The 8 Best Microplane Graters and Zesters: Tested and Approved

The nifty little tool that adds a lot of oomph

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Best Microplane Zesters

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Tested & Approved

The Microplane Premium Zester Grater rightfully wins our best overall spot for its effective performance, producing smooth fine zests. And if you prefer a grater for ribbons of cheese or chocolate, we recommend the Microplane Artisan Series.

While box graters and food processors still have their place in the kitchen for some vegetable grating jobs, the Microplane grater or zester is the tool you will likely reach for when you're whipping up something that calls for precision and finesse: think the lingering flavor and aroma of citrus zest, hard cheeses grated in cloud-like swirls that melt in sauce, or freshly minced ginger for your cup of spicy ginger tea. Plus, the small size of these handheld tools makes storage easy.

To help you find the best microplane zesters and graters for your kitchen prep, we sent top-rated zesters to our experienced product tester. Each one was carefully tested during hours of home kitchen testing and not only used to grate cheeses and citrus, but cleaned and tested on durability. The zesters and graters were all rated on design, comfort/ease of use, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.

Whether you're looking for an all-purpose zester or one with a specific function to add to your toolkit, we've picked out some of the best Microplane graters and zesters to help you decide.

Best Overall: Microplane Premium Zester

5
Microplane Premium Zester

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Dishwasher safe

  • Lots of color options

  • Easy to hold and use

What We Don't Like
  • Food stuck in blades may be hard to clean

Who else recommends it? Delish and Wirecutter both picked the Microplane Premium Zester.

What do buyers say? 90% of 35,700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars

The Microplane Premium Zester’s soft-touch handle fits nicely in your hand while you work your way through zesting or grating. Its signature photo-etched blade, with its super-sharp indentations, makes quick work of any job you may have on hand. The folded edges on the blade guide the zest towards the holding surface. Fluffy parmesan, minced ginger, tiny shavings of chocolate—there's no job too big or too small for this zester to handle. Relatively effortless to use, this nifty little tool will make you look for things to zest.

In testing, this worked equally well for grating parmesan cheese and for zesting lemons. It felt smooth and easy and worked quickly. Like many Microplane graters, this comes with a cover that’s used for safe storage. Unlike previous versions, however, the cover can’t be put on backwards to catch the zest as it falls. Cleaning was simple, since this is dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $18 for red

Microplane Premium

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 inches | Weight: 4.2 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"This works quickly and cuts just deep enough to get the zest while leaving the pith behind."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Citrus: Microplane EcoGrate Series Fine Grater

4.9
microplane ecograte series fine cheese grater gray

Courtesy of: Microplane

What We Like
  • Great value

  • Finely zests citrus and cheese

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • No cover included

This eco-friendly zester makes zesting citrus a pleasure. The frame is made of organic Moso bamboo mixed with resin and starch and is completely biodegradable. The blade design has fine teeth for taking the zest off citrus while leaving the bitter white pith behind, and the resulting zest is fine enough to be added to vinaigrettes and custards. In testing, it worked well for both grating parmesan cheese and zesting lemons. The wide body made it a bit more efficient, too, since we had more surface space for grating.

The blade is made with Microplane's Photo-Etched technology to make the blades extra sharp. The EcoGrate grater can be cleaned under running water for a quick rinse and is also dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $18 for fine in Dove Gray

Microplane Ecograte

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Bamboo and stainless steel | Dimensions: 11.5 x 3 inches | Weight: 2.8 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"The wider body doesn't add function when zesting round fruits, but it's handy when grating parmesan or chocolate." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Cheese: Microplane Artisan Series Coarse Cheese Grater

5
Microplane Artisan Series Coarse Cheese Grater

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick performance

  • Produces wider shreds

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Large design takes up storage space

This is the perfect tool to make your taco bar dreams come true with a multitude of perfectly shredded flavorful cheeses. This cheese grater is designed with slightly thicker notches, ideal for grating hard and semi-hard cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and Asiago. The resulting wide shreds of cheese can be used on top of omelets, mixed into salads, and sprinkled on vegetables. The grated cheese shreds we got during testing were wider than you’d get from a traditional zester, but were still very thin so they melted quickly. We also used this for zesting citrus. It worked well, but it bit slightly deeper, so a soft touch should be used to avoid cutting into the pith.

