Graters review and compare

There's a grater for everything.
 
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  • Updated:18 Jul 2008
 

01 .Graters

Grated cheese

Test results for 39 graters from $4 to $60

We've scored them for:

  • Performance
  • Ease of use

Findings:

  • A versatile box grater may be all you need in the kitchen, but lovers of kitchen gadgets will find a use for lots of different kinds.
  • We tested 39 graters of four types. Most grated well, but not all made the job easy.

CHOICE tests are different. We buy the products we test — no freebies from manufacturers. Companies can't buy ads on our site and our work is funded by people like you.

Please note: this information was current as of July 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


Brands tested

  • Alessi Parmenide Grater Red AARU01 R / Blue AARU01 AZ
  • Anolon Grater with Suregrip Handle 52265-C
  • Avanti Cheese Bug 12768
  • Avanti Cheese Grater S-552
  • Avanti Drum Cheese Grater 15959
  • Avanti Non Slip Universal Grater
  • Avanti Triangular S/S Grater 12769
  • Bodum Parma Cheese Grater 3277
  • Borner Twin Design-Line Grater Fine and Coarse (plastic)
  • Breville Box Grater 4 Face Powder Pink BRE-322 #
  • Chef Inox Como Flat Grater
  • Chef Inox Multi Grater with Base 7351
  • Cuisipro 6 Sided Grater with Base S/S
  • Cuisipro Accutec Dual Grater 746846
  • Cuisipro Accutec Fine Grater 746878
  • Cuisipro Accutec Rotary Grater 74678400
  • Culinare 3 Drum Food Mill Grates Shreds and Slices C12002
  • Dalson Non Stick Grater KG12210
  • Davis & Waddell Mini Multi Grater 3 Drum Stainless Steel D86063 #
  • Davis and Waddell 4 Sided Grater D1000
  • Ecko 123 Grater 1067064
  • Eterna 4 Sided Grater 13640
  • Eterna Triangular S/S Grater with Santoprene Handle 13641
  • Microplane Coarse Grater
  • Microplane Fine Grater
  • Microplane Medium Ribbon Grater
  • Nigella Lawson’s Living Kitchen Parmesan Grater
  • Oxo Good Grips Box Grater (with storage container)
  • Oxo Good Grips Multi Grater 32780
  • Oxo Softworks Grater 80551
  • Propert Deluxe Box Grater with Container 7310
  • So.eat Grater with Plastic ABS Handle 48046
  • Stixx Suctionware Grater 1009 #
  • Tefal 33163 #
  • Vue 4 Sided Box Grater AD-HK
  • Wiltshire SS Round Handle Grater W3024
  • Zyliss All Cheese Grater 11355 (Drum)
  • Zyliss Classic Cheese Grater 11370
  • Zyliss Contour Grater 71375

# Discontinued model, but may still be available in shops.

 
 

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The following models scored the best results in our tests

What to buy
Brand Price
Hard cheese graters
Bodum Parma cheese grater 3277 $19.95
Alessi Parminde Ggrater red AARU01 R /
Blue AARU01 AZ
$34.95
All-purpose box graters
Oxo Good Grips multi grater 32780 $16.95
# Breville Box Grater 4 Face
Powder Pink BRE-322
$22.45
Eterna 4 sided grater 13640 $14.95
Flat graters
# Cuisipro Accutec Dual Grater 746846 $29.95
Microplane Coarse Grater / Microplane Fine Grater $39.95*
Cuisipro Accutec Fine Grater 746878 $39.95
Microplane Medium Ribbon Grater $39.95*
Zyliss Contour Grater 71375 $18.95
Rotary graters
Zyliss All Cheese Grater 11355 $42.95
Avanti Cheese Grater S-552 $16.95

