Programming

Best Mouse for Programming | Mice for Developers (Updated Feb 2017)

best mouse for programming 2This is one of the most overlooked components for developers. However, the best mouse for programming can make a significant difference in your overall work experience.

I know,

Investing in a good mouse for programming seems counter-intuitive.

Why would you ever need a mouse for programming? Coding is done using a keyboard. So it makes sense if you invest in a good keyboard. Why a programming mouse?

The bottom line is that this is a component that you use more often than you can imagine. Therefore, having an ergonomic, well-designed mouse is always a good purchase.

Our Top Pick! - Logitech MX Master

If you do not want to spend countless hours in the research and cut to the chase, then get Logitech MX Master.

This is a highly praised wireless mouse that has a vast array of features. From thumb scroll to programmable buttons, this mouse is a complete package for programmers.

It comes with a USB dongle, however, it can also connect directly via Bluetooth to 3 PCs simultaneously. All you need to is press a button to switch it from one PC to another. This will save you from the hassle of controlling multiple mice.

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Summary

Product
Price Scale
Connectivity Type
Tracking Sensor
DPI
Grip Type

Corsair Gaming Sabre

5/10WiredOptical10,000Palm

ROCCAT Kova

3.5/10WiredOptical7,000Palm/Claw

Logitech MX Master

7/10Wireless, BluetoothLaser1,600Claw

Logitech Marathon M705

3/10WirelessLaser3,200Finger-Tip
Are Gaming Mice Great As Programming Mice?
When it comes to computers, gaming devices are generally considered to be the cream of the cream. They are expensive but utilize the best technologies. Does that mean the best gaming mouse would also be the best mouse for programming?

Fortunately, that is not the case. You do not have to spend top dollar to get your hands on the best most for programming. This is mostly because you will never utilize most of the high-end features of the gaming mice. However, if you do get a gaming mouse, your experience will be all the better.

We will explore this further.

Best Mouse for Programming Reviews

Computer mice are often considered to be the same. However, every mouse has its own characteristics which make it different from the rest. You have probably seen and heard about all sorts of expensive mice, and you probably wonder what is so special about them.

You need to understand that programming might be your full-time job, and you need to treat it like that. A good mouse for programming needs to satisfy your every need because your job and career might depend on it.

Wired Mouse for Programming

Wired mice are generally cheaper and have more functions in a given price range. They have a higher sensitivity (DPI) and do not require batteries, thus saving you the hassle of ever running out of it. It also saves you from the hassle of losing the Wireless USB dongle without which your mouse would be rendered entirely useless.

1. Corsair Sabre RGB – High-Performance Mouse – Optical Sensor

mouse for programming

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If you are looking for a best mouse for programming that is high-performance, lightweight, medium sized, comfortable, and fairly affordable, then you should consider this mouse by Corsair.

It has all the bells and whistles that even a gamer would find to be an overkill. It does not have the loud and flamboyant looks of a typical gaming mouse. Therefore, it is suited for a professional environment.

With the hardware, style, and price point considered, this could well be the best mouse for programming.

The mouse has one of the highest DPI for a mouse: 10,000. A standard mouse has a DPI of 400-800. For those of you who do not know, DPI speaks volumes about the quality of the mouse. The higher the DPI, the better the tracking and precision.

The only issue is that it uses an optical sensor over a laser sensor. This means that you won’t be able to use it on glossy surfaces. You will have to use it on a hard surface like a mouse pad.

However, optical sensor does guarantee higher precision when the mouse is lifted. This is because the optical sensor stops tracking as soon as you lift the mouse. Therefore, the mouse pointer stays in one place.

This is one of few mice that offer such a high DPI for an optical mouse.

Other than the hardware, the mouse also comes with Corsair software through which you can change the backlight color of the mouse as well as program the eight programmable buttons.

Specs at a glance: Palm-grip, wired, 10,000 DPI, optical sensor, Four-Zone Lighting, 8 programmable buttons, 1,000 HZ refresh rate, Corsair Utility Engine.

Pros

  • High-end features including a high DPI
  • Programmable buttons give you a lot of customization options.
  • A high refresh rate means that there would be no lag between the responsiveness of the mouse.
  • Weighs only a 100 grams.

Cons

  • The optical sensor cannot be used on glossy surfaces. Therefore, you will need to carry a mouse pad around with you.
  • Unfortunately, this mouse is only available for right-hand users.

best mouse for programming

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2. ROCCAT Kova Performance Mouse

best mouse for programming

best mouse for programming

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This ambidextrous mouse is one of the most budget-friendly mouse for programming available. Of course, there are cheaper mice available. However, if you are looking for quality, then this is a perfect budget mouse.

