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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, you lose more cheese than you actually grate, or your precious mozzarella gets jammed up in a contraption you had no idea was suitable for hard cheese only. There are many ways grating cheese can go wrong, and luckily, there’s no need to ever have those experiences again.
The Oxo Good Grips Multi-Grater was our tester's favorite cheese grater because the multiple grating surfaces and positions worked well with both hard and soft cheeses—plus, it's budget-friendly. Those looking for a handle to help you through batches of shredded pecorino: We recommend the Bnunwish Round Mandoline Drum Slicer Rotary Cheese Grater, which passed our trials with flying colors.
To help find the optimal cheese grater or graters for your kitchen, we tested them side-by-side and evaluated each on design, comfort, ease of use, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Loads of parmesan, mozzarella, and more were shredded via graters of various designs—including flat, box, and rotary—in order to make sure the ones that ended up on this list are truly the best.
Whether you're looking to shred hard cheese, soft cheese, or both, here are the best cheese graters.
Best Overall: Oxo Good Grips Multi-Grater
Multiple grating surfaces and positions
Foldable for minimal storage spaces
Plastic may crack with repeated use
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 simple storage. It costs less than some blocks of cheese, but even at a higher price, it would still be well worth it.
Using parmesan cheese, our tester used the grater both standing up and flat over a bowl and found it worked well both ways. Though the plastic didn’t feel like it would last forever, and the grating area was a bit smaller than some of the others, the low price point and versatility still push this one to the top of the list. When tested with mozzarella, it worked quite well and didn't gum up as much as anticipated—a win for soft cheese lovers everywhere.
The star of the show? The easy-grip handle. Our tester could feel that it was absorbing pressure. The non-slip feet were a nice touch, too. The only uncomfortable element was worrying that the plastic would crack with continued use. As for cleaning, thanks to its ability to snap out into individual sheets, this was quite easy to wash.
"I was surprised at how well this grater did with mozzarella. It did not gum up as much as I expected and went pretty smoothly."
Best Splurge: KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment
Three slicer/shredder size options
KitchenAid does most of the work
Good for big batches
Machinery may warm up cheeses
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, bowl, and rock-solid hunk of cheese the next time you need a large quantity. Just take the cheese out of the fridge or freezer and let this easy-to-assemble attachment do the work.
Grating parmesan with the KitchenAid attachment was a flawless experience, according to our tester. It grated exactly like it was supposed to and would do a stand-up job handling bigger batches. It also performed really well with mozzarella. Though the process took slightly longer with this soft cheese than with harder varieties. The mozzarella did not get gummed up or feel like it was struggling in any way.
Proper cleaning by hand took a bit longer than with some of the others, but no worries: It's top-rack dishwasher safe. If you don't have a dishwasher or simply prefer to clean by hand, a small brush would help scrape the inside and tackle any hard-to-reach spots.
"Grating parmesan with the KitchenAid attachment could not have been easier or more painless. It grated exactly like it was supposed to and would do well with bigger batches."
Best Rotary: Bnunwish Round Mandoline Drum Slicer Rotary Cheese Grater
Drum slicer requires less work
Three slicer/shredder size options
Suctions to countertop for stability
Plastic body may crack with excessive use
Even if you took cheese out of the equation, 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 on fruit, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, nuts, chocolate, breadcrumbs, and more. It just so happens this gadget is also perfect for grating cheese. Whether you want elegant shavings of parmesan, finely grated pecorino, or some trusty shredded cheddar for a grilled cheese, this handy tool has your back.
Though it lacks the retro charm of a handheld rotary cheese grater that you’d find in an old-school Italian-American restaurant, our tester found this model much easier to use. They loved the suction base for stabilizing the grater as it was working—which was key for exerting the proper amount of pressure to push both soft and hard cheeses through seamlessly. This is one of the few manual graters our tester would trust for larger batches of cheese. The attachments are top-rack dishwasher safe, but if you're opting to wash in the sink, this is very easy to disassemble and clean by hand.
"The suction base wasn't perfect, but it stabilized the grater enough that grating the harder cheese was seamless. This is one of the few manual graters that I would be willing to use on larger batches."
Best for Parmesan and Other Hard Cheese: Utopia Kitchen Good Grips Coarse Grater
Wide variety of grater/zester/slicer options
Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
Rubber handle and base for stable comfort
More storage space required than other options
Lots of folks use a microplane for parmesan. If that works for you, that’s fine. However, 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 is it 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. Our tester found it a little unwieldy for grating soft cheese, though the slicer side did work well in that aspect. The nonstick base kept the grater sturdy enough to grate a block of parmesan using all of the sides, though, so if you’re mostly planning on using it for lower-moisture cheeses, it’s a great option.
