When I am grating a block of parmesan cheese and the block becomes particularly small, I often fear that I will slip/the item will be completely grated and I will cut/grate my fingers. I've used rubber gloves as well but I'm concerned they are not thick enough. What is the best way to protect against this? Are there graters with built-in functions to prevent this? Or would a particular kind of gloves help?


9 Answers 9


I have used the palm of my hand to "finish off" a block of cheese.

If you apply the pressure with the center of your hand and raise your fingers up a bit, away from the grater, you will be able to safely push the cheese through the holes and crumble off the remaining bit without the risk of loosing your finger tips.

  • But then don't you risk grating your palm? Dec 9, 2014 at 19:16
  • 4
    Well... if you keep going and don't stop you will, but the pressure needed to shred the last bit of cheese is less than what is needed to hold it in place. The cheese shreds and falls apart long before reaching the skin surface.
    – Phlume
    Dec 9, 2014 at 19:19

There are a variety of devices to solve this problem, my first thought would be thimbles if you don't want to buy one, but I would encourage just getting such a device, there's both rotary and flat-board ones I've seen. The rotary ones are thus:

enter image description here

  • 1
    dv as a device isn't a hack.
    – Phlume
    Mar 15, 2015 at 12:59
  • Rotary works better for cheese, the flat one for veggies.
    – Willeke
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:39
  • Not so great for ginger or etc
    – Meekohi
    Dec 7, 2020 at 0:17

I find that corn forks (small forks for holding corn on the cob) works really well, and keeps your fingers away from the cutting edge of the grater.

  • 1
    Wouldn't the prongs of the fork jam the grater before the last of the food is grated? Dec 11, 2014 at 12:44

Get gloves or thimbles. I have encountered this problem several time as I make home made pizza and the idea I use is thimbles. But if you are a larger person you may need bigger thimbles and all the ones I use come in one size only(and that barely fits my thumb). This plan is cheaper and may take less preparation and time.

The more fancy idea is the rotary grater thing(which makes to large grates, but I haven't used it often) which in my opinion is to expensive(but not as a one time purchase), but less notably from Is there a way to grate a block of cheese entirely without hurting one's fingers or knuckles? are:

  • Crumbling the cheese when it nears the end of the bar or whatever shape it is.
  • Leaving a very thin slice. I will add to that answer and say cut the remainder slice up to the desired size.

These are awesome ideas that work awesomely since the pieces that are not uniform will probably not be seen.

Get a plastic grater. These will be kinder to your fingers and though they are only 5.75 and similar prices you will probably have to buy more of them, due to the fact that they are plastic and plastic keeps less than metal and similar hardier products.


How about using bottle caps to cover the ends of the fingers? Or reverse the cap so it sinks into the potato (in my case) and use the protruding part as a handle?


Try cut resistant gloves like those from NoCry. Inexpensive and durable.

enter image description here


Pick some scrap wood (preferably hardwood, about 1cm thick) and cut out a piece thats about 4cmx4cm, on one side make deep (2mm) grooves. Clean them carefully so you don't get splinters in your cheese.

Then place the wood with the grooves down, perpendicular to the direction of movement, on the cheese and you have a fine handle.

If something quicker is required use some leather thing you have. The leather is sturdy enough not to fall into your food and thick enough not to cut your fingers. Of course it can get holes while being applied.

  • 1
    Why is this downvoted? Seems valid to me
    – Lombard
    May 13, 2020 at 10:37

Put the cheese somewhere it won't move (plenty friction, most chopping boards should be fine but if you were grating veg then you'd want to wedge it somewhere), and move the grater over it instead. Much larger thing to hold, and hopefully much less chance of getting cut.


I invented the SAFEGRATE kitchen tool for exactly your problem because I too would cut my fingers. You can grate any sized food on any grater you already own.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.