Choosing the best mouse for CAD is an important task for designers. The mouse is the main input device which, as a CAD drafter, you will be spending approximately 8 hours a day holding.
Here’s a run down of what you should consider while choosing the best mouse for CAD work in my opinion.
Wireless or USB mouse
I myself personally prefer a USB mouse, I would steer away from wireless mouse to save myself from some headache related to battery replacement. But depending on your work station, you can consider going with wireless mouse, which in some case is the best option (You don't want to waste time every now and then pulling/fixing the mouse cord).
You need to have a mouse having an easy-to-click scrollwheel. The wheel, as you may know, is incredibly helpful for panning and zooming. You want to have a mouse having a scrollwheel that is able to easily differentiate a click from a scroll.
Logitech And Microsoft mice are pretty OK. If you are not too picky and aRe just looking to get something that will allow you to get day to day tasks done, you can opt to a basic mouse made by one of these brands.
Ergonomically, the best mouse is the one that feels good in your hand. Your mouse should have a nice comfortable grip. While many advocate for a large mouse, I will go ahead and say that the best mouse is the one that fit best in your hand. (you surely want to stay a way from small mouse)
The mouse resolution DPI
The higher the mouse DPI, the better. You need your mouse to have a high precision and fast reaction. (The Dots Per Inch is a measurement of how sensitive a mouse is. The higher a mouse’s DPI, the farther the cursor on your screen will move when you move the mouse). Highest DPI mice are mostly used for gaming, but having your mouse DPI relatively good will be necessary for your CAD work.
Thumb buttons (extra buttons)
Thumb buttons are also helpful. They can be programmed. You can set one of the thumb buttons of your mouse to press ENTER and another to press ESC. Or even further, you can programmed these buttons to toggle ortho/Dynamic UCS and more.
You may want to adjust the mouse sensitivity in Windows to make your mouse go faster or slower according to your need and work flow.
Going the extra mile
You can go on the “upper end” and opt for a gaming mouse for your CAD work. Gaming mice have keys with great response time, and high DPI with extra buttons that can be programmed according to your need. To get such a mouse, you will have to spend a little bit more. But it's worth every penny.
The best mouse for CAD comes from personal preferences but remember to keep it simple if your are not yet sure what to go for. A a three-button wheel mouse is in most cases the best choice.
Some of my best picks for a Pro CAD Mouse
|3Dconnexion 3D Mouse|
|Advanced 6 degrees-of-freedom optical sensor. You can simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate 3D models. Includes 2 programmable function keys. This is ideal for 3D designers, CAD engineers, and architects,||$$|
|3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro|
|The mouse has 6-Degrees-of-Freedom. Includes 2.4GHz wireless technology for up to 20 meters of usage. The battery has a 2-month long life.||$$$|
Some of my best picks for a general CAD mouse
|Mionix NAOS 3200|
|Truly ergonomic design with support for all five fingers. Completely Plug'n Play and software needed only for configuration. The 7 buttons can be assigned to any key, mouse command, or macro. Choose from 3 DPI steps and switch between them.||$$|
|Sculpted shape supports your hand and stays in one place. You can move the cursor without moving your arm around. Connect up to six compatible wireless devices with one tiny receiver that stays inserted in your laptop. Use for up to 18 months without changing the included AA battery.||$$|
|12 button thumb grid has been outfitted with mechanical switches to give you tactile and audible feedback. Features an all-new one-size-fits-all ergonomic form factor to ensure your hand fits snugly for maximum comfort. The scroll wheel on the Razer Naga now goes left and right, as well as up, down and in for more buttons for your use.||$$|
|Corsair V. M95|
|Includes a 8200 DPI laser sensor for precise tracking and highly accurate mouse control. Included features are 15 programmable buttons and selectable response time. You can choose response time between 1000Hz, 500Hz, 250Hz, or 125Hz (1ms, 2ms, 4ms or 8ms). An added bonus is a high-mass scroll wheel made of solid metal with a rubberized scroll wheel for precise tactile feedback.||$$|
|Logitech M510 Mouse|
|Contoured shape with soft rubber grips provide all-day comfort. Back/forward, side-to-side scrolling, and zooming buttons let you do more and at the same time faster. This requires Logitech SetPoint software to be installed.||$$|