This mouse has a native DPI of 3,500; however, it can reach 7,000 via ROCCAT’s proprietary internal software. The mouse does have a 2-BIT ARM MCU and memory onboard for handling all the actions needed for a smoother tracking.

Although the mouse does go all the way to 7,000 DPI, it is the native DPI that truly matters. That, unfortunately, is only 3,500.

Nevertheless, as a programming mouse, that is more than enough. Given the DPI of a common mouse, this is still 5-7 times more.

Like the Corsair mouse above, this best mouse for programming also has backlight illumination for personalization of the mouse. It has two programmable buttons.

Along with that, the mouse has a unique 2D Mouse Wheel. Meaning it essential translates to three buttons. It can be pressed down, tilted to the left and right to register a click.

Specs at a glance: Palm and Claw Grip, wired, 7,000 DPI (3,500 native), optical sensor, Lighting, 2 programmable buttons, ROCCAT utility software.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous design means it can be used by both hands.
  • An affordable price tag makes it quite the decent purchase.
  • The design of the mouse is out of the world. It would give you quite the bragging rights.

Cons

  • Optical sensor means you cannot use it on glossy surfaces.
  • The native DPI is lower than what you can get in the market for a similar price.
  • Un-intuitive software makes it difficult to program.

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Wireless Mouse for Programming

Wireless mice are somewhat more expensive than their wired counter-parts; however, the advancements in technology have brought the price range almost on par.

However, one aspect that stands out is the comfort. You can use these mice without having the worry of getting tangled in the wire. You can also use your mouse from a fair distance as you are not bound by the limitation of the wire. 

3. Logitech MX Master – Laser Sensor – Ultimate Office Mouse

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Logitech is leading the race in this category with their widest range of wireless mice. You can find Logitech’s wireless mice in all price ranges.

This particular mouse belongs to the higher end range. Before delving further into this mouse, it should be mentioned that this is #1 Best Seller on Amazon for wireless mice. As such, it is also one of the best mouse for programming.

For starters, this mouse uses a laser sensor. These sensors are more expensive than optical sensors and have the benefit of being used on any surface. The high-quality sensor on this mouse even enables it to be used on glass surfaces.

Being a premium mouse, you would need to consider your budget. There are mice that are much cheaper than this mouse.

However, this mouse is loaded with features that a short review cannot do justice to. This is a perfect premium wireless mouse. Programmers would truly rejoice at the sight and functionality of this mouse.

One feature that truly stands out from the rest is that it can connect to up to three Windows or Mac computers at a time. You can switch between the computer with a simple switch.

If you are programming on multiple computers, then you can save yourself from the hassle of using multiple mice. With this mouse, you can control all three.

This newer Master MX has several buttons meticulously placed that can even be programmed.

Another amazing feature is that you don’t need a wireless dongle for this mouse. Although it does come with one, you can simply connect it via your computer’s Bluetooth too.

Specs at a glance: Claw Grip, Wireless, 1,600 DPI  Laser sensor

Pros

  • High-quality laser sensor enables it to be used on all surfaces including glass.
  • Can connect via Bluetooth; therefore, no need to worry about the dongle.
  • A plethora of buttons; thumb wheel is much welcome for productivity. They are programmable.
  • Can connect to 3 computers at a time, you can switch between the three with a switch.
  • Highly stylish and perfect ergonomic for right handed users.

Cons

  • Expensive; this is a premium mouse.
  • Not ambidextrous; left-handers would have trouble using it.

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4. Logitech Wireless Marathon M705 – Budget Wireless Mouse for Programming

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This is a fairly simple looking wireless laser mouse that is quite light on the budget. It fits perfectly in the right-hand thanks to the ergonomic shape of the mouse.

Like the Logitech MX Master above, this mouse also offers the Unifying Receiver that makes it possible to pair the dongle with several compatible devices. Therefore, you won’t need a dongle for each and every device.

Like most mice, this one is not available in left hand configuration and the small form factor can make it uncomfortable for users with large hand.

The 3200 DPI laser tracker makes the mouse precise and allows it to be used on any surface.

It does not have a plethora of buttons or other high-end features. Therefore, for general use, this is one of the best mouse for programming.

Specs at a glance: Finger-tip Grip, Wireless, 3,200 DPI (3,500 native), Laser sensor, programmable buttons, Bluetooth Connectivity.

Pros

  • Comfortable, simple to use and budget friendly mouse.
  • Allows multiple devices to be connected to a single dongle.
  • A high DPI along with laser sensor is excellent for quality tracking.

Cons

  • Only available for right-handed users.

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Ergonomic Mouse for Programming

The best mouse for programming come in many different shapes. The fact that these mice will be primarily used for work means you can try out unique ergonomic mice.

Some of the mice are great for reducing the wrist pain that originates from conventional mice.

