The 7 Best Graters of 2022, According to Our Tests

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7-best-graters-of-2022

Real Simple / Taysha Murtaugh

A grater is an essential kitchen tool that allows you to cut down on meal prep time and gives you the treat of freshly shredded cheese and citrus. The best graters are comfortable to hold and have sharp enough blades that produce uniform shreds and require you to give little to no elbow grease to get there.

We tested 22 different graters in our Lab and assessed them on ease of use, performance, cleaning, and value. Our top pick is the Microplane 4-Sided Stainless Steel Professional Box Grater for its ability to produce evenly shredded hard and soft cheeses as well as citrus, the latter of which other box graters we tested could not achieve.

Read on to learn more about our top picks as well as how to choose the right grater for your cooking needs.

Best Overall Grater

Microplane Specialty Series 4-Sided Box Grater

5
Best Box Graters of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a high-quality, versatile grater that’s easy to use and clean.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a grater that comes with a storage base and compartment for shredded food.

All four sides of this box grater performed phenomenally during our testing. Our testers were able to produce uniform shreds of hard and soft cheese on both the coarse and fine grater blades with little to no effort. Our tester said there were similarly great zesting results while using the fine blade, so much so that they told us they’d be fine using the grater as an alternative to owning a separate zesting tool. They attributed these results to the quality of the grater’s material as well as the size of the grating holes, which our tester said were larger than holes they had seen in other box graters.

This Microplane grater also features a dedicated area for slicing, should you want to slice up some cucumber for a salad or potatoes for potato gratin, and a bi-directional blade that produces ribbon-style shreds. Our tester also tried this grater out on smoked mozzarella and found it to work quite well. Plus, throughout the entirety of our testing, they never felt fatigued or uncomfortable using this grater, which is due in part to its steady base and ergonomic handle. Overall, our tester said they would recommend this grater, saying “it's user-friendly, high-quality, easy to clean, and versatile.”

Price at time of publish: $46

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Types: Coarse, fine, ribbon, and slicer
  • Care: Dishwasher safe
Microplane Specialty Series 4-Sided Box Grater sitting on a kitchen towel

Real Simple / Fran Sales

Best Boxed Grater

Cuisipro 4-Sided Boxed Grater

4.9
Cuisipro 4-Sided Boxed Grater

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a super sharp box grater with multiple grating options.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a less expensive grater.

Box graters are usually the de facto choice for many home cooks thanks to their versatility and stability. We found this box grater to be exactly those things, and due to its performance, believe that it will last a long while. This can be credited to its sturdy material and impressive sharpness. Our tester told us that the blades on this grater are so sharp that they would recommend people get cut-resistant gloves to prevent injuring their fingers (our tester did). This is good news though, because graters, like knives, dull overtime.

The sharpness resulted in grating that was described as “extremely effective” by our tester. They also told us that “if you want super finely grated cheese, this is where it’s at,” as the Cuisipro was able to produce distinctly fine shreds, instead of fine shreds that ended up sticking together. They also told us that the soft cheese ended up distinctly shredded as well, and the zesting portion of the tool was able to zest the orange without taking out the pith (though the zest was a little wet). Overall, our tester was pleased with this grater’s value: “While this grater is pricey, if you want a super-sharp, easy-to-use box grater that takes practically no effort to grate with, you’ll be happy with this grater.”

Price at time of publish: $42

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Types: Ultra coarse, coarse, fine, and slice
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe
Cuisipro 4-Sided Box Grater on a cutting board next to a freshly grated pile of cheese and a triangle of cheese

Real Simple / Donna Currie

Best Grater for Cheese

Zyliss Smooth Glide Dual Grater

4.7
Zyliss Smooth Glide Dual Grater

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a grater that’s effective for grating cheese but isn’t as bulky as a box grater.

Who it isn’t for: People who want more space on their grater to grate their food.

People might be averse to this type of grater because it looks like it requires more effort to use than your average box grater. However, our tester found this to not be the case, calling this rasp-style grater very easy to use. They told us that the handle is sturdy enough to hold with just one handle, and that they didn’t have to apply an excess amount of pressure for it to successfully shred and zest the food.

We had great results with our soft and hard cheeses, with our tester saying the coarse grinding option “produced larger and thicker clumps of cheese quite easily,” while the fine blade “left very small clumps and ribbons of cheese.” For zesting, you can actually zest using both blade types. When using the coarser blade, the grater produced “thick and ribbon-like zest pieces'' that our tester said would be great for a garnish, while the finer blade gave us “smaller, delicate little circular flakes that are airier.” The only drawback of this greater is that because it is smaller, it doesn’t give you as much surface area to grate as traditional box-style graters do.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Types: Coarse, fine
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe
Zyliss Smooth Glide Dual Grater sitting on a cutting board with two small piles of grated cheese

Real Simple / Perri Kressel

Best Grater for Zesting

Microplane Classic Zester

4.3
Microplane Classic Zester

Target

Who it’s for: People who primarily grate hard foods, such as cheeses and fruits.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a grater that is easy to clean by hand.

