I feel like a fool for trying to stick it out making spaetzle with a colander or grater. What was I thinking? Oh sure, I'll do it the old-fashioned way, I told myself. Don't buy any unitaskers, I scolded at myself. Pfah! I should not have listened to myself.
There are two types of spaetzle makers that I've seen: this one and the round flat one. I chose this one at the flip of a coin. I chose this over the plastic one because this one doesn't have a removable handle and I felt it was more secure. I'm tempted to buy the flat round spaetzle maker and see which I like better. But no matter what, this thing has changed my life.
There are a few issues with this one. The batter can get under the slidey thing and wants to push out the end in large lumps, but that tended to happen only near the end of the bowl. It can also still be a bit messy. The smaller surface area means being more careful about how much you put on there at a time. It takes a little finagling to find the right procedure. You should also hose it off immediately after you're done using it so the batter doesn't get into teensy tiny crevices and turn into glue. Otherwise, it's easy to clean both by hand and in the dishwasher.
Despite that, it has completely changed my spaetzle game. Before, I had to press the batter into a colander or grater with a spoon and periodically put it down to scoop out the cooked spaetzle. I had to have a place near the stove I could set everything down, then wash off my hands (because they always got messy), then scoop out the cooked spaetzle, then go back to pressing the batter, which has dribbled all over the stove. It could take up to 20 minutes and the longer it took, the more impatient I got, and the more dribbles went everywhere. On top of that, the holes in the colander or grater weren't the right size, so I would often wind up with what looked like porridge.
With this spaetzle maker, it took five minutes or less and all the spaetzle was done at the same time. Just pour, zip, pour, zip until you're done. Makes perfect-sized spaetzle every time, except that one time when I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and made the batter way too thin, but even that was better than if I had done it on a colander.
Seriously, if you're still using the spoon-and-colander approach, stop and get a spaetzle maker. Doesn't have to be this one, just get one.