5. Evoluent C Series – Vertical Mouse – Ergonomic

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Vertical mice are perfect for wrist pains. You use this mouse in an entirely different fashion so the pain from wrist naturally goes away.

There are many quality Vertical Mice available in the market. In fact, Evoluent is the only famous brand currently manufacturing these niche products with premium design and features.

On the downside, quality vertical mice such as this are quite expensive. There is also a bit of a learning curve involved as they may not be intuitive in the beginning.

However, despite the different form factor, this mouse has won praise from across the board as having finest navigation experience.

This mouse is loaded with buttons, features as well as customization options.

Pros

  • Ergonomic mouse that provides smooth tracking.
  • Can save you from wrist pains caused by uncomfortable conventional mice.
  • Customizable button as well as on-the-fly DPI switching.
  • A fairly simple customization software.

Cons

  • Only available for right-handed users.
  • Would take a bit of learning curve to get used to the vertical mouse.
  • Not available in wireless option.

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What is a Vertical Mouse?

A video would do a better justice in explaining what a vertical mouse is, how it feels and functions.

Anker 2.4G Vertical Mouse

Anker Mouse

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Characteristics of the Best Mouse for Programming

Casual users don’t really care about what kind of a mouse they use. A simple mouse with two or three buttons is sufficient enough, provided that it comes with a low price.

A good mouse is much more expensive than what you are used to pay but being a professional comes with a price.

Bad and cheap mice can cost you some wrist pain, or even developing a serious condition such as tennis elbow. Don’t hesitate to spend some money to buy the best mouse for programming since you will use it every day and it will last for years to come.

Did You Know?

That there are different mice for different handedness. It is important that you take this into consideration when getting your best mouse for programming.

There are typically three types, left-hand, right-hand, and ambidextrous. The most common ones to find are right-hand. Most high-quality mice models have options for different handedness

Moving on,

These are the characteristics you will need to take into account while looking for a quality mouse for yourself.

Preferred Size

The most important thing to consider when buying a mouse is how good you feel using it. Some people are used to different mouse sizes because it all depends on what is your preferred grip.

If you get the size and the shape right, you will be able to see a huge increase in your productivity.

Grip

There are three different types of distinct grips, and everyone has its own preference. Like the size of the mouse, the grip is also an important aspect. The right grip can ensure a better handling and can save you from wrist pains.

The Three Grip Types

best mouse for programming

Image courtesy: gaming-mouse.org

Palm Grip

Palm grip is all about using your palm to move your mouse. Your entire hand is placed gently on the mouse, touching it with your entire palm area.

  • This type of grip offers a fast hand and wrist movements, and you will be able to accomplish your tasks faster.
  • If you suffer from any pain of inflammation caused by excessive use of computers, this is the right grip for you because it is certainly the most comfortable.
  • This is the least precise and can also hamper your speed.

Mice which are designed for this type of grip usually provide good support for your palm, and a common example is the Razer Lachesis.

Claw Grip

The name of the grip is pretty self-explanatory. The way you hold your mouse with this grip sort of resembles a claw. Your palm rests on the back end. All of your fingers are placed on the top end of the mouse, bent in an arch and ready to click.

  • Users who prefer this type of grip are usually able to use every finger to perform different tasks, and they are generally more precise.
  • Mice recommended for the claw grip are generally longer with straight edges meaning you can easily pick it up and move.
  • However, this grip can be a little tiring and users often report bigger workload of their dominant hand.

There are a lot of mice designed for this type of grip, such as the Logitech Performance Mouse MX.

Fingertip Grip

This type of grip is much different than the other grips we mentioned above. The motion is completely different, and it consists of using only your fingertips to control the mouse.

best mouse for programming

Image courtesy: logitech.com [left optical sensor, right laser sensor]

  • The palm doesn’t touch the mouse at all so this can be a tiring and a painful method.
  • This grip is not recommended if you have any issues with RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

Sensor

Choosing the right sensor is also important. The type of sensor you get will determine what DPI you get and what kind of surfaces you can use the mouse on.

As mentioned earlier, the best mouse for programming isn’t necessarily the most expensive. Some of the high DPI sensors can be quite expensive. Your focus should be more on the ergonomics and the handling of the mouse.

There are basically two kinds of sensors for mice generally: optical and laser.

The Two Sensor Types: Laser Vs. Optical Sensor

Laser and optical are basically two different tracking technologies that the mice use for translation of physical movement to that of the cursor on the screen.

Although in most scenarios you wouldn’t bother looking at; however, when you are specifically on the hunt for the perfect mouse for programming this is one of the most important features to consider.

Optical

An optical mouse uses a LED to track movement. These were the first mice to replace the old ball mice. They typically have a DPI of 400-800, but can go all the way to 10,000. Here is a rundown on some of their pros and cons.

