Mouse recommendations

I’m currently using either the trackpad on my MacBook Pro, or a logitech mouse connected to another system via Synergy. So far, they both work fine, but it seems like there might be a better solution. I’ve seen a few other topics in here where people are using a three-button mouse, or a mouse with side-buttons. Has anybody been through a few different input devices trying to find that “perfect solution”?

Basically, I’m wondering what are some features or qualities I should look for that will make the design process easier or more efficient. I already work two handed - one on the mouse, one on the keyboard. Hot-keys are the world to me.

In my opinion, the bare minimum is either an Apple trackpad (in a pinch), or an external mouse with a scroll wheel / middle button. My mouse has extra side buttons, but I have not tried mapping them to KiCad functions. Having a scroll wheel + middle button is key, because it means you can pan/zoom without using the keyboard (which frees up your keyboard hand for other hotkeys)


For a middle button, I’ve always had issues trying to click the scroll-wheel. Are they available with a button AND the scroll wheel, or are they always integrated? That scroll when clicking is maddening. :slight_smile:

Just make sure you take a mouse with a mouse wheel that is “hard” to rotate compared to pressing the button. To be honest i found even the cheapest mice typically work quite well here. I only had problems with modern mice that have this freewheeling function for fast scrolling.

You could get a “gaming” mouse with extra side buttons (not just the back/forward side buttons that are fairly common) and then remap one of them to “middle click” and unmap the button of the scroll wheel.

You probably don’t want my advice because I’m a trackball person.

But here it is anyway: Elcom “Huge” Trackball amazon link: (I have the wireless version)
Review: (not my review, just the first one I found on YouTube today)
Unfortunately if you mouse lefty, they don’t appear to have a left-handed version.

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I’m pretty happy with a switch integrated in the scroll wheel.

Turning the wheel zooms in or out without clicking the button.
Pressing the button and drag is pan, and while panning the zoom is blocked, and it would not matter much anyway because I’m zooming in and out all the time (Zooming out of the left corner, and then zooming in on the right is more effective than panning all the way from left to right, Especially on PCB’s where you often zoom in a lot for fine details.

So I wonder why you wrote:

I find it a very handy feature, maybe even addicting and I may at some times be zooming in and out untill I get dizzy and can’t get any real work done anymore. :wink:

Maybe he meant that the wheel is accidentally scrolled when clicking. That may happen with cheap sloppy mice. I haven’t experienced that with normal mediocre mice, price about a few tens of euros/dollars.

This is my go-to mouse. The middle button is separate under the scroll wheel. I also find click integrated into scroll wheel to be maddening!

Be aware that Logitech mice seem to be prone to a double click issue as the switches wear, but I’ve had luck with it happening under warranty so I got a free replacement. Otherwise, I find this mouse to be perfect in terms of size, buttons, and configurability.

At work desk I have simple basic logitech mouse which works perfectly fine. At home I’ve a gaming mouse with 3 extra buttons mapped to 'e’dit, 'l’abel & 't’ext.
If you are experiencing wheel scroll while clicking, check if you can modify scroll sensitivity settings (in the OS), they are usually in terms of lines per scroll notch shift

@paulvdh - what @eelik said. I guess it was just the low quality mice I’ve owned before. I did go out and buy one the other day - a nicer one than I would normally buy for myself - and the scroll-wheel click is working quite well. With the cheaper mice I had, the wheel was too sensitive, even with the detents, and would often scroll a jump during the clicking motion.

I appreciate everybody’s feedback in here. The trackball suggestion is appreciated, too! :slight_smile: It was worth looking into, and maybe I’ll use one in the future. For now, I ended up going with a higher-end Logitech (MX Master 2S), and so far it’s working quite well.

I use a trackpad and a mouse. Trackpad on left hand and logitech mk705 on my right. I dont use middle button functions; scroll wheel just for scrolling. Being able to pan and zoom with the trackpad is great. Additionally, if my right hand get tired of all the clicking, i can do that on the trackpad also.

I have learned long ago that low quality mice reduce productivity.
I also refuse to buy an EUR80 mouse though, mainly because if you have any experience with those things you can simply see those EUR 80 mice also cost < EUR 5 to make.

If you are willing to put a bit of time into it, you can find pretty decent mice for around EUR20, but I usually buy 2nd hand mice at flea markets. I always have 3 or 4 lying around. Often you have to repair them. The wires in the tail always break at the spot it bends a lot, which is just at the exit of the mouse, so every 2 years or so you have to make it’s tail a few cm shorter.

I loved my logitech MX Master, and the only reason I changed, was logitech came out with MX master 2S. Can’t imagine switching unless they come out with 3S :slight_smile:
Lots of button, a proper size, adaptive scrolling and Bluetooth.

My vote is for logitech g603 wireless gaming mouse

Let me pitch in with a recommendation: Logitech MX Master. It’s wireless (supports both bluetooth and their dongle), switchable between multiple computers, has good ergonomics and several buttons that you can map to various functions. The scroll wheel is software-switchable to be either clicky or not. And there is another middle button if you hate using the scroll wheel as a button too (I do).

And honestly, I don’t understand the concerns about price. If it’s a tool that you use several hours per day, it’s one of the most important things in your life. Why try to save what amounts to a dinner or two? Take the cost amortized over 2 years and divide it by months to see how much this costs your per month: is it really that much? I learned not to try to save money on keyboards, mice and monitors.

It’s not about the price itself.
I have a strong aversion against buying anything for a pricepoint that’s over 10 times what it costs to make.

As long as you consider also the development costs and include the fact that things produced in lower quantities do not really benefit from economy of scale. Meaning specialized tools that cost a lot to develop and are not sold to many people are simply more expensive. (Not really an issue for gaming mice but definitely for specialized CAD mice.)

Such kind of things are hard to weigh.
How about EUR 10 for a short sata cable in a local computer shop? (Such a red one).
I left the shop angry and without a cable.

The’re 90 ct directly from Ali, inclusive shipping.

And they probably cost 20ct or less to make.

Careful, I used some of those in a computer some years ago… they must have had some chemicals in them as after 2 years of ‘use’ stuff stopped working properly and unplugging them revealed corrosion happening.
Naturally the ones from the computer shop can be from the same source…

Overall prices in brick & mortar stores need to include sales staff, rent for the store, etc…
A national box store that has a website and distributes via parcel service is more efficient and thus cheaper.
China subsidizing parcel services for distributors within its borders to sell worldwide and even beating national box stores is a temporary thing.
All that being said, most of the stuff I need I only can afford from China as well, so…

Back on topic.
I use a Logitech MX Anywhere 2S for the last couple months.

And funnily enough the price in a big chain store locally matched the price of online stores, sans the shipping, so that’s where I got it (AU $70).
The Logitech mouse I had before that died after years of use from hand sweat interacting with the rubber inlays, that made them brittle/come off in layers… I repaired the micro switches once on that one.

The computers I have to take care off, mouse always go bad on the micro switches after 2-3 years.
And not necessarily the left button, the right button goes wanky first too, although its less used.

Mouse mats is another area altogether.
There are the ones for gamers made from some rubber and textile on top… but I don’t like them. Too thick. Too much stuff gets trapped in the surface.
The ones I prefer are just 2-3 mm thick and have a fine textured plastic surface, but the problem with most of them are that they seem to react with sweat/skingrease(?) and deform over time (4-6 months) and you loose that flat space to push the mouse around on.
And price wise? Don’t get me started… a piece of some material the size of an A5/A4 sheet costing as much as a mouse is rather questionable, esp when there is no guarantee that it lasts for a couple of years.