Just make sure to take caution while grating and cleaning by hand, as our tester was worried she was going to scrape her hands or fingers on the sides. She had to be careful with the handle, which sometimes felt like it could bend or break, but otherwise, this was a good experience. This grater is dishwasher safe.
"I grated mozzarella and used the slicer function—both worked fairly seamlessly. It got a little gummy on the grater side, but no more so than most of the other graters."
Best Electric: Presto SaladShooter Electric Slicer/Shredder
Electric grater makes prep nearly effortless
Grater and slicer barrel options
Dishwasher-safe slicing barrels and food chute
Weighs more than other graters
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 machine will quickly slice and grate whatever you need and enthusiastically shoot it out into a bowl or onto your plate. Our tester found that it quickly and effectively grated both soft and hard cheeses.
Soft cheese was a bit slower going, but the grater seemingly had no problem. On the contrary, it did come out a bit squished, and our tester suspects that this product wouldn't be as useful for chopping really watery vegetables.
Every piece except the motor is dishwasher safe—and also easy to clean by hand, thanks to simple disassembly—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, it's a win.
"The only drawback to this grater is that it's on the loud side. Otherwise, I found it to shred and grate parmesan with ease. I would happily use this for big batches."
Best for Soft Cheese: Best Cook's Friends Best Cook's Friends 3-in-1 Cheese Grater
Nonstick grater surface
Three grating/slicing options
Convenient slicing and storage box with lid
Can be difficult for larger grating projects
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 will resist 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. It has multiple coarseness options and a nonstick surface that will ensure your cheese is actually grated rather than just sticking to the grater itself. Hint: The softer the cheese, the coarser you should go.
Our tester found that this grater was the only grater in which it was easier to grate soft cheese than hard cheese, thanks to the nonstick surface and sturdy design. Plus, its container attachment holds 2 cups, making it easy to store whatever you don’t use. Because this features three pieces that connect and disconnect at your will, it's also very easy to clean.
"Unlike some other graters, the mozzarella didn't gum up or get stuck. It's still a manual grater, so you have to be careful that it's steady, but otherwise it's really easy."
Best Stainless Steel: Boska Professional Series Ribbon Grater
Great for individual portions
Safer for hands and fingers
Easily fits in silverware drawer
Not appropriate for large shredding projects
Cheese professionals always look to Boska for sleek, brilliantly designed cheese tools. The brand's Monaco+ Cheese Grater is no exception. With most graters, you run the cheese over the grater, but this tool is designed to 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.
Our tester found this to be a handy tool for a bit of cheese to top salad or pasta, though the sleek but not super comfortable metal handle would make it a bit frustrating as a primary grater (a rubberized handle would make it much better). During testing, the grater got a little gummed up, but it managed to grate enough of a mozzarella block to use for a sandwich. The pressure required felt like a lot, but it did what it was supposed to do. For that, this could be a great tool to add to your kitchen as a secondary grater. It's dishwasher safe, and the size and design make it easy to clean by hand.
"It didn't feel especially sharp, but it grated the cheese, and it was nice to have control over the grater rather than moving the block of cheese over a grater while trying to not get cut or scraped."
The multi-surface Oxo Good Grips Multi-Grater is our number one pick because it stood the test of grating both soft and hard cheeses, is budget-friendly, and is easy to use. If you'd prefer a handle to help you crank through pecorino, parmesan, and more, the Bnunwish Round Mandoline Drum Slicer Rotary Cheese Grater is an impressive option that suctions to the counter for stability.
How We Tested
We sent eight cheese graters to our cheese expert and home tester, who used each one to grate both hard and soft cheeses, including parmesan and mozzarella, to determine which cheese graters are truly the best. Each cheese grater was rated on design, comfort, ease of use, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each cheese grater's strengths and weaknesses.
Other Options We Tested
- Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater: While this budget-friendly rotary grater is lauded for being accessible to both right- and left-handed users, our tester found it exhausting to use. Grating parmesan took quite a bit of pressure, though once grated, it came out fairly quickly, which could be suitable for people looking to grate small batches of cheese over pasta or salad. For large batches, however, it's not comfortable. This grater isn't sufficient for use with soft cheese, either, as mozzarella was laborious to grate and clumped as it came out. (It's not advertised as such, though it's good to know if you're looking for an all-purpose grater). While it is dishwasher safe, cleaning this is not easy. Though it's possible to disassemble it, our tester said little bits of cheese get stuck in inaccessible places.
