Eight best Mice for CAD software users

Recently I asked many CAD software users regarding their opinion of the best mouse for CAD software and which one they themselves use or prefer to use and I got some really thoughtful responses.

Although I am not an expert when it comes to technical aspects of a mouse but on the basis of specifications, reviews, responses from CAD users and my own opinion I am listing eight best CAD mouse here in no particular order.

Overview:

I have noticed that large mouse which fits properly in your hand is comfortable to work with. Dedicated keys for Pan, Zoom, and other functions is an added advantage but too many dedicated keys generally becomes an overkill unless you really like a programmable mouse with lots of dedicated keys.

Resolution or sensitivity is another parameter on which quality of a mouse can be judged but so far all mice offer an acceptable value of resolution or DPI and I believe that this parameter can be ignored when considering a good mouse.

Moreover, you can also change the sensitivity of any standard mouse using Mouse Pointers settings of the control panel. To change this setting simply go to Control panel then Mouse option and select Pointer Options tab from Mouse pointers window. From this tab change the pointer speed slider to fast and you can see a visible change in mouse sensitivity or precision.

mouse-min (1)

Lets now have a look at some mice which are used by many CAD professionals and which came as a good recommendation from them.

3D connexion space pilot pro:

This device is best suitable for 3D cad users who need to navigate in 3D space frequently. The device offers six degrees of freedom which is great for navigating in 3D space and for positioning cameras. It also comes with wrist rest pad which can be comforting for most CAD users.

The pre-configured quick view keys offer additional advantage which can facilitate quick view changes. This device also comes with programmable keys that can be customized according to your need.

1-min

This device was suggested by Emmanuel Garcia, Adjunct Professor at LA Trade Tech College. He loves to work with a multi-button mouse and this mouse offers exactly that, dedicated and programmable keys for an easy workflow.

3D connexion space navigator:

Once again this device is suitable for 3D modeling users who want intuitive 3D navigation with better and precise camera control. Just like space pilot pro this device also offers navigation in six degrees of freedom with fewer features compared to Space Pilot Pro.

This device can be best used with CAD mouse, the task of precise navigation can be controlled with this space navigator whereas other tasks can be done with CAD mouse or standard 3 button mouse.

2-min

This device was suggested by Paul Munford from CADsetterout.com. He prefers this mouse with Autodesk Inventor although, for AutoCAD he prefers a simple 3 button optical mouse but for specialized needs related to fluidic navigation in 3D space he prefers space navigator.

This is what Paul says about the device “For Autodesk Inventor work I supplement with a Connexion 3D space navigator mouse. It’s ideal for manipulating a 3D CAD model on screen. It saves hours spent fiddling with the view controls and makes 3D modeling a far more intuitive experience.”

3D connexion CAD mouse:

This mouse can be designated as an all-purpose CAD mouse which is ergonomically designed to give you the comfortable grip and better navigation control. This mouse also comes with a dedicated middle mouse button which is an alternative to pressing mouse wheel. There are also dedicated zoom keys near your thumb and you can also use the standard mouse wheel for zooming in and out of your geometry.

3-min

Logitech M70 wireless trackball:

This is once again a new type of mouse with a thumb controlled trackball, the main advantage of this mouse is its trackball which allows you to keep your hand stable while using this mouse. You can simply control mouse movements without any wrist movement and the trackball precision can also be controlled to give you better accuracy over navigation. It also has programmable buttons which can be used for assigning dedicated common tasks.

4-min

Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse:

This mouse is also similar to the Logitech M70 wireless trackball but in this case, you have less wrist comfort when compared with the Logitech thumb trackball mouse. This mouse also promises great precision tracking due to the large size of its trackball.

One of the biggest advantages that this mouse has is its ambidextrous design which can be used by both left handed and right handed person. The mouse can be connected to your workstation with a standard USB Nano receiver or with Bluetooth.

55-min

TeckNet M002 Nano Wireless Mouse:

This mouse can be called as a close competitor of 3D connexion CAD mouse. This manufacturer promises a smooth navigation from this mouse even on smooth and reflective surfaces like glass and polished metal or wood. The mouse has an ergonomic design for easy and comfortable grip and it comes with dedicated zoom keys near the thumb. It can also be used wirelessly with the Nano receiver directly on your workstation without any software installation.

6-min

Razer DeathAdder Chroma:

This one is another impressive special purpose mouse which is marketed as gaming mouse by the manufacturers. This mouse features a very ergonomic design and rubber side grips. This mouse also boasts a resolution of 10000 DPI which is the highest resolution among the mouse compared here. The mouse also has five programmable keys which are again good for enhancing your productivity manifolds.

7-min

This mouse is also one of the favorites of Melinda Heavrin, CAD manager at Norton healthcare and a regular AUGI contributor. This is what Melinda says about the mouse “I am currently looking to get a Razer.  Several CAD users I know are using the Razer DeathAdder and they absolutely love it.  That’s why I’m leaning towards getting it.”

Standard 3 button mouse:

Although we now have many options to choose from when it comes to CAD mouse still I see many CAD users (including me ) using the old school 3 button mouse.

