Of Mice And Men

By Jim Rossignol on July 30th, 2009 at 8:38 am.


A minor disaster has befallen me. My Razer Krait, my long-standing ultra-minimal mouse, has developed a slight left-click fault. It only works about 50% of the time which, as you all know, is no good for gaming. I need 100%. After years of service this mouse will have to be put down, buried in a shoe box in the garden, while I fire three shots into the air with a home-made water pistol. This also means that it’s time for a new mouse. But what do I get as a replacement?

The kneejerk reaction is to go for the something obvious, like the Logitech G5. It looks a bit like a magic slug, but I’ve always done well with Logitech in the past (my Quake III days were powered by an old Logitech optical) and I’ve heard lots of people say the G5 is a good deal. The customisable G9 just looks a bit silly for my tastes.

Of course I could stick with my previous brand, and go for the Razer Lachesis, which specs up as about the most hi-tech beast on the market. It’s a little expensive, but perhaps the quality is worth it. And just look at it. You could kill a man with those lines.

But then there’s also the impulse to get something outlandish, like a mouse made of wood, or something custom-built from stainless steel. Browsing around for such outlandishness, I ended up finding this monstrosity:

Could I go for it, and live the nightmare steampunk dream? Maybe not, and besides I’d have to get someone to hand-craft the bugger for me. But that’s not to say there isn’t some outlandish nonsense in the mainstream mouse market. I mean look at this crazy-machine, the Evoluent Verticalmouse 3, designed to combat RSI:

Would you really be able to sit at a desk with your arm stretched out onto this thing, like you were flying a spaceship from the 1970s? Seriously?

Anyway, I really can’t decide on the perfect mouse, and I need some kind of community lowdown on mouse excellence. So I throw the flaw open to the mob. Denizens of RPS, speak your ergonomics!

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256 Comments »

  1. abigbat says:

    Good lord, that last one is a little extreme.

  2. DSX says:

    First things first, did you try disassembling Johnny-five and cleaning everything? Q-tip and some rubbing alcohol often do wonders.

  3. Freeks says:

    After my Saitek Cyborg died, I had the same decision to make. High-Tech-mouse, stylish mouse, simple mouse. I chose the simple one and bought after 2 years my third Microsoft Intelli Explorer 1.1 best and most comfortable mouse ever :)

  4. Spindaden says:

    If you liked the krait stick with it. I have a steelseries ikari optical and would not recommend them, but a mouse is a very subjective thing, you don’t need to get the newest on the beat -the Lachesis is a rather extreme twitch mouse compared to the krait and I never liked logitech personally for their shape but particularly their driver software.

  5. Howard says:

    As much as it pains me to say it, M$ still make the best rodents, IMO. Personally I would go for:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148285

    (Also sorry to pimp Ebuyer – Cannot stand them but its first place I found it in stock!)

  6. Uglycat says:

    I prefer the Mx518 over the G5/9

  7. Joppe w says:

    If you do opt for the Lachesis, remember to also get a very thin and hard mouse pad, as every click will otherwise miss its mark by a few annoying pixels. It is also a very large mouse which might be a dealbreaker for some. Technologically, though, it is quite the marvel.

  8. McGhee says:

    I have a G5 and it works well. Some of the other Logitech ones like the MX518 are also recommended.

  9. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’ve got a lachesis and it’s amazing, the difference between that and the bog standard Microsoft mouse i was using before, was like the difference between a using a mouse and using a heavy rock to control your game.

  10. John says:

    G5. End of chat.

    Comfy to use, customizable dpi rate, enough buttons without making you wonder where you bound crouch.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    No one ever surpassed the Mx1000 in my mind. But, then, i like hella buttons.

  12. Sunjammer says:

    I guess it’s a real love it or hate it kind of deal, but i play damn tightly with my Wacom Intuos2 tablet. Originally to solve a wrist pain issue, it just feels natural to use now, even in relative mouse mode. Could be i”m deluding myself, but i swear to god my Quake Live headshot ratings are complete crazytime over what they were when i played Q3 with a mouse.

  13. MrBejeebus says:

    If you want to stick with Razer’s then a diamondback or lachesis are good, although lachesis’ are very expensive.

    I’ve had mine for almost a couple of years, I’ve never had a problem with it except for the teflon feet at the bottom getting worn out which was sold with a bit of teflon tape.

    I’ve no knowledge of any other mice really, up until about 3 years ago I’d just been using normal mouses so I bought a diamondback, that failed on me after a year (powerchord) and now I have a Lachesis which I like.

    I am left handed though so I have to settle for ambidextrous mouses.

  14. Ffrank says:

    Razer Deathadder is a good (cheaper) alternative to the Lachesis.

    I use one with a Steel Series mini, it’s as smooth as polished butter.

  15. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Mice are a “horses for courses” thing in my opinion.

    I went from a G5 to a Death Adder and after some time the left mouse button stopped working. It seems to be a common fault with Razer’s output.