  • They are cheaper and therefore preferred by none gamers.
  • Stops tracking when picked up from the surface. Therefore, the cursor does not move from where you left it.
  • The mouse has lower DPI than Laser.
  • It is also not as precise.
  • It works only on opaque surfaces. You will need some sort of a mouse pad to use it.

Laser

This is a newer technology than the optical sensors. There are many different types of lasers and depending on that the price would be different.

  • They work on almost any surface. They are also relatively smoother on most surfaces. Depending on the laser, you can even use them perfectly on glass surfaces.
  • DPI can reach beyond 10,000 making them a lot more precise.
  • Some of the top-end models can be quite expensive. Therefore, an average programmer would have no need of it.
  • Laser mice can track a bit even if lifted up a bit. Therefore, you may loose your exact cursor position when you lift the mouse.

Most of the famous mice are available with both laser and optical sensor versions.

What We Think?

As a rule of them, if you want an affordable mouse with a decent DPI, you can get an optical mouse. Just make sure to carry a solid mouse pad around.

On the hand, if you are a graphic designer and a gamer too, then you will find the higher DPI of the laser mouse more suited to your needs. Plus, you do not need to worry about the surface that you will use the mouse on.

Different Mouse Sensitivities ( DPI – Dots Per Inch)

Mouse sensitivity is a characteristic which separates high-quality mice from their cheap alternatives.

It is generally considered THE feature that determines the quality of the mouse.

Sensitivity is always expressed in dots per inch or DPI. The common optical mice have an average DPI of 400-800. As the best mouse for programming, we recommend that you get a mouse whose sensitivity is at least 1200 DPI.

Getting a cheap 500 DPI mouse may sound like a good bargain but it will cost you comfort and precision.

If you happened to use a cheap mouse, you have probably noticed that some slight movements of the mouse are not even registered by the cursor. This means it has a low sensitivity and you certainly want to avoid mice like this. However, if you own a high sensitivity mouse and you’re having problems adjusting to this,

Most of the mice with high sensitivity have buttons on the side for decreasing sensitivity which allows you to quickly change it when switching from one operation to another.

How to do you tell the difference between low and high DPI?

There is a simple test. A higher DPI means that even a small physical movement of the mouse would take cursor all the way to the corner of the screen. Whereas, with a mouse that has low DPI, you will have to physically move the mouse quite a bit to take it to the end of the screen.

Also, there is a difference between sensitivity and DPI in the traditional sense. Sensitivity, as we know, can be increased through software settings even for a low DPI mouse (i.e. through OS settings, in-game settings, etc. ). However, changing the sensitivity that way destroys the precision of the mouse. On the other hand, a higher rated DPI mouse is sensitive as well as precise.

Wireless or Wired

This is basically the biggest challenge you will face when you decide to buy a mouse. There are certain advantages and disadvantages for each kind. Wireless mice are certainly easier to use. They are connected to your computer via a Bluetooth USB dongle or an RF USB receive, and they can be used on any surface nearby. This makes them ideal for laptops and doing some work on the go.

However, they have some lag which can sometimes feel long if you are really into your work. Wireless mice can run out of battery, and if you do not have some in spare, then you are left without one.

Wired mouse, on the other hand, is faster. They are usually preferred by those who need a lag free performance such games. They are also cheaper than their wireless counterparts. However, the distance you can use it from is limited to the length of the wire. Also, for many, the wire could be a nuisance.

Programmable Buttons

Some mice have certain buttons on the side which can perform all sorts of functions. It was already mentioned that certain mice have buttons which control mouse sensitivity. However, with programmable buttons, you can assign various functions to them via software.

For example, if you need to copy and paste a lot while programming, you can assign those functions as shortcuts. If you want to use your mouse to switch between different software and programming tools, you can do that too. Mice that come pre-packed with a lot of buttons are usually gaming mice. But, they can be a solution as the best mouse for programming too.

Generally, programmable mice are expensive. You can find great deals sometimes; however, the more programmable buttons it has, the more expensive it would be.

Conclusion

Programming goes a lot faster with the proper equipment. A mouse is something that can enhance your programming experience.

A mouse needs to fulfill your set of requirements. Even though you can use any standard mouse that you find in the market, it is better to put some investment in a professional mouse.

A mouse has several characteristics as listed above. Depending on the quality of the components, the price can change drastically. Therefore, you need to make sure to spend more on something that you value more. For example, if you value the higher DPI more than programmable buttons, then you should choose the mouse wisely.

Furthermore, you need a mouse which can withstand hours and hours of coding every day for at least a couple of years. It’s a long-term investment so make sure you get the size correct, with an appropriate sensitivity and a few extra buttons for convenience.

Wired or wireless will be a tough choice. If you are just a programmer, then you can go for wireless programming mouse by all means. However, if you also game on the side, then a wired mouse will be the better of the two choices.