While pre-grated cheese is easy to find in stores, it usually has a powdery coating that prevents clumping in storage. While that coating keeps the shreds from sticking together, it can sometimes leave a gritty or grainy texture when you use the cheese. When you grate your own cheese, you can choose any type you like, from a boutique local variety to the large block that’s on sale. You can combine cheese in any proportion you like, and you can make fine, regular, or coarse shreds, depending on what our recipe requires and what kind of cheese you choose. Whether you need a grater for fine wisps of parmesan to top a plate of pasta, or you need to quickly grate pounds of cheddar for mac and cheese to take to a potluck, there’s a perfect grater for the task.
01 of 08
Best Overall: ZYLISS Classic Rotary Cheese Grater
Rotary graters have been classics in Italian restaurants for years, for tableside grating of cheese onto your pasta. This grater is actually certified for restaurant use, so you know it will work perfectly in your kitchen whether you’re grating cheese for a recipe or passing the grater around the table for guests to grate their own garnish.
The grater’s handle can be positioned on the left or right side, so it’s comfortable for everyone, and the fine grating drum will have piles of parmesan on your pasta in no time. Not just for parmesan, this can also handle other firm cheeses, like cheddar, and when you’re not grating cheese, you can also use this for grating chocolate, nuts, and more. After you’ve served all the cheese, the drum is easy to remove for cleaning. The entire grater is top rack dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended.
02 of 08
Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Multi Grater
A budget price tag, two grating surfaces, and multiple grating positions make this great for just about any kitchen, and it’s particularly useful when you’re short on storage space, but still want grating options. You can use this standing upright on a flat surface like a box grater or take it apart to use the separate graters over bowls, so you and your kitchen assistant can grate at the same time.
The large handle on top makes this easy to hold onto, while soft feet keep it stable while you grate. Use the fine grating surface for harder foods like parmesan or aged cheddar cheese, or for creating thinner shreds of carrots for garnishes and recipes. The larger grater works well for softer cheeses or for creating large shreds for softer cheeses, salads, and for recipes. When grating is done, this is dishwasher safe, so cleanup is always fast and easy.
03 of 08
Best Splurge: KitchenAid KSMVSA Slicer/Shredder Attachment, White
If you already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, this slicer-shredder attachment will make grating and shredding any type of cheese nearly effortless. Just choose the fine grating, coarse grating, or slicing drum, attach to the power hub of your mixer, and start dropping in chunks of cheese. There are two different pushers to make it easy to handle either large or small pieces.
Not just for cheese, you can use this to shred carrots, potatoes, radishes, zucchini, and more. The slicing drum will make it simple to slice vegetables for salads, so dinner will be done in no time. When it’s time to clean up, all parts are top rack dishwasher safe. This comes in a box that can be used for neat storage of all of the parts.
04 of 08
Best Electric: Presto 02910 Salad Shooter Electric Slicer/Shredder
A classic tool that has stood the test of time, the salad shooter’s claim to fame on the campy commercials is that you can slice or shred food right into the bowl rather than stopping to use a knife and cutting board. Despite the comic name, users love its ease of use and versatility. Just plug it in, insert the food to be shredded, and point it into your salad bowl, cooking pot, or casserole dish. While you might need to wash, peel, or cut fruits and vegetables to size, the slicing and shredding is easy and fun. From apples to cheese to zucchini, you can shred and slice your way to healthy salads or grate enough cheese for a big batch of mac and cheese. This includes one shredding cone and one slicing cone. Both are dishwasher safe, so cleaning is just as easy as shredding.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best for Soft Cheese: OXO Good Grips Bi-directional Grater
The unique feature of this coarse grater is that it grates in both directions, so grating is twice as fast and the food is less likely to stick as each motion pushes the previous shreds out of the way. The coarse grating size is perfect for softer cheeses, and even for grating butter for making biscuits and pie crust. It can also handle vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, so you’ll be able to give your knives a rest while you use this every day for salads, slaws, and for all of your cooking and baking recipes. For easy cleaning, this is dishwasher safe.
06 of 08
Best for Hard Cheese: Microplane Premium Zester Grater
Microplane got its start making woodworking tools, so a hard chunk of parmesan cheese is certainly no problem. This narrow grater is perfect for precision grating onto a plate of pasta, yet it gets the job done quickly with its many tiny sharp teeth that turn hard parmesan into pillowy piles of fluffy cheese. If grating parmesan isn’t on your everyday task list, this grater can also zest lemons and limes, grate chocolate onto desserts, and grate nutmeg for recipes and drinks.
Small tabs on the bottom edge of the grater keep this steady or the countertop if you prefer grating upright, and keep the metal from scratching your counter or cutting board. A hole in the handle makes this easy to hang, or, since it’s made from magnetic stainless steel, you can attach it to your magnetic knife rack. This grater is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, but if you prefer hand washing, a brush will help remove food from the small holes. This is available with a variety of different colored handles, so you can match your kitchen décor or add a pop of color to the gadget drawer.
07 of 08
Best Box Grater: Utopia Kitchen Cheese Grater
This is a box grater with an upgrade since it has six sides rather than four. It has a large, comfortable handle and a non-slip base so you can rest it on any edge while you grate. This has fine, coarse, and ultra-coarse grating surfaces, a slicer, a medium shaver for thin wisps of parmesan or chocolate, and a star grater for super fluffy grating. No matter what you need to grate, this can handle it all. When you’re done grating, this is dishwasher safe for super-easy cleaning, or it’s easy to wash by hand if you prefer.
08 of 08
Best Microplane: Microplane Professional Medium-Ribbon Two-Way Grater
There are plenty of fine, medium, and coarse graters on the market, but this ribbon grater is different since it creates a unique shape and texture of whatever you grate. The wide, thin cutters create medium-sized ribbons of cheese or vegetables for a pretty presentation and for use in recipes. The cutters work in both directions, so you’ll cut twice as fast, and the cutters are designed to avoid food from clogging the cutting surfaces. A hole on the handle makes this easy to hang for storage.
This includes a plastic cover to keep the grater safe and clean in storage, while the rubber bottom holds this securely if you’re grating while holding it upright. The grater is dishwasher safe, but the plastic cover should be washed by hand.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular cheese graters on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different graters overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, read over 15 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 5 of the graters themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.