Design Engineers use a lot of complex applications and almost always have their hands full with their work on cutting edge design software.
Whether you are using AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks or even planning and accounting software, you not only need a fairly decent desktop but you should also consider investing in comfortable peripherals.
While there isn’t a single dedicated category for engineering mice, there are few certain features that you can look into in order to find a model that can increase your productivity and your comfort.
Generally, productivity and mice with plenty of programmable buttons do well for power users, however, if you are a professional designer, you can even look into the unique 6DoF mice.
By far the most important factor, of course, is the ergonomics. If you work for a very long time, and if you particularly face discomfort in your hands or fingers due to your use of PC peripherals then having a mouse with a good grip and form factor can be very helpful.
List of Best Mouse for Engineers in 2021
We have selected the following popular mice based on their price value and overall feature set.
- 3Dconnexion 3DX-700059 – 6DoF Mouse – Recommended Mouse for Design Engineers
- Lexip PU94 – Unique Regular Mouse with 3D Rotation
- Logitech MX Master 3 – Premium Productivity Mouse
- Razer Naga Trinity – Mouse with Plethora of Programmable Buttons
- Logitech MX Anywhere 3 – Small Productivity Mouse
1. 3Dconnexion 3DX-700059 – 6DoF Mouse – Recommended Mouse for Design Engineers
A 3D Space Mouse with 6 degrees of freedom.
If the nature of your work revolves around working with 3D spaces and if you are a design engineer who uses software like Revit, Solidwords or Maya 3D etc, then this unique mouse could pique your interest.
This is basically called a 3D Space mouse and while it can track the mouse cursor like a regular mouse, it is unlike any regular mouse you have ever seen.
This is a mouse that has 6DoF or 6 degrees of freedom movement. Hence, you can think of this as a joystick that allows you to easily navigate across your three models and your 3D space.
The following video explains this mouse very well.
There are a few drawbacks to this mouse. For starters, it is expensive. For something that you would only use exclusively for 3D software, the price could be a concerning factor.
Furthermore, you will need to have a separate REGULAR mouse connected to your PC as well in order to navigate across the rest of the your PC system. That adds to the overall cost.
But if you are a power user, then this can be an essential tool of the trade for you. For its unique 3D navigational properties, we find this to be among the best mouse for engineers.
2. Lexip PU94 – Unique Regular Mouse with 3D Rotation
A mouse with gamers and engineers in mind.
This is yet another highly unique mouse with an idea that challenges the current notion of regular mice design.
While Lexip is not as established as the rest of the popular brands like Logitech, Razer, Corsair etc, with this mouse, however, they may have left a permanent mark in the industry.
This is basically a mouse that caters to both gamers as well as engineers. Not only does it have a high end specs like 12,000 DPI and 6 programmable buttons, it has a few cutting edge tricks up its sleeve that give it a huge advantage.
This unique features is, of course, the joystick provided on the side as well as the outer shell of the mouse that also gives you two axis movement.
With this, you can control the movement of the camera while keeping your mouse cursor static in one place.
Hence, not only does this act like a regular high performance mouse but can also give you tremendous control over your 3D space.
Another unique highlight of this mouse is that it has 6 ceramic feet attached to its base. This helps in reducing the friction between the base of the mouse and the mouse pad allowing you to literally glide across the mouse pad.
Unfortunately, this is a small mouse and due to its ambidextrous body, it does not have any ergonomic aspects attached to it.
But with all things considered, its novel ability to include a joystick on a regular mouse certainly makes this one of the best mouse for engineers who work on 3D spaces.
3. Logitech MX Master 3 – Premium Productivity Mouse
Logitech MX Master 3 is a regular ergonomic mouse with premium specs as well as a high end price tag.
If you are looking for the epitome of a productivity mouse, then this is it. There is no other productivity and ergonomic mouse that comes close to in popularity as this.
For starters, this is a heavy mouse weighing at about 141 grams. It is also large and thus suitable for a palm grip whereby you would place your entire hand on the mouse with your fingers resting comfortably on the buttons and your thumb on the thumb rest.
But other than the comfortable form factor, the mouse has plenty of useful features like 3 programmable buttons as well as cross computer connectivity which would allow it to connect to 3 devices at once.
The mouse also offers Logitech Flow feature with which you would be able to copy and paste files from one connected PC to another so long as they are connected to the same network.
This is also a wireless mouse with USB Type C charging port on the front. The mouse connects via both Bluetooth as well as the USB receiver provided.
Another lucrative aspect here is the Magspeec Scroll wheel. This mouse has two of these. One for vertical scrolling and the other for horizontal. The Magspeed mechanism allows you to literally scrolls thousands of lines in a minute. This is great if you want to scroll quickly across the 2D space.
Finally, it offers the popular Darkfield sensor. While it offers only 4000 DPI, the Darkfield technology allows it to track on any surface including glass.
4. Razer Naga Trinity – Mouse with Plethora of Programmable Buttons
A mouse with plethora of side buttons for assigning commands, tools and macros.
Razer Naga Trinity is a premium MMO Gaming mouse. You must be wondering why an MMO gaming mouse would be suitable for an engineering.
Well that is simply because it caters to a specific set of engineering power users who love having a lot of customizable buttons to which they can assign certain tools, commands and even macros to.
