You can use grated cheese to top off the perfect pizza, as the final finish to a spaghetti platter, or on top of countless other dishes. Grating your own cheese ensures the freshest taste, and because you can buy large blocks of cheese, you can get more for your money compared to pre-packaged shredded cheese. But not all graters grate all cheeses, and not all cheese graters create the flakes, shreds, and crumbs you might want. Here are three things to keep in mind when shopping for a cheese grater.

You can also shave lemons and limes or grind whole nutmeg and cinnamon with this model. Microplane

If you plan on grating hard cheeses like parmesan, asiago, or pecorino cheeses, you’ll appreciate a non-mechanical grater/zester. These simple hand-hand tools look like a knife blade but have sharpened perforations up and down the shaft. The tiny, edged scallops create fluffy piles of cheese perfect for sprinkling on pasta, pizza, and salad when you slide a block of cheese up and down the grater.

Great Value

This product has a handy blade storage attachment. fullstar

Soft cheeses like cheddar and mozzarella require a grater with larger blade scallops than a zester-style grater. A mandoline slicer has a set of fixed-blade configurations that sit over a container. A movable chamber on top holds whatever you’re grating or slicing. Slide the chamber back-and-forth over the blades to cut food while the container catches it. Mandolines are easy to clean and store, and also work great for producing ribbon, julienne, and spiral cuts quickly and cleanly.

Also Consider

This powered grater also chops and grates nuts and hard chocolates. Presto

If you’re feeding a large group of people, you can’t go wrong with a powered grater and slicer that makes short work of cheese, veggies, fruits, and even nuts. Made to accommodate a variety of interchangeable blades, a salad shooter is easy-to-operate and can output enough cheese to cover an extra-large pizza in a matter of seconds—and then chop, slice, and shred a giant salad to serve on the side.