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Best CAD Mouse

By May 10, 2022No Comments

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Best CAD Mouse

Best CAD Mouse

It’s possible to work in CAD – computer aided design – using just any old mouse. It’s possible, but it isn’t exactly enjoyable, and eventually you will find your work (and wrist) starts to suffer.

Just like trying to paint a portrait using a roller, you can’t use CAD correctly without a mouse of matching skill.

The right mouse won’t just make working in CAD easier, it can even improve the quality of your creations.

The mouse is an important part of the computer set-up, and if you don’t have a good one, you’ll quickly learn how necessary they are.

An intuitive and responsive mouse works with all kinds of software, to increase the workflow and quality of your designs.

Finding the right mouse isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together a guide to the absolute best CAD mouses available. Once you’ve found the right mouse, you won’t know how you ever lived without it.

3DConnexion CAD Mouse 3DX 700052

When you start your search for the right mouse to use with CAD, then this 3DConnexion mouse is going to come up a lot. And for some very good reasons.

It’s designed specifically for CAD, with function form tailored for use with computer design. For many CAD users, this is the best mouse around.

First, 3DConnexion has created a mouse that feels good in your hand. It’s ergonomically designed, with a lightweight material and natural curves, allowing you to work comfortably for longer.

It is slightly larger, so recommended for medium to large hands. 

But a comfortable mouse isn’t worth much if it doesn’t have the features to match. Luckily, 3DConnexion has included a massive 8200 DPI (dots per linear inch), for sensitive control and next-level precision.

In terms of details, the 3DConnexion is deceptively simple. However, everything is well-placed and, above all, useful.

The center scroll is combined with a click button, rather than just a click scroll – anyone who has ever scrolled halfway down the page while trying to select can appreciate the beauty of this.

There are two buttons on the side, designed to enable 3DConnexions QuickZoom capabilities. Just a single press of a button immediately zooms you in close, so you can work one-handed.

The buttons are placed intuitively by the thumb, for a natural enhancement of the screen.

The ease of this design makes it a mouse that works for not just CAD, but for everyday use as well. 

Pros:

  • High quality – your top choice for an alternative to Copic markers
  • Dual tips – choose between the fine nib and broad nib for superior coverage
  • 24 colors – gives you a fantastic range of colors as a starter kit
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Cons:

  • Wired – There is no wireless connection, which can be inconvenient.

Logitech Ergo M575 Wireless Trackball Mouse

The first thing you notice about the Logitech M575 is the trackball. Placed conveniently next to your thumb, the trackball gives you an incredible level of control over movements.

It’s also ideal if you have a slightly smaller workplace – your arms stay still, but you still have a full range of movement.

If you’ve ever found a complex geometry has led to elbows knocking everything from your desk, then this mouse will be a lifesaver.

It also allows you to work away from the desk, because it doesn’t need a surface to track from.

Logitech isn’t the only brand doing this thumb trackball control, but they are one of the ones doing it the best. It works smoothly, and it works consistently.

The trackball doesn’t dominate the mouse either. It easily slips into the ergonomic design, which feels amazing in the hand. The clever sculpting will fit comfortably for both small and large hands as well.

The trackball may be the biggest feature of the design, but it isn’t the sole focus of this mouse.

An angled scroll wheel accommodates a natural hand placement, and the backwards and forwards click buttons are also convenient.

CAD users will also appreciate the incredible battery life, for those long days spent at the desk.

Pros:

  • Unifying receiver – No hassle connection, with a quick speed.
  • 24 month AA battery life – Lasts for every single click on every single design.
  • Trackball – Precision control, but also space-saving, and comfortable movement.
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Cons:

  • Cleaning – The trackball is an integral part of the design, but it needs to be kept clean. Otherwise, it does stick.

Razer DeathAdder Chroma

Technically, this is a mouse designed for gaming. However, if you’ve ever spent a day switching between CAD and your latest game, you’ll understand how many of the necessary features overlap.

And while I’m sure none of us have ever taken time out of a busy working day to game, sometimes work and play can overlap.

When looking for a good mouse for CAD, it’s always worth seeing what’s being marketed for gamers.

Compared to some designs featured on this list, the Razer seems almost simple. The basic shape does fit well in the hand, but it’s the rubber sides that make the mouse comfortable.

