I need to buy a new microplane--lost mine in the process of moving. I used to have the rasp grater, but after trying out the shorter, wider one the other day, I was tempted to buy it instead. Any reason why you'd prefer one over the other?
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My oldest one has the plastic frame, looks like new. Crazing and cracking of clear plastics is often due to exposure to oil or alcohol so that might be a clue for those having trouble.
Microplane's "Gourmet" line has a metal frame and a rubber bumper to keep it in place over a bowl or from sliding across the board. To me, those are the most versatile. It comes in at least three versions -- fine, medium and ribbon.
On the other hand, the rotary version is poorly engineered. And I'd skip the "spice" grater which, although it's the perfect tool for nutmeg, the fine zester works almost as well.
The wide versions have the advantage of being able to catch and collect more gratings on their larger surface area. To take advantage of that attribute, you have to use the tool as it was originally designed, that is, to move the tool over the food rather than moving the food against the tool (like you would with a box grater). If you're grating a big block of cheese, it may be better to do things the other way around and catch the gratings in a bowl, but if you're zesting a citrus, you may find what I'm describing to be a lot more accurate and efficient. The wider surface area also comes in handy for larger items, like said big block of cheese.
Other than that, it's probably personal preference, what feels better in your hand, and the size of the grater holes - some are better for zesting citrus, parmesan, nutmeg, etc.