I'm a novice :) but I do know how great a Microplane is. I'm not asking for people to convince me that I need one-I've already decided, but I do have questions about which of their lines (and sizes) are good and for what.
How do you choose? I need to get more then just one small zester. I'm starting a "collection" for the kitchen. I definitely need one for hard cheeses first. How about the box version or are the interchangeable ones better? What's the scoop on the professional series? Are they even better?
The handled versions are OK but I still use my original, 12" or so model that isn't far on the evolutionary scale from the woodworking original. These are cheaper and tougher than the newer versions with less "tool" DNA.
I have 3. They all have handles. I've got a long zester, a shorter one for hard cheeses and a little curved one for grating whole nutmeg and cinnamon
I probably have 3 also including one of those 12" ones. It's the best for zesting citrus and for hard cheeses. Have one with farily large "slots" and it's nice to put larger cheese pieces on dishes.
although I like how relatively inexpensive and lightweight the 12" ones are - I am not that enthused about how the edges are rolled over. It makes it more difficult to access the bits of zest that stick to the bottom of the microplane. The models with a handle and clear frames are easy to access the bottoms of - just use a brush or your finger to brush off the "cling-ons"