What to Look for in a Cheese Grater
Your grater should be sharp enough to cut through cheese or veggies without much resistance. Sharpness also matters when it comes to things like zesting—if the grater is dull, it’s likely to dig into the bitter citrus pith instead of scrape the delicate, aromatic outside.
Stability matters because it makes grating easier, and you’re likely to lose less cheese that way. Some types of graters, though, like a rasp grater, are designed for quickness of use rather than for stability. If you have the storage space, it may be worth having a more stable grater option for larger jobs, as well as a quick, easy-to-clean grater for a quick dusting of parmesan over pasta and other such tasks.
Ideally, you shouldn’t get a hand cramp while using your cheese grater. It also shouldn’t slip out of your hands, even if they're wet from washing vegetables before grating.
Box graters get points here because the different sides usually have different sizes of holes. Rasp graters also get points for their ease of use and ability to take on miscellaneous but incredibly useful jobs, like zesting a bit of ginger.
Ease of Cleaning and Storage
Especially if you’re not using it all that often, your grater shouldn’t be taking up most of your cabinet space. While flatter options won’t always be the easiest to use, they often will be the easiest to clean and store. It may also be beneficial to invest in an option that comes with a guard, so no accidental injuries happen.
Types of Cheese Graters
Box graters are the quintessential all-purpose grater. They often have several sizes and shapes of holes for grating, making them versatile, and most have a sturdy base, which makes the entire process easier. They also tend to be reasonably priced. However, box graters are not always sharp, and for best results, you’ll want to make sure your cheese is cold. Otherwise, you’re likely to lose some, especially if it’s a soft cheese, which can get gummed up in the device. Some box graters come with a removable storage container for catching and quickly measuring the cheese you just grated.
Rotary graters are especially useful for hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan or Pecorino. They can also be used for chopping nuts or grating chocolate. Some devoted fans even store them in their fridge with cheese inside. They can be easier to maneuver than some of the other styles, and you run less risk of minor injury with them. Plus, you often have the option of several sizes of grate. On the other hand, they also take up a lot of room in storage, considering their one use. Many come with two parts, and if you lose one of the parts, the device becomes unusable. Still, rotary graters that feature a suction base for easy use have an edge over box graters.
Flat graters tend to be the least expensive option but can be rather limited. Most come with a limited number of hole sizes and can be unwieldy to use. They do, however, tend to be easy to clean.
We don’t hear the term “rasp grater” often, do we? You may know this style of grater as a Microplane (a registered trademark of Grace Manufacturing Inc), but the generic name for the style is a rasp grater, named after the woodworking tool. These tend to be sharp and are especially useful for small cheese grating jobs, zesting, and even things like grating a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon over a freshly made pastry. If you’re looking for your final result to be airy and light, a rasp grater is a perfect tool. However, if you’re looking to grate softer cheese or a larger quantity of cheese (or other food), these can quickly become unwieldy and even dangerous.
Most food processors come with a grating plate, plus there are optional attachments for appliances like KitchenAids. These make grating cheese and chopping vegetables incredibly easy, with no fear of accidentally grating your own skin. It's worth noting they are not always effective for small amounts of cheese, though, and if you don’t already have a food processor, it’s probably not worth getting one just for this functionality.
If you have a favorite kitchenware manufacturer, it’s likely that they’ll have a solid cheese grater option. This includes Oxo, KitchenAid, and more. As far as cheese tools go, cheesemongers often default to Boska, a Dutch company that manufactures professional-grade cheeseware.
How do you use a cheese grater?
Different cheese graters work differently, so always read the instructions. The average cheese grater is meant to be held still while a block of cheese is run over it with medium pressure. This process will be easier if the cheese is harder or still cold from the fridge.
How do you clean a cheese grater?
Check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some graters are dishwasher safe, while some are only safe in the top rack of the dishwasher, and some should be hand washed. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to hand wash. If you have a small brush (like you’d use to clean a reusable metal straw), you may find it helpful for graters with crevices that cheese can get stuck in.
What else can you use a cheese grater for?
Cheese graters can be used for much more than cheese. You can shred veggies, such as carrots or potatoes, get a head start on sauce by pulverizing tomatoes through it, make bread crumbs with toasted bread, zest citrus, or even grate spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
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 and tested eight cheese graters for this roundup.