6 Best Mouse for Programming: The Ultimate Guide 2018

When you think of computer programming, you don’t often think about the mouse.  Keyboards and code get all the glory, but your mouse shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s something you use continuously everyday, so finding a well designed mouse that won’t cause you any trouble is important.  This guide will help you in choosing the best mouse for programming.

What's the Best Mouse for Programming and Coding?

1.  Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX

2.  Logitech G502 Proteus Core

3.  Evoluent Vertical Mouse

4.  Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

5.  Razer Taipan

6.  Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse


Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX

Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX

The Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX is our pick for the best all around programming and coding mouse, with a great sculpted design, easy button access, wireless capability and long lasting quality.

Buttons:

5

Wireless:

Yes

Price:

$$$

Purpose:

Best All Around Mouse for Programming


Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 Proteus Core 

The Logitech G502 Proteus Core is the ultimate in customization.  The 11 programmable buttons and easy to use software makes creating the perfect mouse for coding easy.  The dual mode scroll wheel also makes going through hundreds of lines of code easy.

Buttons:

11

Wireless:

No

Price:

$$$

Purpose:

Best Button Layout and Software


Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4

Evoluent Vertical Mouse

The Evoluent Vertical Mouse is specifically designed for ergonomic comfort.  The sideways sculpted design allows your fingers and wrist to rest in a natural position, relieving strain and preventing injury.

Buttons:

6

Wireless:

Yes

Price:

$$$$

Purpose:

Best Vertical Ergonomic Mouse


Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

Logitech M570 Trackball

The Logitech M570 combines the functionality of a regular mouse with the ease of a trackball.  This multipurpose mouse is great for any situation and is wireless for use anywhere.

Buttons:

4

Wireless:

Yes

Price:

$

Purpose:

Best Trackball Design


Anker Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

The Anker Vertical Mouse provides a sculpted ergonomic design that won't break the bank.

Buttons:

2

Wireless:

Yes

Price:

$

Purpose:

Best Vertical Ergonomic Mouse


Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse

Razer Taipan Ambidextrous Mouse

The Razer Taipan is unique in that it can be used by both left and right handed programmers with ease.

Buttons:

6

Wireless:

No

Price:

$$$

Purpose:

Best Ambidextrous Mouse

What You Need In A Mouse for Coding

Computer mice come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and it can be confusing when trying to narrow down your choices.  In order to choose the best mouse for programming, you need to decide whats important to you.  Influencing factors are:

  • Design and Ergonomics
  • Programmable Buttons
  • Scroll Wheel
  • Wireless/Wired Cable
  • Left or Right Handed

Design & Ergonomics

You use your mouse countless times a day clicking, moving, scrolling, highlighting.  It only makes sense to get a mouse that’s comfortable and won’t cause unneeded pain.  While most mice usually have some sort of ergonomic design, RSI can still present itself if you aren’t careful.  The three main types of computer mice designed for ergonomics are known as Sculpted, Vertical and Trackball.

When your hand is relaxed, your fingers should be parallel with your body.  To demonstrate a neutral position without strain, simply reach out your arm as if you’re about to shake someones hand.  This relaxed position changes when you grab your mouse, twisting your arm and putting it in an unnatural position.

Natural Hand Position Ergonomic Mouse Infographic

The closer you can stay to a neutral position the better, which is why a mouse with an ergonomic curve or angle for your wrist can make a big difference.

ergonomic-hand-position-anker-mouse

While “vertical” mice like the one shown above provide the best ergonomic position for your hand, they aren’t the only options available.  A simple sculpted mouse which are more common can work just fine to provide comfort.  Alternatively, you can try a trackball design which provides a more natural array of motion for your fingers.

Buttons

A mouse that has well placed programmable buttons can save a lot of time and be very useful when coding.  The downside is that too many buttons or their placement can affect ergonomics.

logitech-g502-programmable-programmable-button-software

Before you spring for the mouse with 101 buttons crammed into the palm of your hand, ask yourself how many you really need, and whether their placement will hamper your comfort.  You should also check whether the buttons require third party software to customize.

