Best Mouse for CAD work?

I’m looking to get a mouse for my newly acquired PC lap top for 3D software use. Which brands/models do you recommend and/or use?

Well, any mouse you are comfortable with will do. Personally I use a 6 years old Logitech RX1000. Simple Layout, no extra Keys and I am doing just fine. If your personal workflow requires extra buttons get a mouse with extra buttons. It really doesn’t matter in my opinion. It’s a bit like asking someone who is good at sketching what pencil brand he is using: interesting, but actually way less relevant than you would think :slight_smile:

I would have loved to get one of these, but having this touch thingie instead of a good old mouse wheel is simply not an option if you are doing CAD :frowning:

Which brand is this?

Actually, I do ask others what their favorite sketching device as well :slight_smile:

That’s a Microsoft Arc mouse, which I own. It’s cool for a laptop mouse, but the scroll is absolutely useless and I hate it. I like to use a mouse when editing photos in LightRoom and some PS/AI on the go, so I only use it with my Mac Air.

For CAD I’ve been using a Logitech MX518 for 5+ years now (together with 3DX SpaceExplorer)

Logitech MX700 since '02! Im still waiting for it to crap out, but after all the labels have worn off and the plastic is changing colors, it still works perfect. This also lead to a bit a fatigue in the buttons so they are very ‘light’ which is nice when clicking all day.

3D connexion is a must have for anyone doing a 3D models. It makes it a lot of fun, plus you don’t end up spending half your time just trying to look at it from a good angle.

I’ll have to look into this. Impressive!

I was thinking this topic today, was annoyed with my current mouse scroll wheel middle button and started thinking what would be the optimal mouse for CAD. I noticed that there’s been a lot of these gaming mouses lately, some of which have a bunch of extra buttons, and some even have advanced features like customisable palm rest position, etc.

I fiddled with a few in a store today, and noticed that the extra button placement is bit hit and miss: an extra button either is in natural position for you where it’s easy to click with your finger, or it’s not. This depends a lot how you like to hold your hand on the mouse. Even if it’s “super ergo sculpted” with every button carefully placed, you need to keep your hand in very exact position on the mouse to reach every button, and this doesn’t always work. I noticed I liked to have one small button top left of the left mouse button, so it’s easy to click with the index finger, and also one button under the thumb. Usually, if a mouse had more than one extra button in for example thumb area, one of them would be natural to click, but others wouldn’t.

Also second thing I noticed was the weight. Tried a Logitech G502 which was quite nice otherwise, but the weight at 150 grams felt a lot higher than with ‘cheap’ computer mouse that’s well below 100 grams - up to twice as heavy! I think many ‘advanced gaming mice’ use metal frames, which bumps the weight up a bit. So I think my ideal CAD mouse would be something that has a small button in left top corner - which I seemed to like for replacing the middle button, would have some thumb buttons for extra functions, and has weight of 100 grams or less.

One model I’m interested right now is the new Mad Catz R.A.T. 4 - it’s mid-tier in their gaming mice, which means it has plastic frame, but it seems to have all the functions (top left button, thumb buttons) I like and also has adjustable palm rest length. Note that their more expensive models like R.A.T. 8 have more adjustment options, including width, but these are metal-framed so more heavy.

**EDIT - the R.A.T. doesn’t actually have a programmable top left button, at least with the current software, so something else might be better, like Logitech G402.

If you want a ‘button monster’, the mice oriented towards MMO games seem to have most buttons. However, the question with these is, can you actually locate the right button when you want it? Of course you could just map some buttons as ‘no function’ and add some sort of haptic feedback bumps to others. This is Logitech G600 for example, with 20 buttons:

There are also a lot of gaming keyboards, that add programmable buttons - these could be practical if you want to add a custom ‘enter’ key to the left side, or want some extra buttons between your 3DConnexion and the keyboard.

However, I’d still say that if you want a mouse that fits you perfect, you have to go to the store and try different ones out. Each mouse seems to have a different shape and button placement. I do know that some people love a certain mouse up to the point they bring one with them everywhere they go, but then again some people just use the cheapest one, so it’s a very personal preference.

I love my Logitech M570: Logitech Support + Download. I’m on my third one now. The fact that you do all your scrolling with the trackball means you can click without moving anything. Bliss!

I’ve been very happy with my wireless Logitech, wireless, M510. The battery has lasted about a year - without ever turning it off. Very fast, very accurate and precise.

A few months ago I started to get tingling in my right wrist, at only 25 y/o I figured I should get serious about RSI/Carpal Tunnel if I want to keep doing what I’m doing. Being naturally left-handed, I tried switching my mouse hand from my usual right hand for a few hours a day on the left. At first, I only did it for non CAD work as I just wasn’t precise enough. At this point, I’m basically as efficient with my left as my right hand. I thought I’d share this tidbit with others. Especially as designers, sketching and precious mouse work for hours on end is not the best for your working hand. Try using your left hand for mousing. Bonus for right handed people, you can sketch and write at the same time as you mouse :wink:

At work, I use some generic ambidextrous Microsoft mouse. I’d like to get a nicer very large mouse with more buttons next time around. At home I use a Logitech MX Master. I have to admit looks kind of got me on that one. With that said, it’s a great mouse, no doubt and on the fly switching between devices is really handy.

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I have been using the logitech performance mouse MX for a couple of years and it is great.
Just got the new MX Master for home and it is even better.


I would have gone for the MX Master or MS Sculpt mouse (very mickey) but I go for portability and work with the Logitech MX Anywhere. I am very happy with it.

After going through lot of cheap ones I have settled on this one, very happy with it.

Although mostly I use Wacom for everything :wink:

I have gone for the 3D connexion CADMouse and Spacemouse Wireless. Love this combo. I would love the Spacemouse Pro but funds did not permit. I have mapped the two space mouse buttons to different things but in Solidworks/ PRO E its ‘normal to’ view and ‘delete’ - my two common keyboard presses. For the CADMouse the middle click the two forward and back buttons toggle my planes and sketches hidden or shown.

The CADmouse is actually really chunky so your hand really does encompass it, I rarely get any sort of ache. With the spacemouse combo there is a lot less movement on the mouse, as the other hand does all of the rotation of the model. So it is shared.

Another tip for RSI avoidance is to turn whatever mouse you owns sensitivity to full, it takes a little time to get used to it but there is less wrist movement overall doing the same tasks.