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This guide will walk through the best mouse for programming.
“Keep your hands on the keyboard!” The standard advice given to any software engineer is to get comfortable with their development environment and learn all the keyboard shortcuts.
While this is great, there will always be times you’ll need to fall back on a good programming mouse. Carpal tunnel syndrome (1) is real; keeping your hand in an ergonomic position is ideal. If you’re interested in the TLDR, check out my selection for the best mice below.
Slotting in as our best mouse, we have the Logitech MX Master 3S. In 2023, a wireless mouse capable of switching between multiple computers is necessary. The Logitech MX Master 3S is a standard mouse that delivers on this and more.
The 8K DPI sensor is a standout feature that is not typical in a mouse for programming. Although high sensitivity is typically only seen in gaming mice, the 8K DPI saves you room on your desk, as you don’t have to move the cursor as far. Glass surface performance with the MX Master 3S is also exceptional. It’s a level of precision I didn’t know I needed until I experienced it.
Another feature that impressed me is the MagSpeed Smartshift (2) scroll wheel. As a software engineer, I work with a lot of long files. The speed and precision of the scrolling have made navigating through them a breeze. It’s faster, more precise, and quieter than any other mouse.
The ergonomic design of the MX Master 3S is also worth mentioning. I’ve used other standard mice that have left my hand feeling cramped after a few hours of use, but not this one.
The shape of the mouse fits comfortably in my hand, and the thumb controls are placed just right. It’s made long work sessions much more comfortable.
The MX Master 3S also offers robust wireless connectivity options. I can connect it to up to three devices simultaneously, which has been great for my multi-device setup. The battery life is impressive – up to 70 days on a full charge.
If you’re a power user and insist on remapping buttons, the Logitech Options+ software allows you to customize the mouse buttons.
I haven’t used it as I tend to optimize my keyboard shortcuts and spend more time on my keyboard, but the inclusion of this feature I’m sure is appreciated by those who need it.
- 8K DPI Sensor: Provides precise tracking on any surface.
- Quiet Clicks: Reduces click noise by 90% while maintaining a satisfying feel.
- MagSpeed Scrolling: Offers fast, precise, and quiet scrolling through long documents and web pages.
- Ergonomic Design: Supports a natural wrist posture and features optimally placed thumb controls for comfort during extended use.
- Wireless Connectivity: Connect to up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth or via USB port with the included Logi Bolt USB receiver.
- Long Battery Life: Provides up to 70 days of power on a full charge.
- Logitech Options+ Software: Allows extensive customization, including app-specific button mapping and adjustable DPI settings.
The Logitech MX Master 3S takes my spot for the best programming mouse. When I used it, it made my work more comfortable and increased my productivity. It’s a high-quality wireless mouse that I highly recommend to anyone needing a reliable mouse.
While the MX Master 3S takes my top spot as the best mouse, I switched to vertical mice (3), (this one in particular) 3 or 4 years back and never looked back.
The MX Vertical features a high-precision 4000 DPI sensor. While less sensitive than some of the other mice on the list, this is more than sufficient for programming.
The mouse also offers cross-computer control, allowing seamless navigation between up to three computers. Using Logitech Flow, you can even copy-paste text, images, and files from one to the other. No surprise that Logitech Mice take up 3 spots on my list with a feature set like this.
Unlike a traditional mouse, the MX Vertical Mouse is designed with a unique 57-degree angle, which places your hand in a more natural, neutral handshake position.
This design reduces forearm twisting and muscular strain by 10% (Logitech’s claims, not mine) when compared to a traditional mouse. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the strain were reduced by even more than that.
When I first switched to a vertical mouse, it was out of necessity due to wrist pain. Since switching to the MX Vertical Mouse, I’ve been wrist pain-free. The discomfort I used to feel after long hours of mouse usage is gone.
The battery life on this mouse is exceptional. It stays powered for 4 months on a full charge, and a quick 1-minute charge can provide 3 hours of use. This is incredibly convenient and eliminates the hassle of constantly replacing batteries.
