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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?


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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. "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.

        1. That zester is useless. You'll know why you need a Microplane as soon as you use it.

          1. 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.

            1. Besides the above uses, the Microplane is great for hard cheese (parma etc). I ahve both, but very rarely use my zester anymore.

              1. Just try it, and you will not go back. Grating is not that difficult, but microplane makes it almost sickly fun & sooooo easy. Also, not so expensive! But I understand the hesitation - for hard cheeses especially though - WHOA.

                1. luckily now you can get a little cheese holder attachment for the wide microplanes. Please, please buy a Microplane. I waited a while on buying mine, but now I zest/grate everything I can because it's so FUN.

                  god, we're total sickos. and yes, be careful not to zest your fingers while using the microplane.

                  1. Gotta agree. Microplane all the way. In fact, now I have 2-one small rasp -one medium, I LOVE them both.

                    1. I'd go so far as to say that I'd pretty much give up everything you mentioned in your equipment list aside from a good knife and my microplane. Between the two, there is very very little I can't get prepped.

                      1. Microplanes are great, and make your food look "professional." But a few things - search chowhound for a thread on how to use it, b/c I found out I was using it upside down. Also, you still need to watch your knuckles on the hand holding the food!

                        1. I can't believe we got throught this much discussion of microplanes without the word "marguerita" coming up! Simply can't make one without the other!

                          1. microplane all the way. it's true what they all say. worth the money.

                            1. a zester dulls and is nearly impossible to sharpen well.
                              a microplane remains sharp (so watch out) for years.