Does the world need another zester option? Edgeware says yes with their Better Zester ($14.95), featuring a nonstick finish on the grating side, v-shaped teeth, and a container with measurements on the back side for holding the zest.
Initially, I thought the container was a little silly, but it's actually been useful for the times when I'm not grating directly into a bowl. The measuring feature seems less useful—measuring zest accurately seems sort of futile considering it's incredibly fluffy and packs pretty well. But I guess you'd have that same problem, or worse, if you were picking up bits of zest from the cutting board and gathering them in a measuring spoon.
What is innovative is that the measuring compartment has a little rubber squeegee-like appendage that does a decent job of scraping the zest off the back of the zester and gathering it in the compartment.
The zester's handle is set at an angle to the blade. I suppose there's some ergonomic reason for that, but I don't usually need to do a lot of zesting all at once, so I don't know if that's going to make a difference in my lifestyle. The snap-on cover over the business end of the blade, though, is a nice feature for safer storage.
What most impresses me about this zester is how smooth it feels when I'm running it over citrus. I have to check and see if I'm actually doing any cutting or if I'm just petting the lemon gently. I don't know if that's because of the v-shaped teeth, the nonstick surface, or the handle design, but whatever it is, it feels pretty effortless.
The resulting zest is very fine—finer than the zest from any other grating or zesting device I own. The only downside to this zester is that since it's so fine and has that nonstick finish, I might be tempted to save it for zesting only and not subject it to harder and more damaging things like nutmeg.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.