It’s also USB-C, so if you have a Macbook or another laptop that is USB-C powered, you almost always have a USB-C adapter on you anyway.
The mouse also offers three ways to connect – via the included wireless USB unifying receiver, Bluetooth smart technology, or the included USB-C charging cable. I use the USB receiver the most, although USB-C also works seamlessly when a recharge is needed.
Now, with the caveat that I would not recommend the MX Vertical for gaming, let’s talk about gaming. I wondered how the MX Vertical Mouse would perform as a casual gamer.
While it’s not designed for gaming, I found it performs fine for non-FPS games. The high DPI sensor ensures precise tracking, and the unique design reduces fatigue during long gaming sessions. However, if you’re into competitive gaming, especially FPS games, you’ll find the vertical design challenging for quick flicks and rapid movements.
In terms of ergonomics, the MX Vertical Mouse is a winner. It’s designed to fit comfortably in large to medium hands, and the textured rubber surface ensures a solid and natural grip.
- Advanced Ergonomic Design: Unique 57-degree angle reduces forearm strain and improves posture.
- Hyper-Efficient Tracking: High-precision 4000 DPI sensor requires 4x less hand movement than a traditional mouse.
- Cross-Computer Control: Seamlessly navigate on three computers and copy-paste text, images, and files using Logitech FLOW.
- Three Ways to Connect: Connect via the included wireless USB unifying receiver, Bluetooth smart technology, or USB-C charging cable.
- Rechargeable Battery: Stays powered for 4 months on a full charge, with a quick 1-minute charge providing 3 hours of use.
- Customizable Buttons: Four customizable buttons can be tailored to your specific needs using Logitech’s Options+ app.
- Premium Scroll Wheel: Precision scroll wheel featuring a convenient middle click.
- Easy-Switch and Flow-Enabled: Pair up to three devices and effortlessly switch between them.
- Fast Recharging: Get up to four months of use on a full charge and three hours from a one-minute quick charge.
- Comfort Form with Textured Surface: Shaped for the human hand and smooth to the touch, assuring a solid and natural grip.
- Cursor Speed Switch: Change the speed and accuracy of your cursor for optimal control with a press of a button.
- Great Fit for Large to Medium Hands: Specially designed and sculpted by Logitech’s team of ergonomic and design experts.
The Logitech MX Vertical Mouse is a high-quality, innovative product that prioritizes comfort and reduces strain. It’s a worthy investment for anyone who spends a lot of time on the computer, whether for work or leisure. While it might take some time to get used to the vertical design, its benefits are well worth it. I highly recommend giving it a try.
As a programmer who spends countless hours coding and debugging, I’ve always valued a mouse that is high-performing and comfortable for long hours of use. The Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse has proven to be a game-changer in my work and gaming setup.
The ultra-lightweight design at 63g is a standout feature. It’s one of the lightest mice I’ve used, and it significantly reduces hand fatigue during those long coding sessions. The ergonomic form, developed in partnership with top esports pros, fits comfortably in my hand, making it easier to navigate through lines of code or complex 3D models.
The Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor and the Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3 offer flawless tracking performance on various surfaces. This precision benefits gaming and tasks requiring pixel-perfect accuracy, such as graphic design or video editing.
Regarding gaming, the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro doesn’t disappoint. The HyperSpeed Wireless technology ensures a fast, low-latency connection, which is crucial for competitive gaming. The 90-hour battery life is a significant advantage for those marathon gaming sessions or when I’m deep into a coding project and don’t want to be interrupted by a low battery warning.
Comparing it to the Logitech G Pro Superlight, another high-end gaming mouse, I found the Razer’s Synapse software more reliable and user-friendly. As a programmer, I appreciate intuitive software that doesn’t crash, and Razer’s Synapse software delivers on that front.
One thing to note is that the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro suits gamers with large hands. As someone with larger hands, I found the mouse to be a comfortable fit, a significant advantage for both work and play.
For our review, I tried the black mouse with a grip on the sides. Note that this isn’t present on the white version if that’s important to you.
