There once was a time when I thought that the Ped-Egg was as good as it gets for a do-it-yourself pedicure. How naive I was. My eyes have been opened and my loathsome foot skin absolved. No longer will I be a slave to my heels, scrubbing in vain with a feeble pumice in the shower or rubbing with an egg-shaped grater for what feels like hours. My foot care regimen has been whittled down to a mere minute, and my soles have never looked better. I have converted to the Microplane Personal Care Foot File for good.

Microplane's backstory is a charming tale that moves from the woodshop to the kitchen to the salon. In 1990, the Microplane rasp was invented by two brothers looking to find a use for the sharp metal shards lying around their manufacturing facility. Developed through an innovative process called photo-etching (rather than the traditional method of punching holes into metal), the new tool's tiny razor-like edges were able to finely slice rather than tear or shred. This same technology was translated into kitchen implements four years later, and finally personal care products in 2004.

There are now three types of  foot files available in Microplane's skincare tool line: the orb style (a compact hand-held cylinder similar to the Ped-Egg), the paddle foot file (which has a long handle and an oval head) and the XL Pro model (with an even longer handle and a skin receptable built in to the handle). Each product has 95 tiny microfiles that exfoliate rough foot skin in both directions (front to back, NOT side to side or in a circular motion) to safely remove calluses in seconds. Like zesting an orange, the Microplane file skims off the rough outer layer of skin to reveal the soft pith beneath.

In my years of seeking out the ultimate sole solution, I have never been fully satisfied. Between a natural charcoal pumice from a Parisian pharmacy and a set of exfoliating foot creams, my heels were left hungry for more. Bath scrubs barely made a dent on my hardened skin, and salon-grade callus shavers (with a blade) scared me off with the risk of drawing blood. Even my recent adoption of the Ped-Egg rubbed me the wrong way. Thanks to the Ped-Egg's cheap construction, I typically found myself anchored to the floor furiously battling a dull blade, vacuuming up spilled skin shavings, or pampering sore spots inadvertently rubbed raw. In contrast, Microplane products are a careful balance of gentle, thorough, and efficient.

Best used on dry skin, the Microplane stainless steel file swiftly shaves off rough patches and thick calluses, trapping the skin shavings in a plastic removable cap. As with the Ped-Egg, these slivers of skin have a tendency to sneak through the Microplane's holes. Unlike the Ped-Egg, its ergonomic design prevents the need for muscle or reach. Instead of a contorted, aggressive sawing action, you can use one of the handled versions to graze your entire foot with barely a touch of pressure. Microplane lets you know when you're finished because you'll find baby-soft pink feet and gain a secret (sick) satisfaction from a capful of dead skin.

Microplane's foot file might be my best beauty tool discovery of the year. It costs less than double the price of the Ped-Egg and it has an exponentially longer lifespan. This sole saver makes me wish it was still sandle season. And in a pinch, it can do double-duty in the kitchen! Kidding.