They give an easy and strong grip for right-handed users. 

The basic buttons are hardworking and capable. A ridged scroll is particularly handy, and moves well. There are five programmable buttons, so you can adapt the experience to suit your productivity needs.

Fans of customization will also appreciate that you can change the chroma lighting that runs around the mouse, even if it isn’t exactly useful.

While all these features are good, the real selling point of the Razer DeathAdder Chroma isn’t something you can see. Underneath the molded surface is an incredible 10,000 DPI resolution.

This is precision like no other, with 450 inches per second (IPS), and 50g acceleration movement. If you want absolute control over every pixel, then the Death Adder might be for you.

Pros:

  • 10,000 dpi – Precision taken to the next level – this is the most dpi on our list. The control is fantastic.
  • Rubber grip sides – Holds well, even across a long day of movement.
  • Multi-surface – Sensitive, so can be used across a range of surfaces. Ideal for glass-topped desks.
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Cons:

  • Not designed for CAD – Features like light-up sides aren’t useful, and feel like a waste on a fairly basic mouse.

Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse

Logitech is a brand that very much comes with an assurance of quality. They’ve been designing computer products for a long time, and consistently strive for improvement.

For CAD users, this feels like a mouse built by people who know what it’s like to work with computers.

This is a mouse very much designed for those who spend all day at the desk. The shape is unusual but ergonomically sculpted, with a resting place for the thumb built-in.

There’s even a thumb wheel, offering you another level of control, and customizable thumb buttons.

In fact, there are multiple customizable buttons, so you can personalize your mouse to fit how you work.

The MagSpeed scroll wheel is faster and smoother than previous Logitech options, while also being quiet.

Silence may not sound like much, but if you’ve ever had to work in an office with a loud mouse, you’ll understand the significance.

The 4000 DPI tracking is also fantastic, even if it does lack the precision of some other designs. The tracking is good across a range of surfaces as well.

In fact, Logitech claims that this mouse can be used on any surface, including glass.

But one of the best features of this mouse is the flow cross-computer control. The mouse can connect to three different devices, and works across them.

This means you can share information from screen to screen, using the same mouse. This can save time and effort, so you can concentrate on the important things.

Pros:

  • Flow cross-computer control – Links to three computers at once, for easy copy and pasting across devices.
  • USB-c rechargeable – Lasts for up-to 70 days on a single charge. In just 1 minute, it’s ready for 3 hours of use.
  • MagSpeed Scrolling – Smooth precision at an incredible speed.
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Cons:

  • Unusual features – It can take a while to get used to this design.

3DConnexion Space Mouse Enterprise 3DX 700056

Looking slightly less like a mouse, and slightly more like a calculator, you would be forgiven for turning away from the 3DConnexion Space Mouse Enterprise.

This is definitely not a mouse for everyday use – but it could be the right mouse for CAD.

The real selling point of this design is the six-degrees-of-freedom sensor (6DoF). This allows you to navigate 3D designs with careful precision, and an intuitive movement.

If you’re a CAD user who spends a lot of time in 3D spaces, this feature is incredible – once you’ve gotten used to it.

The 6DoF isn’t the only impressive feature of this mouse. There are an incredible 31 programmable keys. That’s a massive amount, and allows the user to take total control.

Of those 31, 12 are Intelligent Function Keys. These update automatically as you change between programs, to ensure you’re always working at the top of your game.

A color LCD screen supports the intelligent keys, displaying the icons from your toolbar.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also 8 keyboard modifiers, so you can work comprehensively from your mouse.

There’s also a comfortable wrist support, letting you use all these functions across a long day.

It’s an expensive mouse, and a complicated one, but the Space Mouse Enterprise offers some quality functions you just won’t get anywhere else.

Pros:

  • Six-degrees-of-freedom – Navigate 3D designs with ease.
  • 12 Intelligent Function Keys – Program for your use, and they change with the application.
  • 8 Keyboard modifiers – Enter, Delete, Ctrl, Shift, Alt, Esc, Tab, and Space, all from the mouse.
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Cons:

  • Ease-of-use – It takes a while to adjust to all the functions, especially with an oddly placed 6DoF button.

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to choosing the right mouse for CAD, then there are more than a few options you need to consider.