- Ultra-lightweight design: Weighs only 63g for reduced hand fatigue.
- Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor: Provides flawless tracking performance on various surfaces.
- HyperSpeed Wireless: Ensures lightning-fast, ultra-low-latency gaming with multi-device support.
- Long Battery Life: Up to 90 hours of continuous play, rechargeable via USB Type C.
- Ergonomic Form: Developed with top esports pros for improved handling and comfort.
- Programmable Buttons: Comes with 5 programmable buttons for customized gaming.
- Synapse Software: Allows for easy customization and optimization of mouse settings.
- USB Type-C Connectivity: Modern standard for charging and data transfer.
- DPI Button: Located at the bottom of the mouse for cycling through preset DPI options.
- Improved Ergonomics: Reduced flares on the left/right and a more centered hump for better comfort.
- Optional Rubber Grip Pads: For enhanced grip and control.
- High Polling Rate: Standard rate of 1k Hz, can be upgraded to 4k Hz with an adapter (sold separately).
In conclusion, the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse is a top-tier choice for programmers who enjoy gaming. Its superior performance, user-friendly software, and comfortable design make it a worthwhile investment. Whether I’m debugging code or taking a break with a first-person shooter game, the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro delivers an exceptional experience.
When I first got my hands on the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse, I was impressed by its ergonomic design. Similar to the Logitech MX Vertical, It encourages a healthy neutral “handshake” position for the wrist and arm.
The mouse features 800 / 1200 / 1600 DPI Resolution Optical Tracking Technology, more sensitive than standard optical mice. This ensured smooth and precise tracking on a wide range of surfaces. The next/previous buttons were great for browsing webpages, making it an excellent choice for my long hours at the computer.
I did notice online some users reported issues with the mouse’s scrollwheel becoming squeaky or erratic after a few months of use. However, I personally did not experience this issue. I also saw some comments about the mouse draining batteries excessively, but again, this was not something that affected my experience significantly.
I must mention Anker’s customer support, which I found to be top-notch. Although I didn’t have any major issues with my mouse, I reached out to them with a minor query and was impressed by their quick and helpful response.
I’m going to dock this mouse for taking AA batteries – while it’s the cheapest mouse on this list, you’ll certainly very quickly spend more on this mouse than any other, when considering the trips to the grocery store for another pack of batteries.
The Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse is compatible with Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / 2000, Linux, and Mac OS X, although the previous/next page thumb buttons are not recognized on the Mac OS X. I use Windows 10, so this was not an issue for me.
- Ergonomic Design: Encourages a healthy “handshake” wrist and arm position for smoother movement and less strain.
- Adjustable DPI: Features 800 / 1200 / 1600 DPI Resolution Optical Tracking Technology for precise tracking on various surfaces.
- Next/Previous Buttons: Added for convenience when browsing webpages.
- Power Saving Mode: Enters power saving mode after 8 minutes idle, can be woken up by pressing the right or left button.
- Product Dimensions: Measures 12062.874.8 mm and weighs 3.4 oz.
- Warranty: Comes with an 18-month hassle-free warranty.
- Compatibility: Works with Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / 2000, Linux, and Mac OS X (previous/next page thumb buttons not recognized on Mac OS X).
In conclusion, my experience with the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse has been positive. The ergonomic design, sensitivity, and easy-access buttons have made it a joy. While there may be potential issues with the scroll wheel and battery life, it’s a budget mouse. If you’re looking for a mouse that reduces hand and wrist fatigue and offers precise tracking, I highly recommend the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse.
The ergonomic design of the Basilisk V3, complete with a thumb rest, is a standout feature. This design has been favored for its comfort and ease of access to the buttons.
The buttons are optimally positioned for quick and easy access, which is a testament to Razer’s thoughtful design.
The 11 programmable buttons offer a high degree of customization. You can use the programmable buttons for both productivity and gaming, which shows their versatility. However, the third thumb button (sniper button) is slightly small, requiring an adjustment in your grip to reach it.
