Microplane v. Zester
I have a stand-up grater, a mandoline, a decent set of knives and a zester that looks like this
I'm a total amateur, I don't grate herbs or nuts (I usually mince and leave it at that) so can someone tell me, do I really need a microplane and why is it better than my zester?
Those zesters are good for pulling off long strips of zest. I utterly LOVE my Microplane. It completely takes the zest off citrus in fine, fluffy clouds of zest, and does so much faster than with a regular zester.
I wouldn't want to use that zester on a piece of garlic.
Actually, I do have a zester, but I find that my microplane is replacing it. It's especially good for ginger.
"Joke" zesters like these keep Chinese 18 yr-olds employed but don't do much for us. Get a MicroPlane. Great for garlic, ginger, zesting, Parm and other hard cheeses.The first sound you'll hear after getting a MP is your old zester hitting the trash can.
About the only thing I can think of that a zester does better than a microplane is what JK said, they can pull off long strands of zest, good for decoration. But you can use a knife for that. A microplane is superior in every other way. Just be careful you don't microplane your fingertips off.