This can also be used for veggies or coconut when you want to add flavor, but not a lot of texture to your soups or smoothies. This cheese grater from Microplane features surgical-grade stainless steel blades and is dishwasher safe. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Microplane Artisan

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 3 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"This did a great job and produced slightly wider and thicker shreds, which meant it worked faster when grating." — Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best Multipurpose: Deiss Pro Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater

4.2
Deiss PRO Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater

Courtesy of: Amazon

What We Like
  • Comfortable to hold

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • May not work as well on harder items

The Deiss Pro comes with an ergonomically designed, non-slip handle that is easy to hold and doesn’t tire your hands. The build is sturdy, with curved sides that prevent the zester from bending if force is applied. The rubber foot at the base prevents slipping.

During testing, this worked for both parmesan cheese and citrus zest, but required a bit more force than other zesters, and didn’t feel as smooth as we worked. The blade is slightly wider than other zesters of the same style, which gives more grating space for larger foods. 

The Deiss is dishwasher safe. This includes a cover for safe storage.

Price at time of publish: $12

Deiss Pro

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 15 x 1.75 inches | Weight: 5.2 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"It would be fine for someone who occasionally needs to zest a lime or grate a little cheese, but may not be sharp enough for cooks who need a lot of zest." Donna Curie, Product Tester

Best for Quick Parm: Integrity Chef Pro Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater

4.8
Integrity Chef Pro Citrus Zester & Cheese Grater

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Dishwasher safe

  • Comfortable to hold

  • Comes in box for gifting

What We Don't Like
  • Requires more careful touch

This zester grates quickly, producing a pile of grated parmesan with ease during our testing, partially because it bites a bit deeper than some others we tested. For citrus, a softer touch might be required to avoid getting pith along with the zest.

The protective cover included with the zester keeps the sharp surface covered in storage, but it has two holes that expose the sharp surface, so it’s wise to look before grabbing.

This zester comes with a lifetime warranty and is easy to wash in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $12

IC Pro

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 12.75 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 3.2 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"This comes in a box, so it could make a nice gift item for your favorite cook." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best with Cover: Raniaco Stainless Steel Grater

4.3
Raniaco Stainless Steel Grater/Zester

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Reversible cover

  • Non-slip feet for stability

  • Easy to use

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes in black color

The Raniaco zester is made with an etching technology that gives the blade’s notches sharp edges to zest citrus and grate hard cheese. In testing, it worked well but felt rougher than others we worked with, but for the price it’s hard to complain.

The zester is made with stainless steel and a non-slip silicone grip that is comfortable to hold. For easy cleaning, it’s dishwasher safe. 

The zester comes with a cover to keep hands safe in storage. Even better, it can be reversed to collect the zest and keep it easily contained. The cover also has a “foot” that keeps it steady at a low angle on the counter, which some users may prefer when zesting.

Price at time of publish: $16

Raniaco

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless Steel | Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 4.4 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"The best part of this is the cover that's reversible and has a foot that helps keep it stable while zesting." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Chocolate: DI ORO Stainless Steel Handheld Cheese Grater

4.7
DI ORO Stainless Steel Handheld Cheese Grater

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Creates pretty ribbons for presentation

  • Cleans up well

  • Sharp blades

What We Don't Like
  • Not good for zesting

  • Holes in cover

Whether you're looking to put light airy curls of chocolate on top of a chocolate cake or shavings on top of a chocolate martini, the Di Oro grater provides effortless grating. When grating chocolate, you want to reach for a tool that grates it before it melts in your hands. In testing, we used this for parmesan cheese and it made nice ribbons that looked good on top of a salad, and we’d also reach for it for softer cheeses as well. However, this is not the tool to choose for zesting.

The sharp blades are made of stainless steel, the handle is non-slip silicone, and the wide surface area offers plenty of space to make fast work of cheese or chocolate. Di Oro comes with a lifetime warranty and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. This comes with a cover for storage, but it has holes that leave some of the sharp blades exposed.