    I have returned to a new G5. It’s bigger and less pretty than the Razer but 1) I don’t have particularly little hands and 2) it’s hard as nails. I also find it easier to control (sorry but 2000dpi is too much for me; it’s like playing while suffering from full body tourettes – no offence meant to anybody who may actually be afflicted with that condition).

  16. James G says:

    Ahh, my boss has that last one. It is ridiculously sensitive, no idea why he hasn’t knocked the sensitivity down. (Other than he probably doesn’t know how to, but I’ve let him know that it can be done and he hasn’t asked me.)

  17. purplespud says:

    I have the Evoluent Verticalmouse, it took a fair bit of getting used to but i love it. Had to get it due to QUAKE/MOH/COD = carpal tunnel surgery. It’s not optimal for gaming but is indeed for wrist pain.. and a couple foot pedals fixed it’s lack o’ extra buttons. http://gamingmouse.com/weapon.php?pid=30

  18. Hunty says:

    I personally get on quite well with my Habu, which is basically an old Intellimouse shape (the best shape, in my opinion) with all that nifty gaming button and sensor business added in, plus some extraneous blue strips round the edges. Comfortable, accurate, nifty.

  19. MrBejeebus says:

    If you have a large hand you might want to go for a Sidewinder, I know they’re very large supposedly

  20. Vanguard says:

    The Razer DeathAdder is quiet good especially if you are already familiar with the Razer ergonomics.

  21. JoeDuck says:

    I have the Lachesis and it’s a very nice mouse, it feels nice, the quality of the materials is good and it is really precise. You can change the resolution on the fly, so if you are twitching inside an FPS with super high resolution and you want to come out of the game to browse or whatever, you can go back to normal with a click on the mouse, easy and fast.
    Still, I would only recommend it for someone with big hands as it’s a big mouse.
    And finally, the best part is the blue logo on the back part of the mouse.
    It is actually a led that pulsates all the time the mouse is on, basically showing you the rodent’s heartbeat…

  22. Ian says:

    Lots of buttons scare me. I just use a normal mouse.

  23. Yargh says:

    I’ve been very happy with my G5 for the last year or so, I also got my hands on one of Evoluent’s vertical mice a while back (HR actually took our receptionist’s RSI claims seriously) and they are surprisingly comfortable to use but don’t expect it to give you high precision at speed.
    I found that the vertical position of the hand removes your impression of direct control, possibly because the index finger is so far removed from the desktop.

  24. Cirdain says:

    Ok from the looks of it im gonna say your budget is $80 if it’s really good.

    Logitech VX Revolution $70-ish
    the Razer you chose
    Cyborg Mouse by Saitek (Probably one of the most mental designs ever)
    GM3200 Laser Mouse by Saitek (This is what I have. It was a small budget).

    I would go for the Razer and a Saitek keyboard.

  25. Don says:

    I bought one of the first wireless/optical mice, the Logitech MX, and it served me well for a decade or so. A couple of months back I realised that the frequent BSODs I was getting when I booted XP to play games were not due to crappy Microsoft/driver/game code but due to the mouse going bezerko, so I had to go through a similar exercise.

    I eventually opted for a Microsoft Sidewinder X8 for its neat recharge system. In terms of use I found the jump in dpi over the MX too much at the highest setting and had to dial it down. And in a typical Microsoft fashion it starts a process called dbupdchk.exe at boot that supposedly checks for updates to the driver. Why such a process has to run all the time makes no sense, to make it one that you can’t turn off is just plain rude. You have to noodle around with security policies to squash this waste of RAM and cpu time. To add insult to injury it didn’t even do its job, before I suppressed it I noticed that a driver update had been released courtesy of the web, which is more than the update checker ever did.

    These minor glitches aside after the usual bedding in period I’m finding I’m almost as good in L4D and similar as I was with the MX, just a bit twitchier than before.

  26. CaseytheBrash says:

    I also have enjoyed my G5, the cord is a bit stiff, but rugged, other than that it fits my paw well and has been reliable. I fully weighted mine and it track well on almost any surface. I think my current mouse pad is a flattened beer can and it’s fine.

  27. Jim Rossignol says:

    A mouse is something I feel quite happy spending lots of money on. Like a bed, it’s something that actually impinges on daily life on a constant basis.

  28. Greg Wild says:

    I’m currently using a Razor Krait myself. Good mouse.

    I’d say go with Razor :D

  29. Eben says:

    The basic Microsoft optical mouse, i will never use another

  30. JS says:

    I’ll also recommend the mouse I’ve been using for a couple years now: the Razer DeathAdder. Since you’re already familiar with Razer, that’s a plus, and on the Xtrac Ripper pad, I love the thing.

