What Is The Best Zester For Lemons, Oranges, And Limes?

​Whether you are preparing a zesty meal or creating lumps of citrus fruit peels for garnish, you simply can’t deny the practicality of having a fine zester at your disposal.

Before I got myself a zester for my culinary needs, I used to get the zest of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and limes with the use of a classic cheese grater. Sure a cheese grater did help me get the job done, but it wasn’t nearly as effective as a real zester.

If you are done with using a cheese grater for getting the zest off fruits, then I’m sure you will enjoy reading this complete guide on buying the best zester. In this article, you will learn about the different kinds of zesters in the market and how to effectively use them.

Below you will also find a short list of the 5 best zesters you will be able to purchase online.


Microplane VS. Zester

Before we get into the list of the best zesters you will be able to find in the market today, let us first discuss the difference between the more modern microplane and the traditional zester.

Knowing the difference between the two can be quite essential since both can offer a different culinary experience.

A microplane is basically a grater that is somewhat similar to a rasp used for woodworking. Unlike traditional zesters, microplanes come with fine sharp holes that make zesting a breeze. If you are planning on getting the zest of soft fruits or other soft ingredients, a microplane may help you do a better job at doing so.

On the other hand, a traditional zester is designed with one row of small holes that are only ideal for getting shavings from certain types of citrus fruits. Unlike a microplane, zesters wouldn’t be able to produce fluffy shavings from hard ingredients like nuts and chocolates.

What is a Zester?

A traditional zester, on the other hand, consists of a single row of holes that are designed only to deal with the peel of various citrus fruits. They aren’t the best at shaving softer products such as chocolate, or harder items such as nuts.

Despite these products differences, you can still use any one of them to effectively get fancy looking shavings for flavoring or garnishing if you know how to work them.With enough skill, you will be able to use any of these two products to get nice shavings from an assortment of ingredients including oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, cheeses, ginger, coconut, chocolate, nutmeg, garlic, and nuts.

Choosing The Right Zester

There are different kinds of zesters available in the market today. Each one is specifically designed for a certain type of ingredient.

Ideally, zesters are used for extracting the concentrated flavors from the skins of numerous ingredients.

If you are looking to get the zest of lemons and limes, try to go with a zester with extremely fine holes so that you won’t end up getting the bitter insides of the citrus fruits’ skin. But if you are looking to create fancy looking citrus curls, try to go with a zester with larger holes or one that comes with a nice channel knife.

How To Properly Use A Zester

A lot of people easily commit the mistake of rubbing a piece of fruit or any type of ingredient back and forth against the zester. Most people commit this because they are unaware of the messy spray and zest that can come from doing so.

The proper way to use a zester is to drag it across the fruit’s rind. Simply imagine that you are shaving the ingredient you are holding. Doing so will allow you to neatly collect the zest on the zester’s underside.

5 Zesters You Should Checkout​

1. Raniaco Stainless Steel Zester

This stainless steel zester is a great tool that will allow you to seamlessly get the zest or shavings from any kind of ingredient. Whether you are working with lemons, limes, chocolates, or hard cheeses, this Raniaco stainless steel zester will ultimately help you get the job done.

What I like about this zester is that it comes with a rather lengthy design. Its length allows me to create a lot of shavings while performing less shaving movements with my hand. It also comes with a nice non-slip handle that makes it very easy to grip even when my hands are wet.

This product is also very easy to clean. All you will have to do is run a dish sponge with some soap on its blades and you will be good to go.​


  • Is very easy to use
  • Come with a comfortable non slip grip
  • Can be used for both hard and soft ingredients


  • Is corrosive
  • Is not dishwasher safe

​2. OXO Good Grips Zester and Grater

This OXO zester can help you get the zest or shavings from any kind of ingredient really fast because it comes with sharp and etched stainless steel blades that happens to be highly durable as well. In face, you can even just throw this thing in the dishwasher and it will end up being completely fine.

What I like about this zester is that it has a rather large grating surface that makes it easier to shave off zest from large fruits such as the grape fruit. It also makes it easier to gather shavings from a large chunk of cheese.

Another great thing about this zester is that it comes with a non-slip grip that will add security as you grate your ingredients really fast.​


  • Is dishwasher safe
  • Is highly durable
  • Comes with a non-slip grip
  • Has a wide grating surface


  • Not ideal for soft cheeses
  • Is a bit difficult to use if you have large hands

3. Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater

This microplane can help you add tremendous flavor to your dishes because it comes with extremely fine holes with razor sharp edges that can easily get fluffy shavings from all sorts of ingredients including citrus fruits, ginger, garlic, onions, hard cheeses, and more.

What made me include this product in this list is the fact that it's made with high quality stainless steel that isn’t only durable, but has the capability to stay sharp for a long period of time. There’s also the fact that it comes with highly ergonomic handles that makes it very easy to maneuver.

This zester is also very easy to clean and maintain. You can even leave it in the dishwasher for cleansing.​


  • Is dishwasher safe
  • Is very easy to maneuver
  • Can be used for citrus fruits, ginger, garlic, and hard cheeses


  • Can rust over time
  • The sides of its underside can be a bit hard to clean

4. OXO Good Grips Lemon Zester with Channel Knife

This product is another useful OXO zester in this list that will surely impress any cook. This highly affordable zester comes with durable double duty stainless steel that will surely last you years. It also comes with a head design that will allow for less messy and more controlled shavings. With this zester in your hand, you will be able to effectively get fluffy or thick shavings from any kind of ingredient.

Another thing I liked about this zester is that it comes with a nice channel knife. If you love creating fancy curled ribbon peels for garnish, you will surely have a lot of fun using this zester channel knife since its very easy to maneuver.​

This zester is also very easy to clean since it is dishwasher safe and its handles are made with non-slip silicone.​


  • Comes with a channel knife
  • Is highly affordable
  • Is very durable
  • Allows for less messy shavings


  • The corners of the head can easily accumulate rust
  • Is not ideal for getting shavings really quick

5. 1Easylife Stainless Steel Lemon Zester Grater

This zester comes with really sharp holes that will allow you to easily get the shavings from any citrus fruit without getting the bitter white part with ease. All you will have to do is run it against the fruit and you’re good to go.

What I liked about this zester is its rounded handles that are just a delight to grip. If you are planning on finding a zester for commercial use, this one will certainly relieve you of any hand pain even when you are holding it for a long period of time.

Another great thing about this zester is that it is very easy to clean and maintain. It is rust-proof, dishwasher safe, and it even comes with handy lifetime warranty.


  • Ideal for citrus fruits
  • Has a comfortable handle
  • Is non-corrosive
  • Is dishwasher safe
  • Comes with a warranty
  • Comes with a hanging loop


  • Is only great for citrus fruits
  • Is not ideal for hard ingredients

The Winner

The Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater is truly a great choice that you will not regret. This zester will let you easily gather the zest or shavings from all kinds of ingredients including grape fruits, nuts, coconuts, oranges, limes, lemons, garlic, onion, ginger, and so much more.

Its attractive and ergonomic design will not only make it an aesthetically pleasing addition to your kitchen, but will make it a fun tool to use for cooking and food preparation as well.

If you have any questions about this article, please do not forget to leave a comment in the box below. Until next time, happy cooking!​

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Paula Ghosh

I am Paula. I have a happy family with my husband and our 2 children. I like cooking and making delicious dishes for my family brings me happiness. I hope to associate with other cooking blogs to have more recipes and we will cook better for our families.

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