VerticalMouse: Surprisingly Comfortable

35 Comments

ScreenshotI don’t know how many different pointing devices I’ve gone through in the past 25 years, but it’s a lot. In part, this is because I find that one of the easiest ways to avoid RSI is to switch keyboards and pointing devices from time to time, giving new muscles a workout. Recently I switched to an Evoluent VerticalMouse, and after a couple of weeks of use, I give it a definite thumbs up.

The VerticalMouse is a rather large (the picture shows it next to an Apple mouse for comparison) device that communicates with the computer via a dedicated wireless USB receiver. It has to be large because of its one special feature: it’s designed to grip with your hand rotated 90 degrees from what you probably think of as normal mousing position. Your thumb goes on the left side of the mouse, and your fingers on the right side, as if you were reaching out to shake someone’s hand (sorry, lefties, they don’t have a model for you). Evoluent’s marketing talks about this being an arm-neutral position; I just know it’s a comfortable one.

The VerticalMouse has five buttons including a scroll wheel. Though its included drivers are for Windows only, I’m happily using it on a Mac Pro with USB Overdrive, which gives it plenty of programmability. The sensitivity is plenty high enough to use comfortably with a pair of high-resolution monitors as well.

At $120, the VerticalMouse is higher priced than much of its competition. But given how much time I spend moving the cursor around every day, I’m finding it a worthwhile investment.

Got a mouse of your own to recommend?

35 Comments

Janah

I’m a Chiropractor and have been saying for years that there needs to be a verticle mouse. My husband (who’s in IT) informs me this HAS been around for years. I can’t believe it isn’t in higher use.
The reason this is so ergonomically efficient is because you don’t have to constantly have your wrist extensors ‘switched on’ or contracting. When you are using your wrist extensors constantly – it leads to ‘tennis elbow’ (tendonitis of the wrist extensors attachment point on your elbow)
Phill McGregor mentioned that he finds the 90degree position only effective when your elbow is horizontal to the desk. This is how you should have your desk set up anyway.
It is important to keep your elbow relaxed by your waist and your wrist LOWER than your elbow. This will prevent RSI and will also help minimise the burning/aching pain across the top of your shoulders.
I will definitely be recommending this to my patients.

Rob T.

For me the best way to avoid RSI is not to use a mouse. I only use keyboards with the IBM Trackpoint a.k.a. pointing stick, the little red eraser mouse that is between the g,h,b keys. The trackpoint point enables you to point without having remove either hand from home row, eliminating almost all of the repetitive movement.

Aku

The Razer PRO|Solutions mouse is excellent, although it may get dirty quickly in the hands of some users, since it’s white.

Melvyn

I’ve been using an Evoluent Vertical Mouse for over three years.
Unfortunately their newest version isn’t lefty friendly yet but as soon as it is I’ll be their first customer.
Can’t recommend the mouse highly enough.

Guessing

Logitech MX Revolution is the best for a non-gaming mouse, mostly because of the hyper-scroll wheel.
For gaming I’ve switched to the Logitech G9 and couldn’t be happier.
Before that it was the G5, as well as the MX300.

Bob

I’ve been a believer in Microsoft’s Trackball Explorer ever since it made my wrist aches and pains go away. Leave it to Microsoft to discontinue a product that is universally praised by its users.

Fate

I have a semi-vertical mouse that I’ve been using for about a month. The Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 7000. It is incredibly comfortable to use but took a few hours to get used to. I had to disable the thumb buttons though because I’m so used to a low profile mouse that when I sweep my hand off the keyboard and reach for the mouse I whack the buttons.

My second favorite is my bluetooth Apple Mighty Mouse. I find the scroll ball incredibly useful but it does not fit my hand very well.

david

I used a two-button conventional mouse for years, then started developing some repetitive strain injuries. About ten years ago I switched to a trackball, first the marvelous Logitech Trackball FX (now discontinued), now the Logitech Marble Mouse. Not only has my RSI disappeared, but I can work with the trackball anywhere I want.

northwalnut

I have used an old Microsoft trackball at home and love it. The bigger issue for me is getting the mouse in the correct ergonomic position for me and some kind of wrist support. The Vertical Mouse seems a challenge for wrist support. Anyone want to weigh in on that?

Ron Bell

I’ve used the Vertical Mouse for years–it definitely has helped with my RSI and took only a day or two to adjust to. Wouldn’t go back for anything.

Wes

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the MS Natural Mouse 6000. I’ve been using that for about 6 months, and while it’s not tilted at quite as much of an angle as the mouse above, it’s also not $120, can be found on sale for 30-40.

JimT

Kensington Expert Mouse is actually a trackball and is my favorite.

Smooth, easy, and loaded with features.

Been using for years.

Chris Corriveau

I have used the Evoluent VerticalMouse for a long time now maybe 6 months. I love it. It works great and feels much better than a traditional mouse. I have a Mac and works well with it. My only issue is that the 3rd button gets in the way and my pinky always clicks it. I just don’t assign the button to do anything which solves any issues. You can go on ebay and get them about half the price of the $120 retail price. Great mouse!

Ryan

Actually, there is a lefty version, but only available in corded fashion. If you wanted to get creative (assuming you are a lefty and really like the mouse) you could buy a wireless righty and the wired lefty and hack the righty into a lefty.

Eric Ortega

I have/use one of these mice. It’s awesome! I wouldn’t think of using a computer without it. My wrist pain has been much better.

Owen

I have a serious problem with the scroll wheel on my mouse. I have the standard microsoft laser mouse, but find my middle finger clicks a lot now, simply due to excessive scrolling with my middle finger (I read a lot of comments and things on webpages).

Anyone know a mouse with a scroll wheel that wont hurt my middle finger or have an alternate method?

Lucy

I use a Quill vertical mouse – this has a scooped out rest for the ‘down’ side of your hand, and they do both a right hand and a left hand model.

I’ve used it for years, and I love it. I really notice the difference if I have to use a ‘normal’ mouse for a while.

Tom Kirkham

I’ve been using these mice for a couple of years, and they work great. My wrist pains have gone away, and it only took a couple of days to get used to them. I dont even think twice about it now.

Keith G.

My favorite mouse is the Bluetooth-connection Logitech MX1000 laser mouse. It has wonderfully useful PageUp and PageDown buttons above and below the scroll wheel.

luca

I used the Apple one, but it’s definitely far from being comfortable. I just switched to a very comfortable and almost vertical Logitech one, way way better.

Mike Gunderloy

Emily, it took two or three days – most of that was getting used to having mapped the buttons differently than on the Logitech trackball I was replacing.

Phillip: Trackball Explorer is a great trackball; I’ve used several. If they hadn’t discontinued the model I liked the most I might still be buying them.

Phillip McGregor

I use a Microsoft Trackball Explorer that holds my hand about 30° rotated. It has served me well for several years working with vector graphics. The 90° position seems to only be effective if your chair is adjusted so that the forearm is level and parallel with the table.

Emily Williams

How was the adjustment? Just holding my hand on its side (yes, I just did that) felt comfortable but strange, so I would imagine you spent a while getting used to the new grip.

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