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

  Performance Suitable for
Brand / model
(in rank order within groups)
Overall score (%) Performance score (%) Ease of use score (%) Hard cheese Soft cheese Hard vegetables Chocolate Zest Spices Price ($)
Hard cheese graters
Bodum Parma Cheese Grater 3277 84 100 74 •• S S 19.95
Alessi Parmenide Grater Red AARU01 R / Blue AARU01 AZ
www.gcv.com.au
81 100 68 •• S S 34.95
Avanti Cheese Bug 12768 77 100 62 •• S 21.95
Nigella Lawson’s Living Kitchen Parmesan Grater
www.anasazihome.com
76 100 60 •• 59.95
All-purpose box graters
Oxo Good Grips Multi Grater 32780
www.oxo.com
85 95 78 •• •• •• •• 16.95
# Breville Box Grater 4 Face Powder Pink BRE-322
www.breville.com.au
81 88 76 •• •• •• •• •• •• 22.45
Eterna 4 Sided Grater 13640
www.mcpher.com.au
81 88 76 •• •• •• •• •• •• 14.95
Chef Inox Multi Grater with Base 7351
www.chefinox.com.au
80 89 74 •• •• •• •• 24.95
Vue 4 Sided Box Grater AD-HK 80 89 74 •• •• •• •• 18.70
Oxo Good Grips Box Grater 1057961 (with storage container)
www.oxo.com
79 93 70 •• •• •• •• •• •• 34.95
Cuisipro 6 Sided Grater with Base S/S
www.zimba.com.au
77 88 70 •• •• •• •• •• •• 29.95
Eterna Triangular S/S Grater with Santoprene Handle 13641
www.mcpher.com.au
77 88 70 •• •• •• •• •• •• 14.95
Propert Deluxe Box Grater with Container 7310
www.propert.com.au
76 84 70 •• •• •• •• •• 14.95
Davis and Waddell 4 Sided Grater D1000
www.albi.com.au
69 76 64 •• •• •• •• •• 16.95
# Stixx Suctionware Grater 1009 69 88 56 •• •• •• •• 29.95
Avanti Triangular S/S Grater 12769 61 71 54 •• •• •• •• •• 9.95
Flat graters
# Cuisipro Accutec Dual Grater 746846
www.zimba.com.au
88 94 84 •• •• •• •• 29.95
Microplane Coarse Grater (A) 88 100 80 •• •• S 39.95 (A)
Microplane Fine Grater (A) 88 100 80 S S •• S 39.95 (A)
Cuisipro Accutec Fine Grater 746878
www.zimba.com.au
87 100 78 •• S •• •• 39.95
Microplane Medium Ribbon Grater (A) 86 95 80 •• •• •• •• S •• 39.95 (A)
Zyliss Contour Grater 71375
www.zyliss.com
82 88 78 •• •• •• •• •• •• 18.95
Wiltshire SS Round Handle Grater W3024
www.mcpher.com.au
78 88 72 •• S •• 5.00
Anolon Grater with Suregrip Handle 52265-C
www.cookwarebrands.com.au
77 75 78 •• •• 22.95
Chef Inox Como Flat Grater
www.chefinox.com.au
77 75 78 •• •• •• 7.95
Ecko 123 Flat Grater 1067064
www.worldkitchen.com
77 75 78 •• S •• 4.95
Oxo Softworks Grater 80551
www.oxo.com
77 75 78 •• •• 7.00
# So.eat Grater with Plastic ABS Handle 48046 68 81 60 •• •• •• 3.90
Avanti Non Slip Universal Grater 12772 67 69 66 •• •• 19.95
# Tefal 33163 112
www.tefal.co.uk
66 75 60 •• •• 12.95
Borner Twin Design-Line Grater Fine and Coarse (plastic)
www.cambur.com.au
62 56 66 •• ••     15.00
Dalson Non stick grater KG12210
www.dalsonware.com.au
61 69 56 •• •• ••   4.40
Rotary graters
Zyliss All Cheese Grater 11355 (Drum)
www.zyliss.com
74 94 60 •• •• •• •• 42.95
Avanti Cheese Grater S-552 73 92 60 •• •• •• 16.95
Cuisipro Accutec Rotary Grater 74678400
www.zimba.com.au
69 92 54 •• •• •• 39.95
Zyliss Classic Cheese Grater 11370
www.zyliss.com
66 83 54 •• •• •• 25.95
Culinare 3 Drum Food Mill Grates Shreds and Slices C12002 60 75 50 •• •• •• •• 19.55
Avanti Drum Cheese Grater 15959 59 75 48 •• 29.95
# Davis & Waddell Mini Multi Grater 3 Drum Stainless Steel D86063
www.albi.com.au
55 63 50 •• ••   12.95
 

Table notes

(A) The Microplane graters are razor sharp and are best used with a slider attachment that sells separately for $17.95 (code 35037)
Price Recommended retail as of December 2006.
# Discontinued model.

Overall scores. The overall score is made up of:

  • Performance: 40%
  • Ease of use: 60%

Suitable for:
• • Recommended for this type of food and performed well in our tests.
Recommended for this type of food, but performed less well in our tests.
S Not recommended for or tested with, but suitable for this type of food.

