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A look at some rotary cheese grater models

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Despite the focus of our website being on electronic cheese graters, we have been asked by a few different readers if there are any other affordable and effective cheese graters on the market. This ruled out most of the cheaper electric model, so instead our focus turned to rotary cheese graters. These are also known as drum cheese graters, and are what many folks use to grate small batches of cheese. But how well do they work? And what is the best rotary cheese grater? Lets have a look at this below.

Microplane Rotary Cheese Grater

First up on the list we have the Microplane 39306 Rotary Cheese Grater. This is a plastic cheese grater, and it comes with a stainless steel drum. The drum is reversible, which provides you with both the ability to grate hard and soft cheeses. Swapping the drum out is a bit of a chore, as you have take care to put enough pressure on it to lock it into place. However if you put to much pressure, then it will squeeze past the locking clip which can be a little frustrating. This hand cheese grater has a slightly different handle compared to other rotary models, as you pull the handle upwards towards the other handle in or to push the cheese down. This means you can use your fingers to do this, instead of having to use your thumb which could be advantageous to some people. This model does feel a bit flimsy unfortunately. When in use, the handle often dislodges unless you hold it so that the grater faces at a downward angle. It does work ok once you have some cheese in there, but when in use it does feel like it could fall apart at any minute. Cleaning it is not too difficult, and there is no mention if it is dishwasher friendly or not.
With a retail price of around $20, this is somewhat poor choice in our eyes. Perhaps look for a different rotary cheese grater, as this one failed to impress us. You can find more info on this model on the Amazon product page.

Cuisipro Rotary Cheese Grater

Next up we have the Cuisipro cheese grater. This model is a little more unique since it is made out of a clear kind of plastic, which looks pretty good in our opinion. There are two blades included with set which are the coarse blade and the medium blade. Both these blades make use of Cuisipros “Surface Blade” technology, which claims to make grating quicker and easier. Looking at the ridges on the stainless steel blades you can see they are somewhat different to a conventional mode. This manual cheese grater comes with an ergonomic handle, which is fairly comfy to work with. It is also coated with a non slip finish, ensuring that it is easy to keep in place when in use.
So how well does it actually work? It certainly works quite nicely, and functions very well for example as a parmesan cheese grater. Hard cheese are no real problem, and the large feeding chute means you don’t need to cut the cheese into tiny blocks to use it. Softer cheese will also grate happily enough, and the machine feels a bit more solid than the Microplane above.
There is one problem with this rotary grater however, and that is the cleaning aspect. When you have grated your cheese, then you have the annoying task of trying to disassemble this grater to get it clean. Everything tends to snap securely in place (which is something we like to see), but in this case it makes taking it apart a bit of a job. The cheese also tends to get lodged in some awkward places, which means you will need a toothbrush or something similar to get rid of all the remaining bits of cheese.
So this makes it a bit hard to recommend. On one hand it works quite nicely, but on the other hand it is tough to clean. For this reason we think a rating of 3 stars is quite fair. The retail price of around $25 is a little high, but this is what you can expect to pay for a decent hand held cheese grater. You can check out some user reviews and see the current pricing on Amazon at this link.

Oxo Cheese Grater

Now we move onto the OXO Good Grips Rotary Grater. This hand crank cheese grater is quite affordable, and has a retail price of around $15.99. This model only comes with one barrel, which is a medium stainless steel blade. This model comes with a very handy store and seal feature, which essentially means you can store any unwanted cheese in the grater. This is quite nifty, as it allows you to use the cheese at your leisure without needing a separate seal-able bowl. Like most cheaper model, this manual cheese grater is mainly made out of plastic. When it is in use it feels ok, and it does an acceptable job with grating cheese.
When it comes to grating something like parmesan, this rotary cheese grater does a decent job if you don’t push it too hard. It can also cope with softer cheese too, but it does feel a little bit flimsy. We suspect that anyone who is in a rush could crank it too hard, and be left with a cheese grater with a snapped arm. But as long as you are gentle, it should last a decent amount of time. Cleaning and pulling it apart is somewhat easy, and we found it fairly easy to remove what remained of the excess cheese. It is dishwasher friendly, so you can happily stick it on the top shelf of the dishwasher if this is easier.
For someone who is looking for a no frills table cheese grater, this could be a affordable choice. It only has one barrel size and feel a bit flimsy, but if you are careful with it it can provide you with years of service. You can find out more info on this rotating cheese grater on the Amazon page.

Zyliss Cheese Grater

Finally we come to our pick of the bunch – the Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater. Like the models above, this is a plastic cheese grater which comes with a stainless steel drum. The frame of the unit is well designed however, and it feels firm and sturdy. The handle is ergonomically designed, and feels comfy to use when grating a large volume of cheese. The grater itself produces a fine grade of cheese, and you only get one blade with this model. This hand crank cheese grater has a fairly large feeding chute, so you don’t need to cut up your cheese too much to get a decent volume of it.
It functions really well, so if you are looking to use it as a parmesan cheese grater then you won’t have any problems. Hard cheeses aren’t much of a problem for this machine, and they all get shredded without much of a hassle. Likewise medium cheese don’t provide too much resistance, and when you are grating the cheese the Zyliss Classic grater feels firm and sturdy, not about to fall apart like some of the other models listed above.
When it comes time to clean it, it is fairly simple to take apart and wash. There aren’t any hard to reach areas where the cheese builds up, and the handle and drum are easy to detach.
With a retail price of only around $16.99, the Zyliss Rotary cheese grater is our favorite rotary model. At the end of the day it can’t compare to an automatic cheese grater, but it does provide a cheap and affordable means to grate cheese. At the time of writing this model has a 4.1 user rating on Amazon, so we definitely aren’t alone in thinking this is a good choice. You can check the current pricing there and read some of the many user reviews at this link.