Microplane (the brand) has gained such recognition for their rasp grater that people often call a rasp grater a microplane—and we found that the Microplane Classic Zester lives up to its hype. “The long narrow blade made it very easy to move it around the orange and zest smaller corners,” said our tester. “Plus, the canal on the back captured most of the zest which made it easy to remove it with a swoop of my finger.” It also managed to produce a very fine and airy zest that clumped together easily.

The Microplane also did a great job on hard cheese. Our tester told us that it took practically no effort to grate the parmesan, and the final result was fluffy flakes of cheese that “almost curve on themselves.” The soft cheese, however, was a different story. We had to apply a lot more pressure and didn’t get great results, with most of the cheese getting stuck in the back of the grater or breaking off while grating. Plus, when we went to clean this grater by hand, it was hard. The smaller holes made it difficult to get food out, to the point where our tester said it’s best to put it in the dishwasher for a good clean.

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Types: Fine
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe
Person using the microplane classic zester to zest a lemon

Real Simple / Irvin Lin

Best Flat Grater

Rosle Stainless Steel Medium Grater

4.2
Rosle Stainless Steel Medium Grater

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a grater that doesn’t require a lot of pressure to keep in place while grating.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a grater that can successfully shred soft cheese.

Flat graters offer convenience that other graters can’t match. By lying the grater flat, you don’t have to apply as much pressure as you would to hold an upright grater in place. Our tester certainly found this to be true while testing, as they were able to actually place it over their plate while grating. “It was incredibly easy to grate the hard cheese because the rubber feet provided great support/friction,” they said. They also attributed this grater’s ease of use to its length, as it was also able to zest the orange quite well. They did say, though, that there was a difference in the zest between small holes and the larger ones present on rasp graters, so keep that in mind before you buy.

The soft cheese, on the other hand, didn’t fare as well. We were able to produce some shreds but doing so required more pressure. Plus, the soft cheese did start to break off while grating. Still, our tester said they’d recommend this greater for its “smart design, solid performance, and high-quality build.”

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Type: Medium (between fine and coarse)
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe

Best Rotary Grater

Vivaant Cheese Grater

4.7
vivaant-rotary-grinder

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a safer tool for grating.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to be able to rest their grater on a countertop while grating.

Rotary graters are the ideal grater for people who don’t want to risk getting their fingers cut while grating. With the grating blade inside this mechanism, you can avoid that accident entirely. All you have to do is place your food in the hopper, turn the crank, and you’ll end up with perfectly grated food. Our tester noted that the hopper in this rotary grater is larger than others they tested, so you don’t need to refill it often. We were really impressed with how the hard cheese came out, with our tester saying it produced “a large volume of fluffy, feathery cheese with each turn” and that “this cheese is thinner than anything you can buy at the grocery store.”

Soft cheese was not as easy to grate, as it required a lot more pressure to obtain shreds. Granted, this rotary grater was not designed for soft cheeses, so this wasn’t surprising. This rotary grater comes with two blades and convenient storage tubes that you can attach to your grater while grating. Keep in mind that this grater style does require extra elbow grease to operate, as you can’t rest it on a countertop while grating.

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic, stainless steel blades
  • Blade Types: Fine, coarse
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe
Vivant Rotary Grater sitting on a counter with its accessories

Real Simple / Kimberly Holland

Best Grater with Container

KitchenAid Gourmet 4-Sided Stainless Steel Box Grater With Detachable Storage Container

4.7
KitchenAid Box Grater with Storage Container

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a grater that won’t result in a mess.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a box grater that can zest citrus well.

People who meal prep will really appreciate this convenient box grater from KitchenAid. The grater comes with a compartment that you can attach to the grater while shredding, so you can transport it directly to the fridge without having to pull out an additional food storage container. The little compartment can hold between a half a cup and two cups, giving you enough cheese to sprinkle over a salad, or cover a small pizza.

Our tester liked how stable this grater was on the counter while grating and told us that the best results came from the cheeses. The grater produced consistent shreds on both, with our tester remarking that the shredded mozzarella looked like what you’d get at the grocery store. The fine blade was not as successful when grating citrus, with our tester telling us that it ended up being quite wet and clumped together, to the point where they said they wouldn’t even use it if they had this grater: “I’ll stick with my Microplane for this particular task.”

Price at time of publish: $31

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Type: Coarse, medium, fine, slicer
  • Care: Dishwasher-safe
Person grating cheese on the KitchenAid Gourmet Box Grater

Real Simple / Taysha Murtaugh

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Microplane 4-Sided Stainless Steel Professional Box Grater. This box grater produced even shreds for hard cheese, soft cheese, and citrus, the latter of which was hard to achieve with other grater types we tested. It was also comfortable to use and the blades were sharp enough that our tester didn’t need to apply much pressure to get the grating jobs done.

