Blade crafted from durable stainless steel. Feet suction to counter, keeping product in place. Can grate, slice, and shred cheese and vegetables. Folds for storage.
Plastic parts feel flimsy. Plastic bits may come off of product during first few uses.
Certified for restaurant use, meeting strict health regulations. Grates cheese, chocolate, and nuts. Works in both right and left hand. Cleans in dishwasher.
Many buyers had issues with the product's durability. Flimsy plastic design.
Stainless steel design lasts for years. Blade grates forward and backward. Can zest and grate cheese and chocolate. Comfortable when in hand. Safe for dishwasher.
Bigger than many customers expected, making the product awkward to use.
Includes three interchangeable blades for grating, shredding, and slicing. Works with cheese, vegetables, and nuts. Grating options range from fine to course. Bottoms suctions to counter.
Product has trouble staying in place despite bottom suction.
Easy to break apart for cleaning, and dishwasher safe. Grating is a breeze with the smooth-turning handle. For both left and right-handed users. Particularly effective with hard cheeses such as Parmesan.
Does not ship with a slicer blade. Some found the hopper to be on the small side.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
From pizza and pasta to salads and soups, grated cheese is an indispensable ingredient in a variety of dishes. A rotary cheese grater offers a quick and easy way to prepare your favorite grated cheeses. You can also use a rotary cheese grater to shred vegetables, grind nuts, and handle other foods that would be difficult and time-consuming to grind in a food processor. What’s more, these manual graters alleviate the need for electricity and can help cut down on the clutter of wires on your counter.
This guide will introduce you to some of the types and features you will run across when shopping for a rotary cheese grater. We will help you to determine what you need in a grater and offer several suggestions for products that we feel would complement any kitchen.
When shopping for a rotary cheese grater, you will run across a range of machines that bare that title. The majority have the following design elements in common.
Blade or drum
There are two basic kinds of cutting blades used by rotary graters: the blade and the drum. Blades are usually flat and circular. You turn a handle and the blade spins, grating cheese as it goes. Drums are more commonly found in rotary grinders. These come in the form of a cone with blades cut into it. Like the blade, you turn a handle, and the cone spins and grates.
Regardless of whether you choose a cheese grater with a blade or a drum, the cutting surfaces should be razor sharp and durable. A sharp blade grates more efficiently, making the appliance easier to use. Blades and drums are generally constructed from corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Some grate in both directions, so you can turn the handle either way to operate the grinder.
A cheese grater handle should attach securely to the grater and turn easily. The device shouldn’t wobble or slip as you use it. The handle should also dismantle easily, so you can clean the grater more efficiently. Ridges on the handle provide a comfortable, non-slip grip.
If you are left-handed, be sure the cheese grater you choose is oriented for you. Many cheese grater handles can be removed and affixed to the left or the right side of the housing, depending on your needs.
Housing and hopper
The housing is the body of the grater, and the hopper is the area where the cheese goes prior to being grated. Both housing and hopper should be rugged: sturdy ABS plastic is the go-to material. However, you can also find a few cheese graters that are made entirely of stainless steel.
The suction cups on the bottom of a countertop grater generally adhere best to smooth, non-porous surfaces such as glass, marble, and stainless steel.
Much like the blade/drum choice, you will need to decide whether you want a cheese grater that you can hold in your hand or one that sits on the countertop. There are pros and cons to each type.
Handheld cheese graters
As the name implies, you hold a handheld cheese grater in one hand and turn the handle with the other. These are perfect for on-the-go grinding or when you need to grind just a little bit of cheese. They are easy to set up and generally consume little space.
Countertop cheese graters
For larger grating jobs, think about going with a countertop model. Countertop cheese graters offer more stability, particularly if equipped with a suction mechanism. While they can be heavier and take up more space, they tend to be easier to use (usually with one hand) and less messy than handheld graters. Plus, you can grate a significant amount of cheese in a short period of time.
The blades of a rotary cheese grater are extremely sharp. Take extra care not to cut yourself, especially if you are washing them by hand.
If color and style matter to you, keep these features in mind as you compare cheese graters. Some offer a choice of colors in addition to designs ranging from vintage to cutting-edge modern.
Ease of cleaning
Grating cheese is inherently a messy job. Before you buy a cheese grater, you should know how easy (or hard) it’s going to be to clean up afterward. A cheese grater should break down easily. The fewer hard-to-reach crevices it has, the better. Some cheese graters require cleaning by hand with soap and water, but the majority can be run through a dishwasher.
Capacity and size
How much cheese can you wedge into the hopper at once? The more cheese you can fit in the grinder, the more you can grate without having to reload it. A large-capacity cheese grater is obviously beneficial for those who plan on grating a large amount of cheese.
On the other hand, a large-capacity cheese grater is bound to be physically heavier and larger in size. This can result in a grater that’s more difficult to use, particularly if it’s a handheld model. A larger grater could also pose a problem if storage space is limited.
Number of blades or drums
The more blades or drums that ship with the grater, the more versatile it will be. With multiple blades/drums, you can choose between grating fine (hard cheeses, nuts, chocolate, zesting) and coarse (soft to medium cheeses, shredded vegetables). Some blades can also slice, which opens up your grater to vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchini.
Keep an eye out for any accessories that ship with a grater. While not standard, some rotary cheese graters will include extras. You might get a cleaning brush or other random items, such as a cheese slicer or nutcracker. You might receive a recipe booklet with your cheese grater or even a bag for storage.
Rotary cheese graters are a relatively inexpensive kitchen tool. Prices start under $20 and can run from $40 to $50 or more. The majority fall in the $20 to $30 range.
When paying more, expect higher quality and increased durability. Pricier models may also ship with a larger number of blades, providing you with more opportunities to use your grater. Countertop models with robust suction capabilities will also run you a few more dollars.
Before you buy a new cheese grater, consider inquiring about a warranty. Some manufacturers offer a year of coverage, but we’ve also seen cheese graters with no warranty as well as cheese graters with a five-year warranty. This is an area where it could pay to comparison shop.
Some rotary cheese graters fold for easier storage.
The rotary cheese grater field is packed with products, and we’d like to touch on a few other graters we really like. The Valuetools Manual Rotary Cheese Grater is a durable countertop option that checks a variety of boxes, from its fun color options to the three blades it ships with. We also like the Masthome Cheese Grater; it has three blades, a compact frame, and a decent price.
Q. Can I use a cheese grater to spiralize vegetables?
A. No. Spiralized vegetables (like zucchini noodles) are a popular alternative to pasta. Unfortunately, these graters are not capable of spiralizing vegetables. You’d need a separate spiral slicer to do that.
Q. Can the grating blades be sharpened?
A. No. Because of the design of the blades, trying to sharpen them would be difficult. As such, manufacturers recommend that you do not try to sharpen the blades. However, with proper care and handling, rotary cheese grater blades should stay sharp for the life of the grater and need no sharpening.
Q. Do rotary cheese graters work with soft cheeses?
A. The answer to this question varies from grater to grater, but the majority of rotary cheese grinders struggle a bit with soft cheese. Between the design and the constant pressure on them, soft cheeses like brie and softer mozzarella may be difficult to grate. However, there is a solution: try freezing the cheese a bit before running it through the grater to harden it.
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