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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 using the old school 3 button mouse.
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.