How we tested

  • Smartly protected with a stainless steel mesh butcher’s glove, our home economist spent days on end putting the 39 graters through their paces to find out which of them do a good job grating hard and soft foods. Can they grate parmesan cheese and chocolate without clogging the blade? Can they zest a lime leaving the pith on the fruit? Will they take the top off your fingers while grating nutmeg?
  • She tested the graters on the foods they’re meant for and indicated if they could do more jobs than just those they’re recommended for.
  • She also assessed their general comfort and grip, versatility and ease of cleaning as well as the quality of the grated food they produced.

The graters in the What to buy list are profiled in rank order within groups. For performance and suitability aspects of the remaining graters, check the results table.

Hard cheese graters

BODUM PARMA CHEESE GRATER 3277

Price: $19.95 Bodum

Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Food grates into a large, attached container that has a lid for storage in the fridge.
  • Easy to clean.

Bad points

  • Small, flat surface requires more effort.

ALESSI PARMINIDE GRATER RED AARU01 R /BLUE AARU01 AZ

Price: $34.95 Alessi grater

Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Smooth action, no resistance.
  • Food is grated into the attached container.
  • Small and easy to store.

Bad points

  • Small surface.
  • Grates only hard cheese.
  • Container is small.
  • Not very stable when grating on the bench.
  • The blade can be awkward to remove from the container.

 

All-purpose box graters

OXO GOOD GRIPS MULTI GRATER 32780

Price: $16.95
OXO grater
Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Fairly stable on the bench.
  • Comfortable.
  • Folds flat for easy storage.

Bad points

  • Two sides only (no internal cavity), so grating can be messy.

# BREVILLE BOX GRATER 4 FACE POWDER PINK BRE-322

Price: $22.45 Breville grater

Good points

  • Very good grating result.
  • Long surface and a large cavity.
  • Stable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Easy to store.

Bad points

  • Grinding blades can become clogged, making it harder to clean.

ETERNA 4 SIDED GRATER 13640

Price: $14.95 Eterna grater

Good points

  • Very good grating result.
  • Long surface and a large cavity.
  • Stable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Easy to store.

Bad points

  • Grinding blades can become clogged, making it harder to clean.

 

Flat graters

CUISIPRO ACCUTEC DUAL GRATER 746846

Price: $29.95
Cuisipro grater
Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Fairly comfortable.
  • Smooth action, no resistance.

Bad points

  • No protective cover or sliding guard, although it’s razor-sharp.
  • No rubber feet to stabilise it on the bench.

MICROPLANE COARSE GRATER / MICROPLANE FINE GRATER

Price: $39.95
Protective slider attachment: $17.95 (35037) Microplane grater

Good points

  • Excellent grating result, but watch the razor-sharp blade.
  • Comfortable.
  • Very smooth two-way grating action.
  • Cover protects blades (and hands) when stored.

Bad points

  • Some fibrous foods can get caught in the blade and be difficult to remove.

CUISIPRO ACCUTEC FINE GRATER 746878

Price: $39.95 Cuisipro grater

Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Comfortable.
  • Large surface area.
  • Smooth two-way grating action.

Bad points

  • Initial resistance to hard foods.
  • The safety guard has a small cavity, so you need to portion food to fit.
  • The guard has no stopper at the end of the blade, so the food to be grated can fall out.

MICROPLANE MEDIUM RIBBON GRATER

Price: $39.95 Cuisipro grater
Protective slider attachment: $17.95 (35000 Series)

Good points

  • Excellent grating result, but watch the razor-sharp blade.
  • Comfortable.
  • Very smooth two-way grating action.

Bad points

  • Some fibrous foods can get caught in the blade and be difficult to remove.

ZYLISS CONTOUR GRATER 71375

Price: $18.95 Zyliss grater

Good points

  • Very good grating result.
  • Five-year warranty.
  • Narrow, long surface.
  • Non-slip feet help stabilise it on the bench.
  • Fairly smooth grating action.

Bad points

  • Slight resistance to hard foods.
  • Two blade types on the one surface can make grating awkward, depending on left- or right-handed use.

 

Rotary graters

ZYLISS ALL CHEESE GRATER 11355

Price: $42.95 Zyliss grater

Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Five-year warranty.
  • Fairly comfortable handle.
  • Fairly smooth grating action.
  • Large surface.
  • Suitable for left- and right-handed use.
  • Two blade types.

Bad points

  • Initial resistance to hard foods.
  • Grated food can fall out of both sides of the blade drum, making it a little messy to use.

AVANTI CHEESE GRATER S-552

Price: $16.95 Avanti grater

Good points

  • Excellent grating result.
  • Less mess than with the ZYLISS.

Bad points

  • Only one blade type (fine).