The Hyperscroll Tilt Wheel is another incredibly useful feature, especially for speeding through long web pages or spreadsheets. This feature, combined with the comfortable ergonomic shape and low noise, makes the Basilisk V3 an excellent choice for office use.
The Razer Chroma RGB lighting zones, with over 16.8 million colors and countless lighting effects, add a touch of personalization and aesthetic appeal to the mouse. If you like RGB, this mouse ticks that box.
The Basilisk V3’s optical mouse switches and the Focus+ 26K DPI optical sensor are designed for precision and responsiveness. My experience corroborates this, as I’ve found the tracking flawless with zero smoothing, allowing for a crisp response and pixel-precise accuracy.
The Synapse software, while requiring an online connection and login, is easy to use and intuitive. This is important for users who want to customize their mouse settings without a steep learning curve.
- Ergonomic Design: Comfortable form factor with optimally positioned buttons for quick and easy access.
- 11 Programmable Buttons: Versatile and customizable, suitable for both productivity and gaming.
- Hyperscroll Tilt Wheel: Ideal for speeding through long webpages or spreadsheets, enhancing productivity.
- Razer Chroma RGB Lighting: Offers over 16.8 million colors and countless lighting effects for personalization.
- Optical Mouse Switches and Focus+ 26K DPI Optical Sensor: Provides precision and responsiveness with zero smoothing.
- Synapse Software: Easy to use and intuitive for customizing mouse settings, but requires an online connection and login.
- Thumb Rest: Enhances comfort, but the third thumb button (sniper button) is slightly small and may require grip adjustment.
- Weight: Not a light mouse, but comfortable for extended gaming sessions.
- PTFE Feet: Allows the mouse to slide well on surfaces.
- Versatility: Excellent as an all-rounder for both office use and gaming.
In conclusion, the Razer Basilisk V3 is a versatile, high-performance mouse that excels in both productivity and gaming scenarios. Its ergonomic design, customizable buttons, hyperscroll tilt wheel, and high-quality sensor make it an excellent all-rounder. However, potential buyers should be aware of the slightly small third thumb button and the Synapse software’s need for an online connection. Overall, the Basilisk V3 has lived up to my expectations.
The Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball Mouse is a game-changer for those who spend long hours at the computer.
The unique adjustable hinge allows you to customize the trackball angle from 0 to 20 degrees, providing a more natural and comfortable hand position.
The cross-computer control is another feature I love on these Logitech mouses. Using Logitech Flow is a significant advantage, especially for professionals who frequently switch between office and personal computers, with the ability to seamlessly navigate on two computers and copy-paste text, images, and files from one to the other.
The dual connectivity option offers flexibility and convenience through the included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth smart wireless technology. It’s compatible with up to three Windows or Mac computers, making it a versatile choice for multi-device users.
The rechargeable battery is another plus, offering up to 70 days of power on a single charge. This means less worrying about charging and more time focusing on your work. However, the mouse uses Micro USB for charging, not USB-C, so you might need to keep an older USB cable handy.
One potential downside is the requirement to download the “Logi+ Options” software for full customization. This could be an issue if your workplace has strict firewall settings. Also, the USB dongle doesn’t have storage on the mouse, making it easy to misplace when traveling.
In terms of improvements, having a wider range of DPI options for mouse speed would be beneficial, rather than just the default speed or “precise speed.” Also, including a hyper-fast scrolling/precise scrolling switch, similar to the one on the Logitech MX1100R, would be a welcome addition.
- Ergonomic Design: Adjustable hinge for customizing trackball angle from 0 to 20 degrees, claiming to reduce muscle strain by 20%.
- Cross-Computer Control: Seamless navigation on two computers, with the ability to copy-paste text, images, and files using Logitech Flow.
- Dual Connectivity: Compatible with up to three Windows or Mac computers via included Unifying receiver or Bluetooth smart wireless technology.
- Rechargeable Battery: Provides up to 70 days of power on a single charge.
- Precision Scroll-Wheel: Allows for precise scrolling and other convenient controls, such as horizontal scrolling.
- DPI Range: Minimal and maximal value of 512-2048 dpi.
