Increase Efficiency and Productivity with the Best CAD Mouse (Trackball or Vertical Mouse)
After a long day of using the computer, your hands and arms are bound to be tired. You will be worn out regardless of whether you are editing a video, working with a 3D printing software, or simply searching for llama locations on Fortnite for 12 hours straight!
If you are a CAD designer, you can save time and be more productive by working on the right workstation and using the best mouse for CAD. A good mouse will make you work faster and be comfortable as you use the computer to edit videos, play games, or do design work.
Using a mouse for extended periods has been linked to various health conditions such as Rotator Cuff Tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and others. The last thing you want is to have to buy a wrist brace for carpel tunnel syndrome because you are not using a good mouse.
You are likely to suffer from multiple wrist conditions if you use a standard mouse for a long time. To prevent the likelihood of these conditions from happening, you should switch to using a trackball mouse or vertical mouse.
Why Upgrade from the Standard Mouse to a Vertical or Trackball Mouse
The mouse is one of the accessories that you use most in your day to day activities at work. However, the standard mouse is not designed to make you productive or comfortable. Moreover, it is not good for your health when used for a long time. The cheap mouse is manufactured at scale for quick profits without caring about user experience and health.
The good news is that there are plenty of well-designed, ergonomic mice on the market. These computer accessories are easy to use, comfortable, and provide maximum productivity.
Below are some reasons why you should upgrade your mouse:
In most cases, you use the dominant hand to do the hard work with your mouse while the non-dominant hand is occasionally used for keyboard shortcuts.
In any professional design office, you will see a Space Mouse on every CAD station. This type of mouse allows both right and left hands to share the workload.
You can also improve your productivity and save time by getting a professional mouse that has some shortcut buttons on the side.
The standard mouse is not designed with the ergonomics of your body in mind. Using the mouse for extended periods can lead to long-term injuries of your wrists, hands, neck, and shoulders. Two common conditions that you may suffer from are RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) and “Mouse Shoulder”.
“Mouse Shoulder” usually results due to using a mouse that is too far away from the body. To solve the problem, you can use a trackball style mouse.
You may experience pain on your wrist or forearm due to the wrist resting constantly on your desk as you use the mouse. To prevent the pain, it is advisable to use a mouse that fits your hand better. The mouse should prevent the wrist from resting on the desk.
Benefits of a CAD Mouse
There are different types of CAD mice on the market. The mice are usually the pro types, feature an ergonomic shape, and can be used for gaming. The mice may come with additional accessories that standard mice do not have.
Pro mice are ergonomically shaped and, hence, fit your hands well. The mice come in different sizes and are comfortable to use.
Pro mice come with various advanced features, including programmable shortcut buttons. The mice are more accurate and precise than standard option. Using the mice will significantly reduce the number of miss-clicks as you work with your favorite CAD design software.
Best Pro Mouse – Comparison Table
|Razer Naga||Best for CAD speed with shortcut buttons||Read Review|
|3D Connexion CAD Mouse||Best for CAD speed and comfort||Read Review|
|Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4||Best for RSI or hand pain||Read Review|
|Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse||Best for detail work and easing wrist/arm pain||Read Review|
|Logitech Wireless Trackball M570||Best for easing wrist/arm pain||Read Review|
Best CAD Mouse 2018 (Reviews)
#1. Razer Naga
Razer Naga is constantly included in lists of the best mouse for Fortnite and other games. This accessory comes with 12 programmable buttons and is also popular with CAD designers thanks to its high precision.
The Naga is an ergonomic 3D CAD mouse with contoured sides that allow your fingers to rest in naturally. The mouse fits the average hand well and its buttons are perfectly spaced such that you will not need to reposition your grip to reach them. The buttons have a satisfying mechanical click.
On the side of the Naga is a mechanical button grid that makes it easy for you to identify each uniquely shaped button by touch. You won’t have to look down to see which button you are pressing.
On the underside, the mouse has ultra-low friction feet that make it slide easily wherever you move it.
The Naga CAD mouse has 12 programmable buttons, each of which can be mapped to macro or key. Mapping the key presses will help you save time when doing repetitive work.
For example, if you have to make the same correction to 300 drawings, rename, and export them, the task can take you ages to finish. With the macro record feature on the Razer Naga, you only have to carry out the task once on one drawing and then assign that macro to a programmable button. From there, simply open each drawing and preset the assigned button to implement the corrections you need. The macro feature can save you hours when you have tons of repetitive tasks to do.
The macro feature is usually used in MMO games. However, as a CAD designer, you can use it to set up shortcuts and design features.
