Best Rotary Cheese Graters

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

27 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
140 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best rotary cheese graters

Last Updated December 2019

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.

Certification by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) assures buyers of rotary cheese graters that their choice is a restaurant-quality grater.

Anatomy of a cheese grater

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.

Handle

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.

EXPERT TIP

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.


Staff  | BestReviews

Handheld cheese graters vs. countertop cheese graters

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.

CAUTION

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.

Other cheese grater features


Appearance

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.

Accessories

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 grater prices

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.

Tips

  • If you suffer from arthritis or a similar ailment, a countertop cheese grater would probably be easier for you to use than a handheld cheese grater.
  • One downside to buying a cheese grater with multiple blades: you are going to need to find a way to keep track of all the pieces. To help with this, either shop around for one that ships with a storage bag or hold on to the original box.
  • A grater with a transparent hopper or housing will help you keep an eye on the grating process. This is both mesmerizing and an excellent way to spot potential clumping or other problems.
  • To help keep your grater blade edges sharp, consider washing all blades by hand. Blades that are allowed to bang around in the dishwasher can more easily sustain nicks and collisions that could dull them.
  • If you’re in the market for a countertop grater, consider one with suction capabilities on its legs or base. This will help to keep the grater from slipping or tipping while in use, and it will also be easier to turn the handle.
  • While some cheese grater handles can be switched to accommodate left-handed users, those handles that are attached to the drum itself will need to be turned in the opposite direction after you’ve switched sides (unless the blade offers bi-directional grating).
  • If you find that your grater is difficult to use with harder cheeses, try removing your cheese from the refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before grating it.
  • Rotary cheese graters are handy for use at the dining table as well as in the kitchen. Having a grater on the table allows diners to easily top off their pasta or other dishes.
  • The handle end that holds the cheese in the hopper will work more effectively if it has a slight curve to it. This is particularly true with cheese that is soft or slippery.
  • If you are going to be washing your grater by hand and it did not ship with a brush, try using an inexpensive toothbrush to remove cheese and other bits from the blades and any housing crevices.

Other products we considered

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.

An all-metal grater tends to last longer than a cheese grater with a plastic housing. However, these are more difficult to find nowadays.

FAQ

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.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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