Are you in the market for a new mouse?
I’ve been a graphic designer, in some capacity, for the majority of my almost 20-year career.
And I’ve made a small fortune as a now-full-time freelance designer and blogger.
At this point, I consider myself a veteran in this industry.
This is likely why I am sometimes asked my opinion on the best tools and equipment for the job.
And so, today, I wanted to offer a bit of advice on the second most absolutely necessary tool for the job aside from an actual computer – the computer mouse.
Below, I will examine a variety of mice – and mice-adjacent tools – at a variety of price points with a variety of features.
But before we begin, I want to offer some general advice to those just starting out in the graphic design world: You don’t have to have a ridiculously expensive mouse to be a good graphic artist.
So if you’re just starting out and only have a limited budget, consider starting small and working your way up to the fancier stuff later.
The prices listed are “at the time of this writing” and are subject to change.
Now, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best mice for graphic design.
At the risk of discrediting myself right out of the gate, as I said in the introduction of this editorial, you don’t really need a special mouse for graphic design.
In fact, the Apple Magic Mice that came with my iMac and MacBook Pro are my daily go-to mice.
Yes, I know there are more ergonomic mice out there. Yes, I know the DPI (dots per linear inch aka agility) is limited. But at this point, I’m just used to them. They fit well in my hand. And its sleek small size is suitable for travel.
And honestly, I don’t need my mouse to be any faster or anymore agile than it already is. I spend more time doing detailed work that requires more of a steady hand rather than an ultra-sensitive mouse.
In fact, the only thing I hate about this mouse is the dumb location of the charging port – on the undercarriage.
That’s right, you have to turn your mouse upside down to plug it in. This means you will experience downtime between charges.
My personal workaround for this ridiculous charging technique is keeping a spare mouse handy at all times. It sounds silly but I already have three of these suckers in my drawer from past Apple purchases so I have plenty of backups.
The other downside to this mouse is obvious – it only works with Apple devices like iMacs, Macbooks and even iPad Pros (I just figured out the iPad thing a few days ago – very cool).
The Stats: 1300 DPI, Wireless
The Price: $74.99
This is one is probably the best option for those on a budget and those with small hands.
This one is a great entry-level wired mouse for PC users. It also happens to be my fellow graphic designer and business partner’s go-to.
The Logitech G203 features 8,000 DPI, programmable side buttons, a traditional scroll wheel and fun RGB lighting effects.
It comes in a variety of different colors including black, white, cobalt blue and lavender.
And are you ready for some good news? It also happens to be the most affordable mouse on our list.
Plus, it’s wired. Many mouse-purists will tell you that wired, albeit ancient technology to some, offers the best responsiveness and will forever remain superior due to the fact that it will never need a charge or require any downtime.
On an interesting note, when polling my colleagues on mouse preferences, I found that most women tend to prefer slightly smaller, sleeker mice (like this one) whereas men tend to prefer larger, ergonomic gaming mice (like the next few options). Perhaps that’s something to take under consideration.
With an affordable price, compact design, special features, and a high DPI … you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option.
The Stats: 8000 DPI, Wired, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects
The Price: $29.99
This will be my last wired mouse pick of the lot. If you’re liking what you’re reading in this section but prefer a wireless version, just keep scrolling to see its cord-free counterparts which I’ve ranked a bit higher on the list.
But this one has one major upside to its sister mice – it’s almost $100 less.
For that price, if you’re not a cord lover, you may want to consider becoming one.
Now, you may be wondering – do graphic designers need gaming mice?
The short answer is no, but with a caveat.
Gaming mice happen to have a lot of features that graphic designers from like higher DPIs, enhanced ergonomics and programmable buttons – like this Logitech G502 HERO.
Its adjustable DPI goes from 100-25,600, it has 11 customizable buttons and an adjustable weight system for balanced tuning.
Plus, it’s ultra ergonomic with a soft-side thumb rest.
And, just for fun, it features programmable RGB light effects.
It’s also the second most affordable mouse on our list at just under $40.
The Stats: 25600 DPI, Wired, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects, Ergonomic Design
The Price: $39.99
Razer is another popular brand name when it comes to custom gaming machines and accessories. And its line of ultra-agile gaming mice does not disappoint.
This mouse is wireless with a dock-based charging system. It boasts 70-hours of battery life, features eight programmable buttons and like the others, features fun RGB light effects.
Razer claims that their gaming mice are 25% quicker than their competitors due to low latency and interference reduction. Which sounds nice, but also sounds suspiciously like marketing jargon.
Either way, Razer has been a staple in the computer science and graphic design world for over a decade, and millions of geeks (I use that as a term of endearment and include myself in that category) can’t be wrong.
Finally, this mouse is unique because its ambidextrous design was created with both left and right-handed users in mind.
