Mice size and hand pain.

randomuser2

22 Sep 2022, 16:11

Hi, this is my first post here so let it be my introduction.

I never had RSI, nor any other input device caused hand pain. I consider(ed) myself lucky in this regard despite spending huge amount of time in front of a PC over last 20+ years. Most recently I've been using a tiny logitech M325 mouse I bought long time ago for laptop use.

So I recently became interested in improving my productivity and I started looking for a mouse with more buttons.

I found one that was pretty cheap from a rather unknown brand. I chose it because despite no Linux support the description said it had memory. So I figured out I could set all kinds of macros using a windows VM, shut the VM down and just use it on Linux with no special software. This did work quite well.

The mouse was a pretty large size mouse with shape I could only describe as usual for a "gaming mouse with 9 buttons". However, After just one day I started having a weird pain in my wrist. I noticed a difference in how I used to hold the mini-mouse, with my forearm and wrist flat on the desk, just moving it with my cupped fingers vs the wrist lying on the (big) mouse, forearm slightly in the air, fingers pretty straight. I attempted to change how I hold the big mouse, but no matter what I did the pain got worse and worse.

Until I packed the new mouse returning it and I went back to my old mini-mouse. Then the pain just disappeared.

I'm writing this to let people know, if you're having mouse hand pain, do try a smaller mouse. Now that I think of it, it seems pretty obvious. With the small mouse the entire hand just rests on the desk, only fingers move. And when they do move to press buttons they are "cupped" givign them pretty big mechanical advantage over straight outstretched fingers pressing buttons far away in the front.

So I recommend a small (or even a tiny) mouse to anyone that has to deal with hand pain, before they switch to alternatives like trackballs. Just make sure not to buy the "airport novelty tiny mice" those are horrible. Any decent brand should be good.

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Muirium
µ

22 Sep 2022, 23:57

My own experience leads me to concur with yours. Ergonomics is always personal, as we all have different bodies, so this may not be the general rule, but to hell with that and let’s extrapolate! Big mice aren’t good for hands. It’s the body of the things I find uncomfortable, just too much mouse under my palm, hoisting my hand up unnaturally. Lower mice are better. I never get cramps with them either. Never did, all the way back through the nineties into the eighties. They were all more sensibly sized as you go back. Bowling ball mice are an unnatural later fashion who’s stuck around too long.

My specific mouse (since 2010 and still serving as my only mouse) is an Apple Magic Mouse. I like the scrolling and the low profile, and as I’m on the Mac why not? I still prefer the mouse over the very large and fairly respectable trackpads Apple’s made for desktop and laptop use. The mouse is finer, faster and more compact. So long as it’s a mouse, not a beastly rat! :lol:

I’m a Large to XL glove size, btw. How anyone with authentically small hands can cope with gamer mice, I do not know.

Another thing: what mouse speed? I have mine cranked down, the way they always were, which gives me fine cursor control without tensing up. Most mouse use isn’t about pixel perfect precision, true, but I can flick it to all four corners with ease like this as well. The super tense FAAAAAAAAASHT! mouse speed that’s in vogue now is very uncomfortable when you’re used to finer grained control. Even clicking dialog buttons seems to need white knuckle focus not to overshoot! Can’t see that being any good for your hands, long term.

randomuser2

23 Sep 2022, 01:11

Muirium wrote:
22 Sep 2022, 23:57
My own experience leads me to concur with yours. Ergonomics is always personal, as we all have different bodies, so this may not be the general rule, but to hell with that and let’s extrapolate! Big mice aren’t good for hands. It’s the body of the things I find uncomfortable, just too much mouse under my palm, hoisting my hand up unnaturally. Lower mice are better. I never get cramps with them either. Never did, all the way back through the nineties into the eighties. They were all more sensibly sized as you go back. Bowling ball mice are an unnatural later fashion who’s stuck around too long.

My specific mouse (since 2010 and still serving as my only mouse) is an Apple Magic Mouse. I like the scrolling and the low profile, and as I’m on the Mac why not? I still prefer the mouse over the very large and fairly respectable trackpads Apple’s made for desktop and laptop use. The mouse is finer, faster and more compact. So long as it’s a mouse, not a beastly rat! :lol:

I’m a Large to XL glove size, btw. How anyone with authentically small hands can cope with gamer mice, I do not know.

Another thing: what mouse speed? I have mine cranked down, the way they always were, which gives me fine cursor control without tensing up. Most mouse use isn’t about pixel perfect precision, true, but I can flick it to all four corners with ease like this as well. The super tense FAAAAAAAAASHT! mouse speed that’s in vogue now is very uncomfortable when you’re used to finer grained control. Even clicking dialog buttons seems to need white knuckle focus not to overshoot! Can’t see that being any good for your hands, long term.
I too am large to XL glove size. I'm very interested in hearing if there is anyone who prefers those large "gaming mice" and is it that the person has much larger hands, or perhaps there is some difference in the technique of use?

As for speed I just measured the dpi of my old Logitech mouse at 1900dpi (it takes the mouse 2in - 5cm to move the pointer across the whole screen). I usea high dpi (168dpi) 4k screen with fonts an icons equivalent to 2x scaling. Considering the gaming mouse went up to 7000 dpi my setting is quite low too.

Another input device I found to be much better in small size is 3dconnexion spacemouse compact(for 3d modelling). Yes, it only has 2 buttons, but it is so much better than the full size version (and a lot cheaper too). I almost never use the buttons on the space mouse anyway.

randomuser2

25 Sep 2022, 11:55

Why does logitech have to make multi-button mice larger? Why?

It turns out my "new" M585 is larger than my old M300. Only a little bit, but this is enough to cause some discomfort. Here are both side by side:
Image

My hand seems to be positioned almost the same on both:
Image
Image

But there is definitely less mechanical advantage pressing buttons on the larger mouse.

Does no one make a small mouse (at least under 100mm long) that had 6+ buttons?

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depletedvespene

25 Sep 2022, 22:12

This is definitely an area where one's size and build and personal usage patterns matter. My hands are big, too, but in my case, the larger the mouse, the better, instead of the other way around.

Hand over mouse. Palm fully resting instead of hovering on top.
Hand over mouse. Palm fully resting instead of hovering on top.
mouseandhand.jpg (71.82 KiB) Viewed 159 times

Since I tend to fully rest my hand on the mouse, a "regular-sized" unit is too small and my hand ends up cramped and hurting. I used to use common, run-of-the-mill units, given I never needed anything more sophisticated than the mouse wheel... but six-odd years ago, the "normal" size was reduced to less than I could I accomodate for. So I had to go in for a larger size and that meant "gamer" mouses... even if I don't really use the extra buttons and whatnot.

The two mouses I do use, plus a "dwarf" invader.
The two mouses I do use, plus a "dwarf" invader.
mouses.jpg (101.92 KiB) Viewed 159 times

I keep a couple of those "regular size" tiny mouses around, which are fine for occasional usage on an extra computer, but I wouldn't want to go back to using them after trying the properly(*) sized ones.


(*) For me.

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