Scroll Wheel

Most people forget about the scroll wheel when choosing a mouse, and this is a huge mistake.

There’s two types of scroll wheels, the bumpy kind that move a certain distance with a noticeable click, and the smooth free flowing type that move with your finger as you drag.  You’ve probably developed a preference without even realizing it.

A more expensive mouse will sometimes feature both scroll wheel types that switch back and forth with the hit of a button.

The Best Mouse for Programming:  Top 6 Reviews

Some mice are just naturally better at certain things than others.  We think all the mice on our list are excellent, but here’s a breakdown of our top picks based on category.

Best All Around Coding Mouse:

best all around mouse logitech mx performance

Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX

The Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX has something for everyone, with an ergonomic sculpted design, 5 programmable buttons and long lasting wireless connectivity.  For a price that won’t break your bank, you get a lot for a little.

Speed and functionality is the name of the game with the Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX. This model boasts a laser tracking system that allows it to work on almost any surface, including glass, making it perfect for the developer on the go who needs a mouse that will work in any coffeeshop or coworking space at any time.

In addition, there are quick scrolling features and navigation buttons built into the contoured right-hand design that make web browsing or switching between applications – such as coding and graphic design software – extremely easy. For coders who are big fans of wireless connectivity, the Performance Mouse MX’s USB receiver has the capacity to be a one-stop shop for all of your accessories, leaving your USB ports open for external hard drives and such.

Many users of this mouse do note that it isn’t as durable as previous Logitech models. For users who constantly use their mouse or tend to forget to turn it off, there are complaints that the battery life is sub-par and needs relatively frequent replacing.

Pros

  • High Quality Sculpted Design
  • 5 Programmable Buttons
  • Rechargeable
  • Works on Any Surface

Cons

  • Only Right Handed

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Best Coding Layout Mouse: 

Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 Proteus Core

If you’re looking for a completely customizable mouse, then the G502 Proteus Core from Logitech – built primarily for gaming – will fit almost any need you may have.  As with gamers, many programmers want products that feel great in their hand, can be tuned to their exact surface and station and enable them to move effortlessly and efficiently around their work/play area.

The Proteus Core allows users to calibrate the optical sensor for their specific surface, adjust the weight placement and balance of the mouse for optimum feel, program 11 separate buttons to help quickly execute commands or shortcuts that can help speed through a coding project, a super-fast scroll wheel for skimming through long groups of code at a time, and even a DPI switch that will allow developers to make changes on the fly.  Our favorite feature is definitely the high quality scroll wheel, with a lock button to switch between clicky or free scrolling modes.

The downside to this mouse is that with so many extra features and adjustments, it will take a little time to set up to your perfect specification. It will also take some getting used to having so many different controls within a relatively standard-sized mouse.  However, it is a little on the bulky side, so if portability is what you’re seeking, this may not be the mouse for you.

Pros

  • High quality look and feel.
  • 11 programmable buttons.
  • Adjustable weight feature.
  • Scroll wheel allows clicky or free scrolling modes.

Cons

  • Left and Right mouse buttons could be wider for people with bigger fingers.

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Best Ergonomic Programming Mouse:

Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4

Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4

The Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4 is a great option if you need to alleviate strain in your wrist or arm.  Developers, like many other computer users are especially prone to wrist and hand injuries, such as carpal tunnel, and the Evoluent Vertical Mouse is designed to ease that strain.

The upright sculpted design puts your arm in a neutral position rather than being twisted sideways.  By essentially turning the traditional mouse on its side, putting the user’s hand into a handshake position, Evoluent is aiming to ease the strain of operating a mouse.  Many users report that this greatly improves their comfort, so for coders who do a lot of their own graphics worse and spend a lot of time working with their mouse, this can make those long sessions a little bit easier.

Many users note that after a short adjustment period that they find precision to be a non-issue with the vertical alignment.  Plus, Evoluent offers this mouse in several sizes to fit developers of all hand sizes.