Graters are nifty gadgets no kitchen should be without. They can help you just as much with preparing the ingredients for an elaborate meal as with perfecting the finishing touches.

  • A grater with a coarse blade is ideal for grating apples for pie or chocolate for dessert.
  • One with a fine blade grates parmesan for pasta or ginger for curry.
  • A slicing blade lets you create even slices of cucumber for salad or potato for bakes, and with the prickly-looking grinding blade you can grind citrus peel for a tart or spices like nutmeg.

But how many graters do you need for all those tasks? Is an all-purpose grater with multiple blades all you need, or are is it you better to have individual ones for specific jobs?

Which type suits you?

  • Hard cheese graters are conveniently sized and fit neatly into your hand. They’re designed for use at the table and let you grate hard cheese such as parmesan either into an attached container or straight over your meal as you need it. Because of their fairly fine grating blade, they’re less suitable for softer cheese like cheddar, which could easily clog the blade.
  • All-purpose box graters are the most versatile and the type you’d use for grating larger quantities of food if you have no food processor or can’t be bothered assembling and then washing it. They have at least two (though often four) large surfaces, with a number of different grating blades in the one utensil for grating coarsely and finely, slicing and grinding. Some come with an attached storage container to grate the food into; others have a base for that purpose or simply collect the grated food in the middle while you rest them on a cutting board or benchtop.
  • Flat graters are ideal for grating smaller quantities of food while cooking — just a little parmesan into the risotto, for example, or a bit of garlic and ginger into the stir-fry. They’re generally pretty lightweight, easy to hold and to clean, and take up little room in a utensils drawer.
  • Rotary graters tend to be fiddly to assemble and to clean but are convenient for grating nuts, spices or pieces of chocolate, because you don’t have to risk your fingertips while grating — these foods (and pieces of hard cheese like parmesan) fit easily into their small cavity where they're firmly held in place.

Caution: Sharp!

Grating food requires the same degree of caution as cutting meat, filleting fish or any other food preparation work that involves a sharp implement. The razor-sharp, two-way grating blades — especially on the CUISIPRO ACCUTEC and MICROPLANE flat graters, which claim to shave food rather than ripping and shredding it apart — can easily shave the top off your knuckles too, if you’re careless or grate slippery food right down to the end.

So take care when grating — for some flat graters you can buy a protective cover or grating guard.


In general

  • Strong construction.
  • Few crevices for easier cleaning.
  • Few attachments for easy storage, assembly and disassembly.

Hard cheese graters

  • A fine, sharp blade that can be removed easily from the container.
  • A good-sized container underneath the blade area.
  • Stability when grating on the bench.

All-purpose box graters

  • Four types of blade (for coarse and fine grating, slicing and grinding), all slightly angled, and the prickly-looking grinding blade not too small.
  • A large, comfortable handle positioned away from the blade area.
  • Non-slip rubber feet or surface around the base to help stabilise the grater.
  • Good-sized cavity to prevent clogging.

Flat graters

  • No more than two blade types on one surface. (The three blade types on the AVANTI and DALSON are too small and close to each other to use comfortably.)
  • Long and flat (or slightly convex) blade area for a smooth action.
  • Two-way action grates faster.
  • A non-slip end to rest on the bench while grating.
  • Safety cover for storage to protect blades (and fingers).

Rotary graters

  • Strong construction.
  • Comfortable handle.
  • Good-sized cavity.

Dishwasher-safe

  • Except for the NIGELLA LAWSON hard cheese grater (which isn’t suitable for the dishwasher because its egg-shaped top is made of beech wood), we washed all tested graters in a dishwasher.
  • Only the DALSON showed some rust afterwards, although it was labelled ‘dishwasher-safe’. In general, this label just indicates the item’s made of stainless steel — it’s no guarantee that it won’t rust, eventually, or its blades won’t deteriorate.

06.For people with disability

 

An occupational therapist from the Independent Living Centre (NSW) assessed the graters for use by people with a hand weakness, vision problem or cognitive impairment.

All graters she recommended are in the What to buy list and profiled here.

Other relevant characteristics are highlighted below.

  • Of the hard cheese graters, the top-scoring BODUM Parma Cheese Grater can be stabilised with a clamp and is ideal for one-handed use.
  • The OXO GOOD GRIPS Multi Grater is the all-purpose box grater of choice because it can be adapted to different angles for better action or hooked over a bowl.
  • Of the flat graters, the ZYLISS Contour Grater is the most suitable, but the three MICROPLANE graters used with their safety guard can also be recommended because they require little hand pressure.
  • Rotary graters are generally less suitable for some people because they require strength in both hands.