This is, hence, a mouse that offers a whopping 19 programmable buttons with 12 on the thumb rest side. If you have commands and functions that you often use, you can simply map them to these keys and quickly access them with the press of the button.
Assigning hotkeys can be a huge time saver. This particular model comes with 3 interchangeable plates. Each plate offering a different number of programmable side buttons.
Unfortunately, this is a heavy mouse weighing at about 120g. There is a lighter variant to this i.e the Razer Naga X, but it is a bit more expensive and does not come with interchangeable plates.
As far as tracking precision goes, this offers a high 16,000 DPI as you would expect from any gaming mouse worth its salt.
So basically, if you want bask in the number of programmable buttons, then this can be the mouse for engineers for you.
5. Logitech MX Anywhere 3 – Small Productivity Mouse
A compact productivity mouse. Great for travel and small to medium hands.
Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is a compact productivity mouse. This is particularly great for those who prefer having a lightweight option that they can either use with a fingertip grip or for their travels as well.
This mouse hails from the same premium mice series as the Logitech MX Master 3 we saw above. However, it is much smaller in comparison.
It does offer the same great features though. It offers cross computer connectivity so it can connect to three computers at once. With Logitech Flow you can copy and paste files across computers.
It also offers the same 4000DPI Darkfield sensor that can track across all surfaces including glass as we saw on the Logitech MX Master 3 and also features the Mag Scroll wheel.
Furthermore, it is a wireless mouse with USB Type C charging port. Each charge can be expected to you provide with 70 days of battery life.
The only drawback here is that for its size, it is quite expensive.
However, due to its unparalleled performance in its size category, it is very popular and great for engineers who have limited needs.
How to Find the Best Mice for Engineering and CAD?
As mentioned earlier, there aren’t specifically designed engineering mind. Instead, engineers generally look for a certain set of features and characteristics for enhancing their productivity in engineering software.
The only unique mice that come remotely close to being dedicated to 3D design engineers are the 6DoF 3D mice.
We talk about generally useful features below
6DoF 3D Space Mouse
One impressive creation that can come in handy for engineers is the 3D mouse. Unlike regular ones, this type is specifically built to assist users to navigate a 3D workspace.
Of course, you can use any mouse for this. However, a 3D mouse allows you to get finer movements and better control.
The 6 degrees of freedom movement principle allows you to move forward/backward, move up and down, move left and right and also allows you to yaw, pitch and roll the orientation of the 3D object and the space.
While you can always you se a regular mouse for this, a 3D mouse essentially provides you with much great control over your workspace and models and may also improve your productivity.
Also Read: Best Mouse for Drafting
Disadvantages of 3D Space Mouse
While they do offer key benefits above regular mice, these tend to be more expensive than the latter. This is in part because they are specialized devices and they serve very specific purposes.
Some users find them gimmicky and unnecessary while others have nothing but praise, so getting one will depend largely on your preferences.
Also, you will most certainly have to invest in a separate regular mouse to operate your PC outside for your 3D design software.
Also Read: Best Mouse for Excel
Mouse Sensitivity and DPI
When it comes to precision and control, DPI matters a lot. There are generally three categories of mice and their corresponding DPI available in the market.
The first are the regular/casual mice like the Microsoft Surface mice, Microsoft Sculpt, Apple Magic Mouse. These have a DPI of about 1000.
The next are productivity mice such the Logitech MX Master 3 and Logitech MX Anywhere 2. These have a DPI of about 4000.
Finally, you have the high performance/gaming mice. These have a very high DPI going beyond 16,000. However, due to their optical sensors, they need to be used on solid and opaque surfaces.
For engineers, we recommend sticking with productivity or high performance/gaming mice. A good DPI can allow you easily scroll and pan across your workspace and gives you precision tracking by reducing the DPI level.
Customizability and Programmable Buttons
While customizability is generally a feature catered toward gamers. If you are a design engineer or a CAD power user, then you will most certainly benefit from a highly customizable mouse, particularly one with a high number of programmable buttons.
Mice like Razer Naga, Corsair Scimitar offer some of the highest number of programmable buttons.
You can program these buttons with any tool, command or even a macro t hat you often use in your engineering CAD software. These buttons can be assigned and programmed via the included mice software such Razer Synapse, Logitech GHub etc
Connectivity and Portability
The size of the mouse can be a potential drawback depending on a user’s nature of work.
Engineers who travel a lot may appreciate a unit that’s easy to carry around, so minimal bulk.
As far as connectivity goes, most productivity and casual mice are wireless. High performance/gaming mice are generally wired.
Gamers generally prefer having a wired connection as it reducing the polling rate or the input lag. However, for you as an engineer, this may not be something of concern.
Again, a good engineer must gauge what their requirement for the work is. Are you a design engineer or a planning engineer? Are you an engineering professor or site engineer who occasionaly has to write reports.
Each of these may have a different preference for their mouse. A design engineer generally has the most use for a premium and a productive mouse with high end features, DPI and customizability.
When we talk about the best mouse for engineers, we generally cater to the idea of mouse that is suitable for design software such as AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks.
For planning, QC/QA, site engineers etc, any casual or a productivity mouse could suffice.