Our Testing Process

We tested 22 different graters in our Lab and evaluated them on ease of use, performance, cleaning, and value. Our first test involved examining each grater out of the box, noting its versatility, size, weight, and whether or not it was comfortable to hold, among other features. For box- and rasp-style graters, we tested their grating abilities with hard cheese (parmesan), soft cheese (mozzarella), and citrus (an orange). We took into account how much effort it took to grate each food type, how effective the grater was at shredding, and the quality, size, and texture of the grated food. For rotary-style graters, we performed the same tests with just the cheeses.

We also asked our testers to note if there were any features or additional accessories that made the grating experience better. After we completed these tests, we cleaned each grater and rated them on how easy they were to clean, including evaluating how difficult it was to get food out of the holes in the blades. We used all this information to come up with the best graters.

How to Shop for a Grater Like a Pro

Grater Type

The most common type of grater is a box grater, which are loved for their versatility because they come with four grating options (though some brands offer more). The next most common grater is the rasp grater, which some people also refer to as a Microplane (Microplane is actually a company that makes rasp graters). Rasp graters with fine blades excel at zesting citrus, so much so that keen home cooks often have these types of rasp graters in addition to a box grater. There are other rasp graters that also have larger grating holes that produce more medium or coarse shreds.

Other types of graters include flat graters, which can be operated horizontally, and rotary graters, which have no exposed blades. For rotary graters, you put your cheese in a hopper and turn a crank to lower it into the cylindrical grinders found located inside the machine.

The one that’s best for you depends on how often you grate food as well as what types. Box graters are a solid choice for anyone, but we found during our testing that some zest better than others. We also discovered that box graters are the easiest for shredding soft cheeses, so if you frequently shred soft cheese but also want to zest citrus, we recommend getting a box-style grater and a rasp grater with fine blades.

Rotary graters are designed for cheese and vegetables only and are great for people who want to avoid getting their fingers cut while grating. Meanwhile, flat graters are convenient because you don’t have to put in the additional effort of keeping them upright the way you do with other more traditional graters.    

Person using Vivant Rotary Grater to grate cheese into a bowl

Real Simple / Kimberly Holland

Blade Types

Blade types include coarse (largest), medium (between coarse and fine), fine, and a slicer. Again, base your decision on what you frequently cook. Box graters usually come with all four of those options, making them a great investment. You can use the coarse, medium, and fine blades on hard cheeses, while soft cheeses are best used for the coarse and medium blades. Fine blades are meant for zesting citrus, while a slicer is great for chopping veggies.

Comfort

Getting a grater that is comfortable in your hand is important because grating is a slightly labor-intensive kitchen task that, depending on how much you need to grate, can take a long time. Box graters have such a sturdy base that oftentimes you don’t need to put much pressure on the handle for it to stay in place. For rasp graters, you have to balance the grater on your countertop to keep it upright, making it less stable than a box grater. For rotary graters, you have to hold it up entirely with one hand and turn the crank with the other, which can become tiresome. For the least amount of effort, flat graters work well because you can lay them horizontally on a counter and they should stay in place so you only need to grate with one hand—the Rösle Stainless Steel Medium Grater is a good example of a well-made flat grater.

More Graters to Consider

Zwilling Z-Cut Tower/Box Grater: Our tester really liked the included storage compartment built inside the grater, the fact that you could use the grater horizontally, and the two-way blades, which resulted in “consistent and professional” cheese shreds. However, it’s much more expensive than other comparable models.

Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel 6-Sided Grater: This grater stands out for having six grating options, including a zester, coarse blade, small blade, large blade, and two slicers. It did great when grating cheese, but unfortunately fell really short with the orange zest.

Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel grater sitting on a cutting board next to grated cheese

Real Simple / Prairie Rose

Questions You Might Ask

Will the blades on a grater dull overtime?

Yes. Like knives, the sharpness of the grating holes on a grater will dull overtime. Unlike knives though, there is no way for you to sharpen the blades on a grater. So unfortunately, this is a product that you will have to replace as the years go by. As soon as you notice that it is harder to shred your food, then it’s time to replace the grater. You can prolong the life of your blades by hand washing your grater, since the environment of a dishwasher is known to dull blades over time.

Do I need a separate grater for zesting?

It depends on what you typically cook. We found during our testing that rasp graters with fine blades tend to do the best when it comes to zesting, like the Microplane Classic Zester. They actually do so well that it’s not uncommon for home cooks to have a separate grater for zesting. However, we do encourage you to try zesting out on whatever grater you choose first if it has a fine blade option. We found during our testing that some did produce acceptable zests, like the Microplane 4-Sided Stainless Steel Professional Box Grater.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best graters and tested 22 of the most popular options in our Lab, evaluating them on ease of use, performance, cleaning, and value.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

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