Some drawbacks to the vertical mouse is that it is a relatively unique design that will take some time to get used to. In addition, some users note that the elevated design may relieve stress on the palm side of the wrist, but can add stress to the pinky finger side of the wrist, although not as severe.  Additionally, users who switch from mouse to keyboard and back often may get frustrated with the sensitive buttons.  You might find that the natural inclination in this hand position is to squeeze, and this can cause inadvertent clicks.

Pros:

  • Upright sculpted ergonomic design puts your arm in a neutral position.
  • 6 programmable buttons (software provided) let you customize to your needs.
  • Easy to grip
  • Adjustable DPI settings
  • Left Hand option available

Cons:

  • Easier to misclick when grabbing.
  • Price

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Best Trackball for Developers:

Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball

The Logitech M570 trackball mouse provides a simple solution to RSI problems; simply stop moving your arm and wrist.  The unique design lets you move the cursor with your thumb while keeping your arm stationary.

Developers who prefer a trackball experience instead of an optical mouse will enjoy the contoured design of the M570 Trackball.  Plus, without needing a traditional desktop space to navigate using the trackball, this mouse is convenient for the modern developer who enjoys coding sessions on the couch or away from the desk.  It sports the Logitech unifying receiver that connects up to 6 wireless USB devices to keep your ports clear, plus it has an amazing battery life, claiming up to 18 months between battery changes.

Users who are used to a traditional mouse may take some time adjusting, as would users who are used to more palm-oriented trackballs as the M570 features what is best described as a “thumb-ball.”  Some users note that it is a relatively small mouse and can be tough for developers with larger hands.

Pros

  • Trackball design with the comfort of a mouse layout.
  • Works on any surface without the need for lasers.
  • 2 programmable buttons within easy reach.

Cons

  • Quality of plastic could be better (balanced by the price point).

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Best Ambidextrous Mouse:

Razer Taipan Ambidextrous PC Gaming Mouse

Razer Taipan

One of the more minimalist gaming mice focused on ergonomics, the Razer Taipan is a great option for ambidextrous coders.

The Taipan Ambidextrous Mouse was built for gamers, with feedback from gamers, meaning that developers will reap the benefits of some of the highest-volume users’ input.  The obvious advantage to this mouse is that for left-handed people, this mouse will come as a great comfort for the ideal workspace.

Several reviewers note that while the performance and feedback is superb, the comfort is what sets this mouse apart, finding that it feels better in the hand than many ergonomic models. This mouse was specifically designed for either hand and pretty much any type of grip to be as comfortable and efficient as possible.

While the mouse can fit almost any type of grip, users with larger hands may struggle with the mouse’s sides as well as the proximity of the buttons.  While product images make the mouse seem like it has seven different buttons, the ones on either side are essentially duplicates and can lead to some inadvertent clicks.  Users who enjoy a heavier mouse will find this one to be a little on the light side.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous design
  • 6 programmable buttons split equally on both sides
  • High sensitivity optics laser with up to 8200 dpi

Cons

  • Smaller size can be uncomfortable for larger hands

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Best Budget Ergonomic Mouse:

Anker Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

Another vertical mouse option, the Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse supports a natural handshake motion to alleviate wrist pain. It also comes with optical resolution tracking technology that will help it perform well on almost any surface, as well as thumb-browsing buttons to help glide through web pages in a breeze. For developers who often forget to turn off their mouse, or simply want to save batteries, this wireless mouse has a power saving mode that initiates after 8 minutes of inactivity.

One of the biggest advantages to this mouse is the price tag, which comes in at about one-fifth of the Evoluent models. However, some users have noticed a difference in overall quality, including the ergonomic angle, the click feedback and overall durability. Plus, the Anker models don’t come in various sizes, meaning for large or small hands there may be a good deal of adjustment.

Pros

  • Ergonomic Design
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Low Budget

Cons

  • Low-End Durability

Click here to see pricing and reviews on Amazon.

Your Choice

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in choosing the best mouse for programming that will suit your needs.  If it did, please leave a comment or share it with friends, we’d love to hear from you!

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