Last Updated on December 17, 2021
There are two questions you should always ask when getting a mouse for 3D modeling: do you need 6DoF and secondly how many buttons do you need?
Blender is a free software that helps you create 3D artwork and graphics. While any average mouse can work just fine with the software, specialized devices can streamline your work flow.
There essentially three types of mice that you can look into: the 6DoF mice that are specialized for navigating 3D spaces, productivity mice, as well as gaming mice.
There is also a fourth category i.e the trackball mice. These are rarer and a more specialized mice and preferred only by users who can understand and control them well.
Gaming mice may seem counter intuitive to most casual blender users, however, since they are generally high end devices with exceptional sensors, high DPI and a plethora of programmable buttons, blender power users love them.
In this article we look at the best mouse for blender from various categories. There is no one-size-fits-all case here. Hence the many recommendations since the best mouse for you would may not necessarily be the best mouse for someone else.
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Comparison of Top Mouse for Blender
|Razer Naga |
|Logitech MX |
1. 3DConnexion 3DX SpaceNavigator – Recommended Mouse for Blender and 3D Modelling
One of the most essential peripheral to have for 3D space navigation.
If you are looking for comfort in navigating through 3D spaces then this is best mouse for Blender. This unique mouse allows you to move around your object and even within your scene seamlessly.
Essentially, this mouse allows you to move in 6 degrees of Freedom aka 6DoF. So it allows you surge (move forward/backward), heave (move up and down), and sway (move left and right) on the three perpendicular axis.
On top of that it also allows you to change the orientation through rotation. So it allows yaw, pitch and roll.
This gives you tremendous control over your 3D modelling as you can close in on the subject and inspect every single plane with more agility than a regular mouse.
It should be noted, however, that the mouse is meant to be used alongside a regular mouse. While this would great for any 3D modelling software like Blender. However, when going off Blender, and browsing through OS and other software, you will need to have a regular mouse along side.
The unit is portable and you can even get a little bag that you can tuck the mouse in and carry it around.
Because of its small size, users can take this along with their laptops and model in Blender whenever they travel.
If you are looking for a regular mouse along with this 3D space mouse, then we recommend you go for the 3DConnexion Kit (amazon.com affiliate link).
2. Razer Naga Trinity – High Performance, 12 Thumb Programmable Buttons
A high performance mouse with a plethora of programmable buttons that can used for assigned commands and actions.
The biggest attraction about this mouse for most professionals is the sheer amount of programmable buttons that you get. While aimed primarily towards gamers, Blender power users can make use of the assigned actions to each button for streamlining their work experience.
Another exciting feature of this mouse is that you can swap out the side plates and replace them with the many available options.
You get three side plates and they give you access to two, seven, or 12 buttons. As you can only use one at a time, Blender users may pick which to use in their application based on their preferences.
In order to assign custom keys or macros to the programmable buttons on the mouse, you have to install the software i.e the Razer Synapse.
Installing this software will allow you to access myriad of functions particularly the function which allows you to RECORD buttons.
This way you can assign not just assign single keys like TAB, CTRL, SHIFT and combinations like CTRL + TAB, but you can also assign complex functions to each of the programmable buttons.
Whichever side plate you use, the buttons on it are not only backlit, they are also programmable. So, you can have some of your favorite tools at your fingertips when modeling.
Being a gaming mouse, you get features that are meant to entice gamers like the 16000DPI optical sensor. While for a Blender users a high DPI as this may not matter much, it WILL help you with how precisely you navigate through the space.
The DPI button as well as the Synapse software lets you adjust it to set your preferences and thus allows you to calibrate the mouse to your Blender needs.
3. Logitech G600 MMO – 20 programmable buttons with RGB
An affordable mouse with plethora of programmable buttons.
Like the previous mouse, this too offers a plethora of programmable buttons as well as 12 side buttons. However, this is much cheaper.
With this mouse, you get access to 20 programmable buttons. This is exciting because you can have all the common Blender shortcuts keyed in and still have some buttons to spare.
Unlike the Razer Naga, these are not swappable so before getting this mouse, you need to ensure that you are comfortable with having 12 programmable buttons on the side.
You also can create customization profiles that you can set up for different applications. So, the functions you create for the keys on Blender can be saved and will not interfere with those used in other apps.
The buttons are backlit and in addition to them, you get the regular mouse buttons and some two others just above the scroll wheel.
The mouse has been sculpted to comfortably fit a human hand. While it may not be as premium or as ergonomic as Razer Naga above, it does give a balanced feel when using it and the slight slant of the top surface ensures that your palm rests on the mouse in a comfortable position.