In fact, it’s one of only three ambidextrous mice on this list. So if you tend to lean left, this might be a good option for you.
The Stats: 20000 DPI, Wireless, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects, Ambidextrous Design
The Price: $94.99 (dock is included)
The MX Master 3 is no regular mouse. It has all the bells, whistles, and special functions you’d ever hope for in a premium mouse.
And it’s a darling of the graphic design world.
You’re going to love all of the advanced features.
This ergonomic mouse features a good mid-range 4000 DPI, fast scrolling, programmable buttons – and a gesture button at the base of the thumb rest – with a second side-facing thumb scroll.
It’s also a laser mouse, which means it works on virtually any surface, even glass.
It works with Windows, Linux, Mac and iPad Pros.
And it’s a comfortable mouse with a large thumb rest that I am told those with carpal tunnel syndrome, or those who tend to spend long hours at their computer, tend to appreciate. It just allows your hand to rest in a more natural position.
It also claims to be “ultra-quiet” for those of you with a noisy click intolerance.
And it’s rechargeable via a USB C port that isn’t located on the bottom of the mouse (are you listening Apple?).
It doesn’t have RGB effects like the others but it does come in two color options: Graphite and Mid-Gray (Silver).
And for what it’s worth, I personally know more people who own this particular mouse than any other. Its name repeatedly pops up as a favorite amongst designers, programmers and sometimes even gamers.
The Stats: 4000 DPI, Wireless, Programmable Buttons, Ergonomic Design
The Price: $99.99
If you liked the last one but are looking for something with a bit more speed and agility or perhaps just need something that can be used in either your right or left hand, this Logitech G903 might be just the ticket.
It’s similar to my earlier pick (number eight) with the major differences being the wireless functionality, ambidextrous design and lack of adjustable weights.
It features 25600 DPI, 140 hours of battery life, RGB light effects, 11 customizable buttons and an ambidextrous design.
It’s also capable of wireless charging with the LogiTech Power Play mouse pad which you can purchase separately or as a bundle for $241.97.
That’s a hefty price to pay for a lack of downtime in my opinion. Especially considering the fact that most mice only need a couple of minutes of juice to get rolling again. But then again, there is nary a more precious commodity than time.
The Stats: 25600 DPI, Wireless, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects, Ambidextrous Design
This will be my final Logitech pick for those with Logitech fatigue.
This is similar to my previous two Logitech picks only this one also features a thumb-rest for right-handed users.
Again, like the G903, it achieves up to 25600 DPI, manages 140 hours of battery life, features RGB light effects and has 11 programmable buttons. Plus, it’s a truly wireless mouse with wireless charging via the Logitech Power Play mouse pad.
This one, like its corded sister, also features adjustable tunable weights.
Can you tell we like Logitech around here?
The Stats: 25600 DPI, Wireless, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects, Ergonomic Design
And finally, we have the best wireless mouse on the list.
A favorite amongst designers, programmers and gamers alike – the Razer Basilisk.
This wireless mouse claims to be 25% faster than competing wireless mice with switches that are 3x faster with 11 programmable buttons.
It also features an ultra-economic design with a right-handed thumb rest.
You can also purchase a dock for recharging.
At peak performance, it’s capable of reaching 100 hours of usage on a full charge.
And, it features fun RGB effects.
This mouse is basically the Ferrari of the mouse world.
Do you need a Ferrari mouse for graphic design? Absolutely not.
Does it make graphic designers very happy to drive? Yes it does.
The Stats: 20000 DPI, Wireless, Programmable Buttons, RGB Light Effects, Ergonomic Design
And of course, no list of mice and graphic design-related accessories would be complete without mentioning a couple of tablets – the graphic design Jedi Master’s tool of choice.
Now, if you are just starting out in graphic design or you are primarily more of a layout designer, you may not actually need a tablet.
But if you plan on doing a lot of illustration, tracing, lettering or logo design, you may want to consider adding this to your arsenal.
This Wacom tablet is considered to be an entry-level tablet. It’s the best choice for beginners.
It features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, is compatible with Apples, PCs, Chromebooks and some smartphones and tablets.
The Price: $66.20
If you really want to up your tablet game, try the Wacom One Drawing Tablet with Screen.
I’ve personally always found traditional Wacoms without a screen difficult to use. My hand doesn’t seem to want to match up to what my eyes see on the screen.
The Wacom One Drawing tablet instantly solves that problem with a full-color 13.3″ display.
This device makes it feel like you’re drawing or writing on paper.
The pen requires no batteries and is able to replicate a range of strokes and brushes with incredible accuracy.
And this tablet, like the last, is compatible with a ton of different devices including Apples, PCs, Chromebooks and many tablets and smartphones.
Do you own any of these mice or tablets? What features do you look for in the perfect mouse? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to connect with me on social media.