The best CAD mouse acts like an extension of your hand, able to work intuitively alongside you for incredible results. Finding that mouse isn’t as easy as just picking one off the shelf.

This buyer’s guide gives you a quick look at the features you need to watch out for.

Ergonomics

No one knows better than a CAD user the toll a long day at the computer can take on your wrist. A CAD mouse should be designed specifically to lessen that strain.

They tend to look odd if you’re used to the standard design, but this ergonomic shaping is incredibly comfortable, and offers support to the hand.

When choosing the right mouse, look for where the curves are placed. Many of the best CAD shapes have a space to fit the thumb, so it can relax downward rather than being held.

It should also provide support for the wrist.

Be sure to check out the size of the mouse as well. Which mouse is best for you will partly depend on the size of your hands.

DPI

DPI refers to dots per linear inch, and it’s essentially a measure of how precise the mouse will be. The higher the DPI, the more control you have.

DPI can range significantly from mouse to mouse. Some options will have a DPI of over 10,000, which is close to the top of the range.

800 DPI is considered the baseline for the average mouse, and often not enough for CAD users.

Precision is vitally important to CAD, but don’t let the DPI number dazzle you at the expense of other features.

Even a DPI in the low thousands will often provide enough control to be pixel perfect every time.

Programmable Buttons

Gone are the days when a mouse had 3 buttons only, and they all did similar things. Nowadays, a good CAD mouse will have several buttons to offer you a greater range of control from the mouse itself.

Programmable buttons are ideal, because they allow the user an option to personalize the mouse to fit their needs. Pre-set buttons aren’t necessarily bad, but they do offer less control.

The more buttons, the more functions your mouse is capable of. However, there is a trade-off here. More buttons lead to a less intuitive design. It can also make the mouse less comfortable to use. 

Wired Or Wireless

How your mouse connects to your computer is something that has to be taken into consideration. There are really only two options: wireless and wired.

Both have their pros and cons, and you’ll likely find it’s a matter of personal choice.

A wired mouse doesn’t need charging, and it has an automatic connection that doesn’t rely on outside factors.

However, it does look messy on the desk, has less freedom of movement, and is harder to connect and disconnect.

A wireless mouse looks neater, can be moved from device to device with ease, and can be used at a distance. But, response time may be slow. Also, a wired mouse relies on a battery.

Surface Tracking

A good CAD mouse will very rarely use a tracking ball to move. Instead, they use either LED lights on an optical mouse, or a laser. This is what allows the mouse to sense your movements. 

Again, both laser and optical mouse come with pros and cons. Laser models work on glass surfaces, but can be slower. An optical mouse generally has a quicker reaction time, but won’t be suitable for all surfaces. 

Compatibility

Hopefully, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. The majority of mouse nowadays are compatible with all operating systems. That said, there are still a few that aren’t.

Before buying a mouse, it’s best to just double-check that it will work with the OS you intend to use.

3-Button Mouse

A 3-button mouse is the traditional set-up for a mouse, and what a majority of computer users will feel comfortable using. You may find that a 3-button mouse is all you need for CAD.

However, most CAD users will prefer something that’s a little more sophisticated.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Mouse Is Good For CAD?

A good mouse for CAD is ergonomic, comfortable, with programmable buttons, and precise sensitivity. They need to respond to your movements easily, and fit well in the hand. Some of the best companies for a CAD mouse include 3DConnexions, Logitech, and Razer.

Can I Use A Gaming Mouse With CAD?

Yes, a gaming mouse will often work well for CAD due to the increased sensitivity. Look for a gaming mouse with a high DPI, an ergonomic design, and programmable buttons.

What Is DPI In A Mouse?

DPI refers to “dots per linear inch”, and refers to how sensitive the mouse is. The higher the DPI, the more dots that a mouse can detect. For CAD, the higher the DPI tends to be the better. This means a mouse that can detect pixels with an incredible precision.

Does CAD Need A New Mouse?

It is possible to use CAD with a standard 3-button mouse. However, it isn’t comfortable, and you will lack the precision and control that a specifically designed CAD mouse can bring. 

Camden Taylor

Author Camden Taylor

Camden is ARTURTH's Chief Editor, Senior Graphic Designer, and artist from the Pacific Northwest.

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