Best mouse for CAD software

Most of the CAD veterans whom I asked about their preferred choice of CAD mouse said they are happy with a simple 3 button optical mouse mostly Logitech.

Brian Myers, BIM Manager at Alberici Constructors and Lynda.com Revit course author said he has a preference for the large and quiet mouse but he is not specially aligned towards any specific brand or product model.

Sam Lucido, CAD Services Manager at Haley and Aldrich and also a regular AUGI world magazine contributor prefers a standard 3 button wireless Logitech mouse, he also prefers to keep a backup mouse always with him whenever he is traveling.

Michael E. Beall owner of CAD Trainer Guy, LLC and Edwin Prakoso Senior Application Engineer and owner of CAD-notes.com both have a preference for a simple and comfortable 3 button mouse with scroll wheel, preferably Logitech.

Ellen Finkelstein, Author of AutoCAD Bible book and Microsoft MVP (most valued professional) has shared her preferred mouse for CAD users in this article which is based on recommendations of her subscribers and blog users.

Your opinion matters:

Although I have compiled a list here based on responses I got from CAD software users but your response is of utmost importance. I would love to know which mouse is your preferred choice for CAD-related tasks and don’t forget to let us know why you love it.

25 comments

  1. Hi

    I have the space navigator for notebook, I draw in autodesk inventor, and this mouse is the best buy I ever made… with six axes is very useful for design 3D.

    Greetings

  2. Hello

    I have the used the Logitech Performance MX mouse for a few years now and it works great. It should probably be in your list.

  3. Just a clarification here. The 3D connection devices are not a replacement for the mouse. They are a tool for your left hand when using 3D software. Basically it runs your view (rotates / manipulates the 3d object), while you are free to work with your cad tools as usual with the mouse. I can tell you that as a Solidworks user, I can’t imagine not using a 3d mouse device for view control.

    Think of it like peeling an apple, where your mouse is the peeler (using a CAD tool), and the 3D control is like your left hand manipulating the apple. It is an absolutely incredible time saver.

    Now think about peeling an apple without your left hand. Grab peeler, peel, drop peeler, rotate apple, grab peeler, peel… repeat… That’s life without the 3d mouse.

    1. Yes Trevor, it is totally understood that 3D connection navigation devices are not an alternative for a mouse rather they are supplementary devices. That’s why I referred it as a “device” and not as a mouse.

    1. I’ll second the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse! I have tried many advanced controllers and gaming mice, but with over 30 years of CAD work I need the most comfortable mouse possible for my injured (R.S.I) wrist and this is the only mouse I can use over 10 hours. Only complaint is a tired index finger using the center, scroll-wheel button.

  4. I love my Logitech M70’s, it’s great for large drawings and the precise movement you can get from your thumb over your whole hand is great, I use it in conjunction with a Logitech G510 keyboard set up with hotkeys for my most common commands. I run the same setup in the office and at home but I concede the trackball throws most people and they struggle at first after using mice for most of their lives.

  5. I recently got myself a Red Dragon (cant remember the exact model name) 5 button gaming mouse and I love it.

    The feel of the mouse is what I love most of it, but the speed and sensitivity is something to get use to.

    Only the thumb buttons are programmable but I have not yet assigned any commands to them for I use my keyboard shortcuts.

    I have been working with a standard 3 buttom Microsoft optical wired mouse (always wired because getting stuck without batteries in the middle af a deadline is a pain) for almost 10years befor I got the new one and I have to say there is nothing wrong with the old fashion 3 button, infact I have seen some people draw some amazing stuff using the 3 button grandpa mouse.

    A mouse is an awesome investment but like my granddad told me, “it is not the tools but the user that makes an expert”.

  6. ive been using a razer naga for the past…2 years at least (its the gaming mouse with a 12 button # pad on the side) I actually wouldnt reccomend it for CAD use, at least not for long periods. The middle mouse button and texture of the mouse leave my fingers feeling raw. The numerical keypad has been very helpful but I dont use it enough to compensate for the uncomfortable texture. Plus it has a high price tag, I think it was 100.00 my company bought one for me ( only reason I still use it :/ )

  7. Chek out the e-blue or 3-blue mice for gaming. Ive purchased multiples of their products. Great form factor and you may easily adjust DPI. I have owned them for 5 years now and utilize AutoCAD every day. 3-blue is great and affordable!!

  8. I have been using the Logitech M70 wireless trackball for quite a few years for CAD as well as a 3DConnexion Space Navigator. I have been using a trackball setup since the “original” Logitech TrackMan Marble FX, Which I dearly miss. I find the control of the ball gives me the accuracy I need for my work. Don’t forget to clean your trackball at least every week if not daily to remove the oils and dirt buildup.

  9. Good day Jaiprakash,

    I am not an authority in CAD business. I have always used HP wireless mouse x4500; Model – MORFG8UL and it has lived up to expectation.

    Best Regards,

    Ernest.

  10. Bog standard 3 button mouse; however I’m lost if I don’t have my 3Dconnexion Spcemouse Pro for navigating in any 3D CAD space – NX, Inventor, Solidworks etc.

Leave a reply