Precision & Sensitivity
The Naga mouse is very sensitive and its laser sensor offers a maximum 16,000 dpi resolution. You can adjust the resolution to any value you want.
The mouse also works well on any surface, from house mats to 3D printer desks.
The Naga can be used for up to 20 hours on one charge. The mouse is charged using a USB cable.
If you want to make your Naga mouse unique, you can personalize it through the Chroma multi-color feature that allows you to change the LED colors to any from a pallet of 16.8 million options.
The Razer Naga is the best CAD mouse for users in all disciplines. The mouse comes with programmable buttons and the ability to program the macros makes it an excellent tool to have when working on projects that involve repetitive actions. Moreover, you can program all the commands that you usually use into the buttons.
The Razer Nags is reliable, accurate and its precision is unmatched. This explains why it is also considered the best mouse for 3D modeling.
The 3D Connexion CAD mouse is ergonomically designed and fits well in the hands. The mouse is large, comfortable, and nicely shaped to slide smoothly on your desk without experiencing any friction.
The CAD mouse has three buttons and a scroll wheel. When working on a CAD project, you are likely to be pressing down your scrollwheel using the index finger to zoom or pan. With the CAD mouse, you can press the separate middle button while keeping your first three fingers on their separate buttons all the time.
On the side, there are two thumb buttons that can be programmed to carry out any function you would like them to. For example, you can set one to “hide/show” the screen and the other to “fit to screen”.
When you tap the top button, a small menu will appear on the screen, from where you can select any of the four customizable buttons
Precision and Sensitivity
The 3D Connexion CAD mouse has an accurate laser sensor that provides an impressive 8200 dpi at 1000 Hz. If you are a gamer, you know that anything above 4000 dpi is more than enough. You will easily notice the accuracy of the mouse when you try to select a small piece of geometry.
It is easy to max out the sensitivity settings of a standard mouse in Windows. With this CAD mouse, the sensitivity is good and you have plenty of headroom left after setting to your preferred pace. For example, you can go from one side of the screen to another in one small flick of the wrist.
The 3D Connexion CAD mouse has a nice quality feel and does not wear out fast. However, this is a wired CAD mouse. Therefore, if you plan on using a mouse when traveling, it may not be ideal for you.
Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
Some vertical mice also make it on the list of the best CAD mouse. Below are some benefits of using a vertical mouse:
You can use a vertical mouse for a longer time before your hand becomes uncomfortable. The mouse produces accurate movements, easily picks small points, and draws freehand shapes accurately.
The design of a vertical mouse is easy on your wrist.
When using a conventional mouse, you rotate the wrist 90 degrees from its resting position many times. The mouse “knuckles up” the position and makes the shoulder to rotate internally, which makes you prone to severe shoulder injury.
A vertical mouse solves this potential problem by allowing your hand to be in the more natural “shaking” hands position.
When starting to use a vertical mouse, you may find it uncomfortable for the first few hours. However, your hand will become used to it in no time.
Vertical mice help to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by constant pressure on the underside of your wrist. When using the mice, your wrists rest on the bony side instead of the soft tissue underneath.
Finally, when working with a vertical mouse, you use the large muscles in your elbow joint and forearm instead of the small muscles in the wrist. As a result, there is less pressure on the smaller muscles and bones in your arm.
Best Mouse for CAD: Vertical Mouse
From an ergonomic point of view, the standard mouse is a failure as it forces you to twist your arms in an unnatural position.
If you have any form of arm pain, fatigue, or injury, a vertical mouse will make a huge difference.
There are a limited number of vertical mice available on the market. The top rated are from Evoluent. These mice provide relief for people suffering from Rotator Cuff injuries and Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.
The Evoluent Vertical Mouse is tough and durable. The latest model, the Evoluent 4, comes in both left- and right-hand versions. The mouse is also available in a standard and small version.
Evoluent 4 Vertical Mouse Versions
Below are the versions of the Evoluent 4 mouse:
VM4S – Small, wired
VM4L – Left-handed, regular, wired
VM4RWS – Right-handed, small, and wireless
VM4RW – Right-handed, regular, wireless
VM4R – Right-handed, regular, wireless
Accuracy and Sensitivity
A vertical mouse moves less than a conventional mouse. Therefore, sensitivity adjustment is very important.
The VM4 sensitivity software has more than the cover range you would need. The easy-to-reach hardware buttons make it easy to adjust the sensitivity.
The VM4 vertical mouse will ensure that your hand is in a more natural, relaxed “shaking hands” position.
You may find it challenging to hold the mouse for the first few hours. However, after a few hours, the hands will relax and using the mouse will feel more natural. The VM4 will make your hand less tense.
