Microplane - There Must Be Something Better

I recently got a Microplane. At first I was happy. So sharp and such finely grated cheese! But I have become more and more disenchanted. It’s flimsy and light, and moves around with the least amount of pressure. It’s long and skinny, but if I try to use the entire length of the tool, the grated food goes all over the place. Using it to grate over a plate of pasta is an exercise in futility (unless I want to cover my guests’ laps with cheese).

Does anyone know of a similar product, but with heft and a wider and shorter cutting area, that will still finely grate?

Here is an example. I am attempting to grate a cake of palm sugar:

It is taking forever, sugar is flying all over my kitchen, and the microplane keeps slipping all over the place. It shouldn’t be this difficult, right?

Would a Microplane with a different shape help? There are different types of Microplane.



I like rotary graters but I don’t have a microplane insert. I see them advertised though. Tempted to buy one.

Use the microplane for citrus zest. I don’t think it is meant for cheese really…
one of these is great for hard cheese like parm, just need a firm grip.


I have one that is similar to the photo plus a few of the ones you link to.

My longer Microplane is rock solid, no flex at all, and grates hard cheese really well. Not certain if it is exactly the same as the one in the phone - it has a solid plastic handle but the blade looks similar.

As its so sharp I tend not to need to use the whole length and just grate on a central spot over the dish being dressed - as it’s far quicker than other graters this doesn’t seem to be a hassle.

The wider “pro” graters are good, but they have a little more flex in them as the steel is very springy. I tend to rarely use them as I find the basic model works pretty well for most things.

Palm sugar is always pretty hard to grate - I now just smash it up and let it melt into sauces/curries with out too much problem.

They do work well but are more hassle to clean than a plane.

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If you apply the microplane to the TOP of the chunk of food you are grating, it minimizes the scatter. The curled edges retain much of the ingredient. Turn the grater over and rap it on the edge of the bowl to dislodge it.

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Yes, get a different style.

They are or used to be sold at my local hardware stores, e.g. OSH, ACE, in the tool section. They may have been originally sold as shaping tools. Different sizes, and hole sizes. I would not be surprised if there were copies being sold.

I have three. One for nutmeg, one for hard cheese, one for zest.

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Whew . . .glad I’m not the only one :blush: including one for my nutmeg.

I also have that cylindrical type for parm, but as @Ttrockwood notes, it’s a PITA to clean. Like my garlic press, it only comes out if I need a large amount.

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Yes! Every time I use the microplane, I remember the wood rasps my dad and brothers had. They were solid and sturdy. That’s what I always expect when ordering graters.

Maybe check your local stores, vs ordering them.

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Do you still have your micro plane sleeve? If so, can you see pictures of the suggested use?

Nope, just comes apart and goes in the dishwasher. But yeah washing it by hand would suck a lot.

Great logic. Yes, that was the history of the microplane. It was actually a hardware tool:

The big moment came in 1994, when a Canadian housewife was making an orange cake. Out of frustration that her grater was tearing and shredding, she commandeered one of her husband’s favorite woodworking tools from his workshop. The blade slid effortlessly across the orange and the zest fell from its surface like snowflakes.


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Just to add to this discussion, I was using the microplane a few days ago thinking somewhat the same thoughts. I also have an old rotary grater with several drums and thought about digging it out, but also I thought about my food processor. I don’t have a ‘grating’ disc, although one is available, but I do have a fine shredder disc that I prefer for carrot cake. (versus the regular shredder disc that would be too big to shear such a hard cheese).

Anyway, the fine shredding disc worked although I had a fear that it would jam up. For me it was no hassle as I keep the food processor out on the counter.

You might want to check out this box mandoline from Kuhn Rikon:

I got mine at QVC for $ 15.

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Use a different shape. I have this one and it works great. Got mine at Williams Sonoma.

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I tend not to put any sharp “blades” in the dishwasher as I thought it dulled the edge so tend to just rinse the blades and wipe hem over.

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I probably read that story, maybe 20+ years ago and purchased one at the hardware store. WOW, 20 years ago.

I wonder if the only difference between the hardware tool vs the kitchen tool is that: carbon steel (along with machine oil) vs stainless steel.

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