Help me choose a mouse that won't hurt me
July 24, 2012 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me choose a computer mouse that won't hurt me the way the one I just bought does.

I've used computers for years, with few problems. For the past few years, I had a Microsoft arc laser mouse that folds up. Anyway, that died and I used a cheap mouse for a few weeks. Then I went out and boght a Logitech m310 wireless mouse. Now I'm getting pain in my wrist, numbness in my lower arm and I'm sore all the way up my arm to my neck. I know it's the mouse.

How do I choose a mouse where this won't happen? It feels awful. I need to work, so I need to figure something out quick. I did try out the mice in the store when I bought this one and I don't see what the problem is. Help, please!

If relevant, I'm a small framed woman.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats to Technology (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If relevant, I'm a small framed woman.

I always find Logitechs to be heavy, but regardless: the m310 is a huge mouse. Try a smaller mouse, like the m305 or smaller. Personally, I use a mouse for children because it fits my finger span better with no strain.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:44 PM on July 24, 2012

Was your old mouse something like this one, still available online? If so, just get it, but if not, maybe pull out your old one and observe carefully how you used to hold it.

Compare that to what you're doing with the new mouse and see if you can either control the difference or at least observe what would be bad in any future mouse.

But I wouldn't rule out coincidence (on principle--you never should) or the possibility that you're frustrated by the feel of new mouse and holding it more tensely, rather than having it shape your grip per se.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:49 PM on July 24, 2012

posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

I love my vertical mouse by Evoluent, and it comes in a small size, which is the one I use. Sadly, the small size isn't wireless, but the cord is very long & that hasn't been an obstacle for me. It does take some getting used to, but once you do, your wrists and hands will be much happier. Also, it's a bit pricey, but worth every penny.
posted by katemcd at 9:56 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

If it's this one, it looks like it might still be available.

Other than that, the Logitech M305 and Microsoft Wireless 3500 are both comfortable.
posted by chazlarson at 10:00 PM on July 24, 2012

I liked the Evoluent vertical mouse I used at a past job, and using it didn't give me the wrist pain that regular mousing did. (Now I have a laptop with a trackpoint nub which doesn't seem to give me pain either.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:06 PM on July 24, 2012

Response by poster: What I had was the Microsoft arc 1350 mouse. I did try all the mice in the store before buying this one and it felt the most similar. But, now that I have used it for a while, the Logitech is awful. I wonder, too, if DarlingBri is right about the weight. I've NEVER had trouble with a mouse before and I just can't believe this is causing my whole arm to go numb. I mean, I have used computers in offices and so on and still gone home to my arc and had no problem. Not sure if that helps with choosing a mouse for me? I don't think I'm gribbing it hard, but maybe it is too big?
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:09 PM on July 24, 2012

Response by poster: I should add that the arc mouse from Microsoft that was for sale at Staples did not feel the same at all as my 1350.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:09 PM on July 24, 2012

I almost always have to take the weight out of my mice if I buy a non-gaming mouse. I currently have a Razer ambidextrous mouse, but they aren't cheap. However, there is a Logitec that has customization weight packs, but I honestly don't remember the name of it.
posted by strixus at 10:20 PM on July 24, 2012

I use a RollerMouse at work and I took to it pretty fast whereas some coworkers took a little longer, and others just didn't bother trying to learn it at all. It's pretty expensive though, and my hands haven't suffered enough for me to warrant buying one for home, but maybe it might work for you. Looks like there's a 30-day trial if you're interested in trying it out before shelling out the money for it.
posted by Seboshin at 10:30 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like my Evoluent vertical mouse too, but as far as "normal" mice I have had the most luck with Razers. Their flat buttons are very easy on the fingers. The lower-end models are not too pricey either.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 10:44 PM on July 24, 2012

Maybe try a touchpad?

I absolutely hated trackballs for years but I picked one up to make PVP easier in various MMOs and now I don't think I could switch back. Not moving my arm or my shoulder almost completely eliminated the persistent trigger point in my right shoulder.

My mother, who has small hands, uses laptop sized mice. They're typically quite light.
posted by xyzzy at 10:52 PM on July 24, 2012

You don't say what platform you are on. For Macs, I love Apple's wireless trackpad.
posted by w0mbat at 12:34 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you've got a bigger mouse and now you hurt, it might just be that your hand's resting position on the mouse leaves your wrist bent backward further than the old mouse used to, and that your wrist doesn't like that. You might find that adding a gel wrist rest to your setup makes it even better than what you used to use.
posted by flabdablet at 2:05 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have the wired version of this trackball. When I started using this the change was dramatic. Any time I use a standard mouse, I have trouble with my hand, arm, shoulder and back. I would not be able to work without it.
posted by chiefthe at 2:19 AM on July 25, 2012

I had this problem a few years ago and tried all kinds of weird-looking ergonomic mice, including the vertical mouse referenced above. The one that finally worked for me was the Humanscale Switch Mouse. I think it's a pretty individual thing.

To be honest, what helped the most was moving the mouse to the left side of the keyboard and learning to use it with my left hand (I'm right-handed), then switching back and forth every week or two. That's why the Switch mouse was particularly useful, because it can work on either side. But any symmetrical mouse would do.
posted by pete_22 at 2:27 AM on July 25, 2012

Get a trackball. I'm extremely happy with my Marble Mouse.
posted by 23 at 2:47 AM on July 25, 2012

As DarlingBri mentions, the 310 is a huge mouse. I'm extremely happy, though, with the much smaller Anywhere MX mouse, which includes the spinny-wheel that Logitech has on some of their mice. It's excellent, and I won't go back to not having one.
posted by mhoye at 4:49 AM on July 25, 2012

Seconding the Marble Mouse. I love it and I've taken it with me to 4 different companies I've worked for because even the cheap light "default" mouse that IT hands out makes my forearm sore within a week.
posted by like_neon at 4:59 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it necessary to be wireless? They tends towards heaviness because they have to contain a battery.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:33 AM on July 25, 2012

Seconding the Evoluent vertical mouse - I have one at work and one at home. They're amazing, and let me use a mouse while I was stricken with tendonitis (due to mouse use). Now I don't get it any more.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:18 AM on July 25, 2012

Here's another vote for the RollerMouse. Any type of one-sided mouse gives me shoulder and back trouble, but the RollerMouse keeps everything centered below the keyboard. I'll never go back.
posted by ceiba at 7:37 AM on July 25, 2012

Another +1 for Evoluent vertical mouse. It really is different and helps immensely with all the typical issues with using normal mouses.

It is big, but does come in a smaller size for smaller hands. It does not weigh much at all as well. I have found that the "dead hand" feeling is more or less due to your flat wrist and hand pressure toward the mouse. A vertical mouse or even roller or trackpoint avoids that entirely.
posted by Bodrik at 11:07 AM on July 25, 2012

Buy the original mouse on eBay.
posted by cnc at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2012

Sxithing (!) the Evoluent vertical mouse. No more wrist pads, no more wrist pain.
On a Mac I use USB Overdrive to program the thumb button to a double-click.
posted by omnidrew at 8:41 PM on July 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks. I'm trying a small Microsoft mouse, but I'll take it back in a day or two and get a Trackball or vertical mouse if this doesn't help. The guy at the store seemed to think a smaller, lighter mouse would help and the comments above seem to support that.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:29 PM on July 25, 2012

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