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Grating cheese seems like a straightforward task until you have a bad experience with a grater. Maybe it’s flimsy and unwieldy. Maybe you end up with battle scars from shredding your fingers instead of the cheese. Maybe you lose more cheese than you actually grate. There are many ways grating cheese can go wrong, and luckily, there’s no need to ever have those experiences again. Here are the graters that will have your back (and will ensure your safety), no matter how much cheese you need. Here are the best cheese graters, whether you're making pasta or grilled cheese.
Best Overall: Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater
The ZYLISS Classic Rotary Cheese Grater is NSF-certified for restaurant use, meaning it has been tested both for durability and for safety. You won’t be gashing your fingers with this grater! Additionally, it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and the handle can switch sides for either right- or left-hand usage.
It comes with a five-year guarantee and is dishwasher safe. Reviewers call this product a “must-have” and the process of using it an “absolute delight.” On top of all that, it’s budget-friendly: about the same price as a big hunk of top-grade Parmigiano-Reggiano. In short, you need this cheese grater.
Best Splurge: KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment
Those with a KitchenAid swear by it. If you don’t already have one, here’s another reason: With the handy slicer/shredder attachment, your cheese-grating needs (as well as your vegetable dicing and slicing needs) will be taken care of.
There are two size options for both soft and hard cheeses, and you won’t have to park yourself in front of a flimsy grater, a bowl, and a rock-solid hunk of cheese the next time you need a large quantity. Just take the cheese out of the fridge or freezer (reviewers say the process works best with cold cheese) and let the attachment do its work! Bonus: It’s top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Best Budget: OXO Good Grips Multi-Grater
The Oxo Good Grips Multi-Grater comes with two stainless steel grating surfaces, a pressure-absorbing, easy-to-grip handle, and non-slip feet. It can be used in multiple positions, either anchored over a plate or perched over a bowl. Snap it open for easy cleaning (it can also be popped in the dishwasher) or easier grating—just slide apart at the handle/hinge when it’s in the closed position. When you’re done, fold it up for easy storage. It costs less than some blocks of cheese, but even at a higher price would be well worth it.
Best Rotary: BNUNWISH Round Mandoline Drum Slicer Rotary Cheese Grater
Even if you took cheese out of the equation (a horrible prospect, we admit), this would probably become your new favorite kitchen tool. Its strong suction base and three different sizes of stainless steel drums for coarse and fine grating and slicing will cut down on an immense amount of knife work.
But it just so happens that this gadget is also perfect for grating cheese. Whether you want elegant shavings of parmesan or finely grated pecorino or just some good old-fashioned shredded cheddar for a grilled cheese, this handy tool has your back. Plus, the attachments are top-rack dishwasher safe.
Best for Parmesan and Other Hard Cheese: Utopia Kitchen Good Grips Coarse Grater
Lots of folks use a microplane for parmesan. If that works for you, that’s fine, but most cheese professionals will advise you that not all parmesan is the same. Is it aged, crystalline Parmigiano Reggiano, which is best finely grated, or a less aged domestic version which can get gummy in a microplane? Is it a rock-hard block of you-can’t-remember-exactly-what that you keep in your fridge for pasta?
Whatever the hard cheese occasion, this six-sided grater will do the trick. Not only can you seriously customize the shred size, but the non-slip base means you won’t have to wrestle with your cheese in order to grate it.
Best Electric: Presto SaladShooter Electric Slicer/Shredder
Some of us just don’t have the time or desire to fuss with a grater but still want the flavor benefits of freshly grated cheese. Enter Presto's SaladShooter Electric Slicer/Shredder, which is basically a handheld food processor. With its two interchangeable slicing and shredding cones, this compact little machine will quickly slice/grate whatever you need and enthusiastically shoot it out into a bowl or onto your plate.
Every piece except the motor is dishwasher safe, and it comes with a one-year warranty. It’s efficient, small enough to stash away when it’s not in use, and much less expensive than most food processors. In other words, a win.
Best for Soft Cheese: Best cooks friends Best Cook's Friends 3-in-1 Cheese Grater
Attempting to grate soft cheese can lead to sticky situations, in the most literal sense. The higher moisture content of young cheddars or brie-style cheeses means that they’ll resist you at just about every step, especially if they’re not freezing cold.
That said, the Best Cook's Friends 3-in-1 Cheese Grater is up to the challenge of grating even the stickiest cheeses. Why? It has multiple coarseness options (hint: the softer the cheese, the coarser you should go) and a non-stick surface that will ensure your cheese is actually grated, rather than just sticking to the grater itself. Plus, its container attachment holds 2 cups, making it easy to store whatever you don’t use.
Best Stainless Steel: BOSKA Professional Series Ribbon Grater
Cheese professionals always look to Boska for sleek, brilliantly designed cheese tools. The brand's Monaco+ Cheese Grater is no exception. Whereas with most graters, you run the cheese over the grater, this tool is designed to be run over the cheese, which is both easier and safer for your fingers. Is this the right tool if you need to shred a pound of cheddar for your cheesy potato recipe? No. But if you’re looking for a grater for smaller jobs, this is an excellent option. It’ll fit in your silverware drawer and is easy to throw in the dishwasher.