: This grater boasts about its large size, and it was indeed heftier than most. The top handle was comfortable to hold, and the price is affordable. This has a large grating surface and a medium surface, but it lacks a small grating surface that we would have liked for zesting and for super-fine parmesan cheese. In testing, we were able to grate both hard and soft cheese, but it simply wasn’t as easy as other graters in the roundup. The smaller grating surface was okay for zesting, but it bit deeper than others, giving us a bit of pith along with the zest. The slicing surface worked for zucchini, but not for carrots. Overall, this works fairly well, but the performance was surpassed by others in the list.
What To Look For In Box Graters
Most box graters have four sides, and four blades. How sharp are they? How many sides does it have—and what's the function of those blades? Some of them come with other built-in functionalities, such as zesting. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, you probably will be into a multi-tasking box grater. But regardless of the design, the product should reliably perform. Are the cuts uniform? Does it clog up easily, requiring you to fish your hand in there and scoop things out or scrape fine Parmesan shreds off the grater itself?
Your grip on the box grater is going to play a part in its stability. The handle and the base are important to consider—as much as the surface upon which the grater rests as you're doing the work. Does it feel sturdy, or does it slip, bend, or easily dent when met with a veggie or block of cheese that's harder than expected?
Box graters can be tricky and a little dangerous to clean, so if you are worried about how to wash it or that you might injure yourself, seek one out that can be put in the dishwasher. Others cannot be put into the dishwasher, so you'll need to clean those carefully with a dishwashing brush—skip the sponge, it'll just shred it to pieces.
What are box graters good for?
Box graters are great for shredding all kinds of cheeses, from softer cheddars and Monterey Jack to harder, aged cheeses such as Parmesan. You can use them for veggies such as beets, zucchini, carrots, and potatoes, to add to things such as slaws, latkes, quick breads, and more. Make large curls of foods,
Do box graters get dull?
Box graters don't exactly have blades, per se, so they don't get dull in the way that a knife gets dull. They work because their holes, or teeth, poke outward. Over time, those teeth can flatten with repeated use. Some graters come with protectors to cover the holes when not in use—it's as much to protect you from accidentally brushing against it as it is to protect those holes from scraping against objects in your drawer or cabinet and wearing out too quickly.
When should I replace my box grater?
Box graters are efficient when they are sharp, but after years of regular use, the edges tend to wear down. If you find you're struggling to shred cheese or hard veggies, it's probably time for a new one.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional cheese eater Christine Clark teaches cheese and pairing classes throughout the United States and is dedicated to helping people expertly get their cheese fix. Her cheese adoration is so strong that she has a whole podcast dedicated to it. She is a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.
Donna Currie, who updated this article, is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of "Make Ahead Bread," a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
8 Best Cheese and Box Graters of 2022. Reviewed. https://www.reviewed.com/cooking/best-right-now/the-best-graters
The Best Grater. Wirecutter. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-grater/
Best graters in 2021. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/reviews/best-grater