What is the best ergonomic mouse for programmers? 5 good picks 

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What is the best ergonomic mouse for programmers? 5 good picks 

Programmers can spend from 8 to 10 hours in front of a computer everyday. For some, this can contribute to a host of health problems [1], including Repetitive Strain Injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Long hours of using a subpar mouse for programming can also compromise your coding efficiency.

In this article, we’ll look at 5 of the best ergonomic mice for programmers to help painful hands and improve performance.

Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse

Designed for right-handed users, this mouse is ideal for preventing and relieving fatigue in your hands since you only move your thumb on the trackball. 

It comes with two customizable buttons on either side of the scroll wheel. The trackball itself has forward and back buttons which is great for browsing the web or even for copy-and-paste. (Copypasting is a programmer’s friend!)

The M570 provides precision with a factory default DPI of 800. But DPI settings are customizable from 400 DPI to 1200 DPI. 

Because the mouse itself is stationary, it is a practical choice for small desks or cluttered spaces. And if the coffee shop is your workstation, no problem! 

The M570 can be used anywhere since it’s wireless, and doesn’t require the typical hard flat surface as traditional mice.

The ball is easily removed for cleaning and the single AA battery lasts more than a year.

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Minimal arm movement
  • Convenient forward and back buttons

Cons:

  • Takes some getting used to if you already use a traditional mouse
  • No left-handed version

Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

This vertical mouse holds your hand in a neutral position, while allowing you to fully move the entire mouse. That means you can comfortably code for long hours. 

It comes with multiple DPI levels (800 / 1200 / 1600 DPI) for increased sensitivity and precise tracking on a range of surfaces.

The previous/next buttons make it easier to change web pages while browsing – a programming time-saver! Five additional buttons give you better control over your computer’s systems.

The Anker automatically saves battery life by cutting off power after 8 minutes of sitting idle. 

That’s a plus if you don’t remember to turn off your mouse. When you’re ready to resume working, just press the right or left button to wake it up!

Pros:

  • Keeps hands in a neutral  position
  • Easy-to-access buttons

Cons:

  • The previous/next page thumb buttons are not recognized on the Mac OS 
  • 2 AAA batteries not included

Logitech MX Master 2S 

The Logitech MX allows you to work simultaneously on three Windows or Mac computers. 

With only this mouse you can copy/paste text and files from one to the other using Logitech Flow.

The ergonomic shape supports your hand and wrist in a natural position, and which some users find helpful for repetitive strain injuries. 

The speed adaptive scroll wheel makes scrolling through documents and web pages faster. The rechargeable battery supplies power for up to 40 days on a full charge.

Install Logitech Options software to extend thumb wheel capabilities, and enjoy the convenience of back/forward buttons located at your thumb for easier navigation and

simplified tasks.

Pros:

  • Button customization
  • Great for many surface types
  • Connect three computers

Cons:

  • Not suitable for left-handed users
  • Fairly large so not as easily moved as other mice

Corsair Nightsword RGB

The Corsair Nightsword has a contoured shape that naturally fits your hand, and has high-quality rubber grips to improve comfort. 

There are ten customizable buttons, and a 18,000 DPI sensor that is customizable in intervals of a single dot per inch. That’s an impressive way to personalize your mouse sensitivity as much as you want.

It was developed for right-handed users and as a wired mouse, there is no battery replacement to keep track of.

There is also extra thumb support, and the iCue software is compatible with Windows and MacOS.

Pros:

  • Adjustable weight mechanism
  • Additional thumb support

Cons:

  • Best suited for users with large hands
  • Not for left-handed users
  • Rubber coating can get slippery

RAZER BASILISK X

Razer Basilisk X is a great choice for programmers because of the modification options it offers: its two extra buttons are reprogrammable; its left/right and scroll wheel can also be programmed. 

That means you can set shortcuts to improve your desktop navigation, and to be more efficient with your programming software.

The power button also functions as a way to switch between two modes of connectivity: Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz wireless. Bluetooth allows for efficient power consumption and HyperSpeed Wireless gives lag-free use.

With 16,000 DPI there is plenty of room to adjust precision.

When in Bluetooth mode, the battery power will last up to 450 hours. In wireless mode, battery life is 285 hours.

The Razer Basilix X has an ergonomic right-handed shape and even comes with a thumb-rest. That’s an ergonomic boon for all-day coding!

Pros:

  • Two alternatives for connectivity
  • Long battery life
  • Six programmable buttons 

Cons:

  • No wired backup
  • No DPI indicator
  • Not for left-handed users

What does a programmer need in a mouse?

As a computer programmer, you’re no stranger to hours of using a computer and its peripherals. In fact, you may have the wrist and shoulder pain to prove it. 

Let’s consider the key features you should look for in a mouse that will make programming more productive, while preventing pain. 

Size

In the world of computer mice, size matters. If your programming mouse is to be comfortable for long hours, it should neither be too small nor too large. It should also accommodate your grip style.

Trying to use a mouse that’s not the right fit will be a recipe for overworked fingers. That may ultimately be the start of repetitive strain injuries.

Design

The design of a mouse will affect how you use it. Some mice will change the hand position you use, like the vertical design of the Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse for instance. 

Other mice can have special placements for your fingers, like the thumb rests on the Corsair Nightsword RGB and the Razer Basilix X.

It’s obvious that there are many design options on the market. 

Some have a steeper learning curve than others. 

Consideration should always be given to how much you’re willing to adjust, and to how comfortable the design will be for you.

Number of Buttons

A great mouse for a programmer comes with multiple programmable buttons. 

Multiple buttons can be set to different shortcuts and will allow you to work on various things simultaneously.

You will be able to do much more without searching for a specific function, and without the need to move your mouse.

This translates into a mouse that is much more productive. 

Wired or wireless?

A wired mouse will have different cable sizes, and will need to be directly physically connected to your computer. This can be cumbersome and restricting for some computer programmers. 

On the other hand, you would never need to worry about charging your mouse or getting new batteries.

A wireless mouse can be used at a distance, but will need to be charged or battery-powered. 

In addition, some wireless mice can be charged for a longer time, and some need to be powered at shorter intervals. 

It all boils down to what you prefer and also what kind of workstation you have. For example, a tight space might be better suited for a wireless mouse.

DPI settings

DPI will affect how quickly your cursor moves on the screen if you move the mouse. This sensitivity can be provided by laser or optical sensors, and is mostly adjustable to your preference.

You can control the mouse’s sensitivity if you have multiple DPI’s in your mouse. The outcome will be complete control over your mouse.

How does it feel?

There is only so much you can learn about your next programming mouse by doing research.

Nothing can replace the value of getting first-hand experience of the mouse you are considering.

As long as you can do so, spend some time to practically handle the mouse before you make it your full-time programming selection. This will let you get a feel of it in comparison to your current mouse:  check out the weight, the shape, and even how it moves.

Final thoughts

Programmers are among the professionals who spend a long time at their computers. Using one of these best ergonomic mice while programming will enhance your comfort and allow you to code with superb efficiency.

But besides getting a better mouse, hand stretches are a useful addition to your hand-care regimen! Here’s a video to help:

References

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/if-you-work-in-it-these-10-things-are-probably-killing-you-2011-11#-1