The vertical mouse body is coated with a rubber finish that provides a nice surface to grip without needing any excess force or pressure to move it. On the left-hand side, there is an ergonomically-shaped dish where your thumb will sit naturally and comfortably. With this mouse, you will not get the characteristic red mark on the wrist that is common after using a standard mouse for a long time.
The ergonomic design of the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4 makes it fit most hands perfectly. If you have small hands, there is a smaller version of the mouse that you can use.
The shape of the VM4 helps to improve your productivity and efficiency.
The mouse has 6 programmable buttons. 3 main buttons, which produce a tactile click, are on the right-hand side. You need to put the right amount of pressure on the buttons to prevent misclicks.
There is an “extra” third mouse button that can be programmed to perform any function. When in the default state, the mouse functions as “Enter”. If you will be using the mouse for video or CAD, you can change it to other functions.
The middle mouse button can be toggled for rotation and panning commands.
The mouse has a standard scrollwheel that produces a solid click action that is neither too soft nor too hard.
A pointer speed button is behind the scrollwheel. This button controls the four speed options that are indicated on an LED scale marked HI, MD, LO, XL.
The VM4 looks good, is comfortable and offers excellent performance. If you suffer from any mouse-related injury or pain like RSI, you should get the VM4.
Benefits of a Trackball Mouse
There are a number of reasons that make a trackball mouse the best mouse for CAD. These include:
Trackball mice are more precise than conventional options. With these CAD accessories, all the control is done with your fingers. The mice provide more precise control than their standard counterparts.
Trackballs also remain stationary when in use. Therefore, they are useful even when you have a small working area.
To use a standard mouse, you have to move it around on a surface. On the other hand, when using a trackball mouse, it stays stationary while you move a small ball with your fingers, thumb, or hand.
Therefore, when designing your CAD models using a trackball mouse, you are not likely to suffer any stress on your wrists since it’s your thumbs and fingers that will be doing all the work.
Best Mouse for CAD: Trackball Mouse
Kensington is known for manufacturing some of the best trackball mouse models on the market. The Expert Trackball mouse is the company’s best-selling model, comes with a 3-year warranty, and like the best CAD mice, feels sturdy.
The Kensington Expert Wireless trackball has been designed from the ground up and boasts of a number of features that improve its comfort and usability.
The Kensington mouse is available both in wireless and wired versions. However, there is no real difference between the two mice apart from the availability or lack of a wired connection.
Accuracy & Sensitivity
The big trackball of the Expert mouse allows you to achieve precise clicks. Controlling the movement of the cursor with the tip of your fingers is easy and getting accurate clicks is a breeze.
The Expert wireless mouse has a large trackball that makes it comfortable to use. You will not feel like you are rotating a ball with your finger thanks to the large trackball.
The mouse has a removable cushioned pad that supports and ensures your wrist is comfortable. The cushion mouse pad does not get in the way since your hand won’t be moving around on the desk, unlike is the case with a conventional mouse.
The CAD mouse is symmetrical in design and, therefore, works well whether you are right- or left-handed. You may, however, need to customize the programmable buttons to your preferences.
The Kensington mouse has four large programmable buttons that surround the trackball.
At the bottom, there are two buttons that function as the normal right- and left-click. There are also two buttons on the top that default to a browser back button and middle mouse button (MMB). These defaults can be changed through the mouse’s software.
The buttons are easy to access and provide the right click action. You are not likely to experience any misclicks.
A precise and well-designed scrollring sits around the trackball. This rings works in a similar manner to the standard scroll wheel.
When rotated, the Kensington mouse produces a satisfying mechanical feel.
It’s difficult to beat the Kensington Expert in your bid to find the best trackball mouse. This CAD mouse has been designed from the ground up and is a trackball rather than a hybrid mouse.
The Kensington is also rated as the best mouse for AutoCAD.
The Logitech Wireless M570 mouse looks like a conventional mouse but is actually a trackball type.
The mouse is powered by a single AA battery that lasts for about 18 months.
The M570 CAD trackball mouse has a few extra buttons to the left of the standard buttons. By default, the buttons go back and forth but can be programmed to anything. You can also set profiles for different software or games.
The scrollwheel works well, although it’s a little soft with no positive clicks.
The Logitech M570 has a smooth trackball that is easy to control for precise selections and clicks. The only issue I have is that the asymmetrical trackball limits you to using the only the thumb to control the ball. Therefore, you will not get a high precision like you would have gotten if using your fingers on a center-held trackball.
The M570 is quite similar in design to the conventional mouse and, therefore, feels familiar. However, the device has a more ergonomic shape. This budget mouse features a plastic finish but does not feel cheap.