Price at time of publish: $13

Di Oro

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 12 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 4.8 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"I liked the texture of cheeses that this ribbon grater produced. It's a bit of a specialized cut, so it's not for everything." Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best for Spices: Norpro Nutmeg Grater

3.8
Norpro Nutmeg Grater

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Compartment to store nutmeg

  • Easy to clean

  • Grates nutmeg smoothly

What We Don't Like
  • Not great at zesting other items

Spices start losing their potency and aroma the moment they're ground, meaning ground nutmeg and cinnamon from the grocery store don't have the same wow factor that freshly ground spices do. Take your homemade eggnog and pumpkin spice latte to the next level by zesting these spices at home. Enter the Norpro grater. This small but sturdy grater features a non-slip rubber guard to keep it from slipping.

In testing, we gave this a chance to grate parmesan cheese, but that’s not what the star-shaped grating surface is made for. This did a good job chewing through super-hard whole nutmeg, and the small storage space at the top could be handy for storing nutmeg in between uses. While this could be used in an emergency to grate other foods, it’s best to think of this as the nutmeg grater, and let it do what it’s best at.

While hand washing is preferred, we ran this through the dishwasher multiple times during testing with no ill effects.

Price at time of publish: $11

Microplane Nutmeg

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 5.75 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 1.4 ounces

What Our Testers Say

"This is made for grating nutmeg, and even has space to store a nutmeg. It's not all that good for zesting, but could be used if there's a zest emergency."Donna Currie, Product Tester

Final Verdict

If you're looking for just one zester to do most of the fine zesting and grating, get the Microplane Premium Zester Grater—it's a workhorse of a zester. However, if you're looking for a zester that's best for grating ribbons of cheese or chocolate, we recommend the Microplane Artisan Series.

How We Tested

These selected microplane zesters and graters were tested for hours by our product tester for the most authentic results. We rated these zesters based on design, ease of use, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Testing was conducted by zesting cheese and citrus and assessing the quality of the grating.

What to Look for in a Microplane Grater and Zester

Versatility

Do you have a need for a tool that is good for multiple uses, from zesting lemon for that delicious lemon bread to grating cheese for the fresh homemade pizza you're making? Or do you want a tool that is specifically for grating spices for cookies, pies, teas, and other dishes? Some of these neat tools can do it all, while others just can't. Choose what makes the most sense for what you need to use it for.

Ease of Cleaning

Zesters and graters are notoriously hard to clean, so you want one that cleans up easily and well. No one wants to spend their time trying to pick out pieces of citrus zest or grated cheese from those little holes, so choose one that is dishwasher safe or else easy to hand-wash without injuring yourself with nicks and cuts.

Safety

Reaching into a drawer can sometimes lead to unexpected cuts when there's a zester or grater in there. Some of these tools have covers that go over them to protect your hands—and potentially your little ones' hands. Decide if this is an important feature for you when selecting one.

FAQs

What can you use a Microplane grater for?

These little tools are up for most any job in the kitchen that involves, grating, zesting, shaving, and shredding, from making perfectly shaved nibs of chocolate for toppings to grating the finest pieces of citrus zest to go into those baked goods you're making.

Why do you and your kitchen need a Microplane?

If you enjoy cooking and baking, and adding those extra-special touches and flavors, these tools are a no-brainer to keep around. They save you time and effort in helping make delicious meals and desserts and get you out of the kitchen faster to enjoy eating them, too.

Are Microplanes easy to hold?

Some Microplanes have ergonomically designed handles making them easy to hold in hands that are tired or arthritic. Before buying, hold it in your hand and pretend you're grating or zesting to see just how comfortable it is for you.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

A Microplane grater is an essential tool in the chef’s knife roll, and any chef will tell you they go through a lot of these over the years—a lot. As a chef, Renu Dhar has used her fair share of these tools for baking and cooking. In fact, some of the ones she's used in the past and liked are on this list.

Donna Currie 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.

Updated by
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The 6 Best Microplane Graters of 2022. Delish. https://www.delish.com/kitchen-tools/cookware-reviews/g40010268/best-microplane-graters/

  2. The Best Grater. Wirecutter. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-grater/

  3. United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.

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