- Compatibility: Works with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, and iPadOS.
- Warranty: Comes with a 1-Year Limited Hardware Warranty.
In conclusion, the Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball Mouse is a high-quality, ergonomic, and versatile mouse well-suited to professionals who spend long hours at the computer. Its unique features, like adjustable trackball angle, cross-computer control, and dual connectivity, make it a solid choice. However, the need to download software for complete customization and the lack of a dongle storage on the mouse might be potential drawbacks for some users.
As someone who spends a lot of time programming, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of a solid mouse. When I started my career as a software engineer, I could spend all hours of a day at a desk, with no attention taken to the quality of the equipment used.
As months turned into years, wrist pain crept in. I tried all the usual suggestions – from wrist-strengthening exercises (4) to stretching and prolonged breaks (hah!). None worked. It was finally time for me to invest in a quality ergonomic mouse.
There are many options out there when looking for a mouse for coding. When selecting a computer mouse specifically for coding, the features you should prioritize differ slightly from those you’d focus on for gaming or general use. Here are some factors to consider:
- Comfort and Ergonomics: Coding often involves long hours of work. An ergonomic mouse design that fits comfortably in your hand can help to reduce strain and prevent issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Buttons: Extra programmable buttons can be very helpful. You can program these buttons to perform functions like copy, paste, undo, redo, and even custom macros or shortcuts you frequently use in your specific coding environment.
- Wired vs. Wireless: This is primarily a personal preference. A wired mouse might provide a slightly faster response time and won’t run out of battery, but wireless mice can reduce desk clutter. If you choose a wireless mouse, consider battery life as a factor. With wired mice, battery life isn’t something to consider. Ultimately, both a wired and wireless mouse will work – but I prefer wireless.
- Sensitivity: The DPI (dots per inch) of a mouse is a measure of its sensitivity. Higher DPI values can allow for faster cursor movement, but extremely high sensitivity isn’t necessary in coding.
- Scroll Wheel: A good scroll wheel can be essential for quickly navigating large code bases. Some mice have horizontal scrolling in addition to vertical scrolling, which can help navigate wide IDEs.
- Portability: If you’re often on the go, you might want a compact and easy-to-transport mouse.
- Software: Some mice have software that allows you to customize the mouse’s settings and button mappings. This can be particularly helpful if you want to set up custom shortcuts.
To select mice to recommend in this review, I did extensive market research based on all of the attributes highlighted above that you should look for when selecting a mouse for programming.
I then spent time working with each of these mice, along with a few other “contenders,” for at least a few weeks. I stand by all of my recommendations – while I can’t use all six daily, the Logitech MX Vertical, Logitech MX Ergo, and Logitech MX Master 3S have permanent spots on my desk at home, in the office, or in my backpack for when I’m on the go.
Although few of us would like to admit it, at the end of the day, we can’t all be VIM savants who never take our hands off the keyboard. We’ll need a good mouse to fall back on at times, and when we do have to use one – it might as well be a high-quality ergonomic one.
I’m sure you’ve also experienced the graveyard of finicky mice, losing connection, broken left-click buttons, or nonfunctional scroll wheels. Rest assured – if you need a good mouse, you’ll be able to find one here with the Logitech MX Master 3S or Logitech MX Vertical if you’re looking for something a bit more ergonomic.
If you’re on a budget, consider the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical mouse.
- P J Keir 1, J M Bach, D Rempel, Effects of computer mouse design and task on carpal tunnel pressure, retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10582504/
- Logitech, Logitech Innovation Brief MicroGear™ Precision Scroll Wheel and SmartShift™ Technology, retrieved from https://www.logitech.com/images/pdf/articles/eng/MicroGear_Innovation_Brief.pdf
- Ashley Biancuzzo, What the heck is a vertical mouse anyway?, retrieved from https://www.pcworld.com/article/1471403/what-the-heck-is-a-vertical-mouse-anyway.html
- Brett Sears, PT, 7 Simple Exercises to Strengthen Your Wrists, retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/wrist-strengthening-exercises-2696622