  31. Naiive Melody says:

    I recently decided to go from having a crappy $40 Logitech KB+M set to a quieter keyboard and new mouse. I picked up a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0, which, while having a retarded name, seems pretty solid for a low price. It’s wired, which I guess in this day and age is kind of silly, but it’s got five buttons, it’s black, and it was cheap – $30. Maybe I should have gone the extra mile and picked up a good Razer for $60 or $70, but this works perfectly for me in TF2. Also, I love that it’s lighter because it doesn’t have two AA’s in it, and I also love that I don’t have to replace batteries every week.

  32. Gwyd says:

    Well at least you’re not left handed, just try and find a half decent gaming mouse for us south paws…I dare you!!

  33. Rrrrraaaaasssssmmmmmuuuuusssss says:

    How do you home-make a water pistol?

  34. dingo says:

    Razer Deathadder. Lights in cool blue :)

  35. Bruut says:

    Personally, I’d screw open your old one, clean it (as said before), and replace the switch. I’m guessing it’s just a simple microswitch so worth a try.

  36. Schmung says:

    My G7 is coming to it’s end as well. The pads have worn unevenly and I’m swapping out the battery in it with alarming regularity now. Not sure I want to go back to something with a wire – otherwise a G5 would be the logical choice. Bleh.

  37. FunkyB says:

    Your mouse is very probably fine, it just needs a clean.

    The microswitches in my MX1000 and my guitar stompboxes have both gone exactly as you describe from time to time and I’ve returned them back to perfect simply by opening the case and spraying the microswitch with contact cleaner.

    http://buy.maplin.co.uk/Free_UK_Delivery/Contact_Cleaner_4153/Contact_Cleaner_4153.htm

    Seriously, switches just get gummed up sometimes! :) My MX1000 is still perfect and I’ve had it since they were released. I’ve had to clean the switches twice though.

  38. Alex says:

    I’m still clinging loyally to my Logitech MX-1000 even though the middle-click doesn’t work too well anymore. Mostly because I’m cheap.

  39. mihor_fego says:

    I’m using Microsoft Habu Razer, which looks pretty similar with the Lachesis in design (only difference is a cheesy blue light streak you can turn off). I don’t know if it’s got all the features of Lachesis, but I must say it’s the best gaming mouse I’ve used.
    I still use my Intuos A3 for Adobe apps though, for it’s way more accurate for design purposes.

  40. Gnoupi says:

    If you want solid and reliable, go for the classic MX518.

    If you want one of the best with “extravagant” precision and hardware, go for the

  41. Eidolon says:

    Either a Razer Deathadder or a Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 (Wired)

  42. pignoli says:

    Another vote for the Razer Deathadder here, I love mine. Stupid name, awesome mouse. Useless if you’re a lefty though. I think the Lachesis is basically the ambidextrous iteration of the Deathadder. Also, the best mouse mat is a large sheet of craft foam taped to the desk. Fact.

  43. FunkyB says:

    Just to clarify, Bruut is right that if the switch is borked you’d have to replace it and I understand if that is a bit fiddly, but what I’m suggesting is nothing more than pointing the cleaner at the switch and blasting it. Give it a soaking, click the switch lots, and them another blast for good measure. Takes about 20 seconds once you’ve got the mouse open and it’s never failed me.

  44. Tzarkahn says:

    Don’t the Razer mice have some sorta uber warranty?

    My left click went, I contacted them and they took it for repairs and sent it back.

    I have a Diamondback, the blue one, been chugging along for about 6 years now with the 1 repair incident, despite my many attempts to drown it and dip it in beer and/or food.

  45. Subject 706 says:

    The G9 looks silly? Why? I have it and I love it! Go for a G9 or a G5 I’d say. Then again I prefer Logitech’s mice. Tried the Razer Lachesis, but I found it really uncomfortable. Actually all Razer mice I’ve tried have been really uncomfortable for me. Are my hands malformed?

  46. FunkyB says:

    @Alex, it is the middle switch on my MX1000 which gets gummed up too. Get some of the cleaner I suggested, it worked for me.

  47. Centy says:

    I personally use the Razer Lachesis which I got to replace my Razer Pro 1.6 took a few days to break my hand in to the new shape but it was worth it. It’s a very solid little thing and the on the fly sensitivity changing with the buttons is something I can’t do without in games now.

    Thing is you’ve had a Razer for so long now surely it would feel very unusual to use a logitech one now.

  48. Gnoupi says:

    And i missed my link…

    I repeat, so :
    If you want solid and reliable, go for the classic MX518.

    If you want one of the best with “extravagant” precision and hardware, go for the Roccat Kone (http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Mice/ROCCAT-Kone/)

  49. Premium User Badge

    Mr Pink says:

    Razer mice and a love them or hate them device I think. I have a Diamondback 3G, which is a great value for money mouse IMHO. If you’re used to Razer I say stick with them.

    Having said that, I would try FunkyB’s suggestion first :)

  50. MacBeth says:

    +1 for Razer DeathAdder – just bought one a week ago, with the fancy Xtreme metal mousepad and it’s super smooth. I was using a particularly slow high-friction mousemat before that but even so the new combination set is a joy to use.