4. Logitech MX Master 3 – Flow cross-computer control feature
The Logitech MX Master 3 is a premium productivity mouse and it has the features that are unique to the MX series. The MX Master 3 is the latest iteration in the well known productivity mouse series.
For starters, this is a large wireless mouse. It does have ergonomic design with a complete thumb rest, but its large form factor may appeal to those who prefer a palm grip on the mouse.
Unlike other mice, this one can be connected to up to three devices simultaneously.
At the same time, you get cross-computer control thanks to Logitech Flow. This brings in interesting features like allowing you to copy your files on one connected computer and paste it on another computer.
You can use this when texturing and rendering by easily transferring the blend file to your rendering machine if you have one and continuing with your modeling on the main computer.
Another great aspect of this mouse is that it gives you a lot of control. Not only does it have 3 programmable buttons, but also a horizontal scroll wheel on the thumb side.
5. Logitech Proteus Hero – Comfortable Mouse with Plenty of Programmable Buttons
If the large MX Master 3 or the odd shape of the Razer Naga does not appeal to you and if you are looking for a high performance regular mouse that strikes the perfect balance between weight, size, features and value, then this is the best mouse for blender.
For starters, while it may not look like it, this mouse features a plethora of programmable buttons, 11 to be precise. These can be programmed for various actions. For instance the back and forth buttons on the thumb rest can be programmed for undo and redo actions.
Also to add to the customizability, this mouse also offers adjustable weights. You get five 3.6G weights which you can insert or detach depending upon how light or how heavy a mouse you want.
Again while primarily catered towards gamers, for professional users, a high performance mouse with a regular and a familiar form factor but a plethora of buttons may just be the tool they are looking for.
For adding to the comfort factor, this does offer thumb rest. However, as far as the weight is concerned this is lighter than the MX Master 3. This mouse weighs about 4.3 ounces. The MX Master 3 weighs about 5 ounces.
6. 3DConnexion Space Mouse Pro – 3D Mouse with Easy Access Buttons
A 3D mouse with 6DoF and a plethora of easy access control buttons.
This mouse is similar in action to the 3D space mouse we reviewed above. In fact, it is built by the same manufacturer.
This is basically the more advanced version of the simple 3D space mouse.
For starters, note that this is a very expensive device. Therefore, you have to gauge whether you truly need it for your work or not.
The mouse offers 15 buttons in total including keyboard modifiers such as CTRL, ALT, SHIFT and ESC. It also offers quick view keys, rotation toggle key as well as some dedicated programmable keys.
This mouse is available in both wired and wireless variants with the wireless option being more expensive naturally.
How to Choose the Right Mouse for Blender?
If you are an avid Blender user, then a good choice of peripherals can certainly help in boosting your performance and productivity levels.
Yo don’t need a very expensive mouse to get by with Blender. All you need is a unit that can give you the required functionality i.e programmable buttons, 6DoF etc.
The pipeline from modeling all the way to texturing and finally rendering does take a while, so having a comfortable mouse sure helps.
3D Modelling and 6DoF
6DoF stands for six degrees of Freedom. A mouse that is designed with 6DoF can allow you a great deal of control over your 3D modelling.
With a 6DoF mouse you can surge, heave, sway, yaw, pitch and roll your 3D models and views.
Only a few select mice out there offer this functionality. Note that these mice have to be used in conjunction with a normal 3 button mouse.
So, in short, for finer and more precise movements in a 3D space, a 3D mouse with 6DoF can come in handy. These are designed specifically to navigate virtual 3D spaces.
Programmable Buttons for Custom Buttons and Macros
This is by far one of the most recommended feature that many power users recommend.
Blender offers plenty of shortcuts for better workflow and productivity. You are encouraged to use these.
Unfortunately, they involve a lot of keyboard presses. To get around this, you can get a mouse with programmable buttons.
Setting a profile for Blender, you can map your common keyboard shortcuts to the mouse’s button and have them accessible with the press of just one button.
DPI – Adjustable
When 3D modeling, precision helps, especially when sculpting complex geometry and when not using a 6DoF mouse.
As such, having a mouse with adjustable DPI comes in handy as you can raise and lower the value as you please for a more refined touch.
For instance when navigating quickly through the space you can use a higher DPI, however, when performing precision manipulation you can lower the DPI setting for more precise control.
Comfort for Long Sessions of Modelling
The creative process in Blender, depending on what exactly you are building, can take a while.
For this reason, you will need a mouse that’s comfortable to work on. When we talk about mouse ergonomic, we talk about its grip, thumb rest, weight, and the overall shape.
If you want to up your level in 3D modelling and want something that is precise and quick than you need to look into the best mouse for blender.
A good mouse can greatly enhance your overall productivity for 3D modelling let alone the fact that it can help reduce strains for prolonged hours of work.