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3M Ergonomic Mouse review



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3M Ergonomic Mouse
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  • EM500GPL Mouse - Optical Wired - Retail (USB)


Our Score:


We spend our working lives sat down in front of a computer for eight, 10, 12… hours a day, so it's no surprise that the TrustedReviews team has had its fair share of RSI problems. Aching shoulders, sore wrists, crook lower backs, and dodgy necks; we've seen them all. So, whenever a new product comes along claiming to help alleviate RSI related aches and pains, we sit up straight and pay attention.

The 3M Ergonomic Mouse (Ergo Mouse), is the latest in a long line of pointing devices designed to help reduce the hand, wrist, elbow and arm pains associated with using a traditional mouse. It aims to do this by reducing the amount of twist in your wrist and by removing pressure from the heel of your hand - and it's pretty obvious how it goes about doing this.

Where a normal mouse requires you to hold your hand flat to the desk, thus twisting your wrist approximately 60 degrees from its natural position and leaving it resting on the desk, the Ergo Mouse's joystick-like design allows you to hold your hand as close as possible to its neutral posture - wrist and thumb both straight and relaxed; fingers curled and at rest - while having its heel float above the desk.

The buttons are also positioned so that you don't have to flex your fingers from the neutral posture in order to reach them, though you obviously still have to flex to press them. In contrast, when using a conventional mouse (at least, when holding it as I do) your fingers are almost constantly flexed from your hand's neutral posture, and they have to move even more to reach and operate the buttons/scroll wheel. This can result in finger pain, and even muscle contracture and reduced mobility.

Giving the Ergo Mouse a go, the benefits of this more relaxed hand position were immediately obvious to me as the reduction in pressure on the heel of my hand alleviated the niggling pains I get there. Meanwhile the more natural wrist position reduced overall tension in the general forearm area. Even my finger pain was reduced. Quite simply, this thing definitely works when it comes to reducing pain. Sadly, it's somewhat less accomplished when it comes to most of the other traits we look for in a good mouse/pointing device.

Most obviously, due to the way in which you hold the Ergo Mouse, you have to use your whole arm to move it, making it difficult to use accurately. So whereas a good mouse will enable you to move around your desktop in lightening quick speed, the Ergo Mouse requires a more ponderous approach. Obviously with a bit of practice you will become more accurate but we nearly always found that a quick movement could only get us within about an inch of where we were aiming and we'd have to slow right down to zero in on it.


March 13, 2010, 5:39 am

I had to use a computer today where this mouse was connected.. wtf!


In all seriousness if you sit at a desk for a long time just buy decent peripherals and spend a few minutes reading how you should adjust your chair and monitor, RSI isn't all that fun.


March 13, 2010, 6:19 am

This is a blast from the past, this was originally launched in 2001 or so, I guess the wireless edition is new and what prompted the review?

Ten Ninety

March 13, 2010, 12:41 pm

I tried the 3M mouse a while ago and didn't get on with it - I found it impossible to use accurately. The Evoluent vertical mouse was a better solution for me and has dramatically reduced the pain I experience in my right arm. Yes, it is a bit of a 'WTF' experience when you first use it but it's well worth the effort of adapting. Ergonomic positioning can only go so far - the traditional mouse is a fundamentally un-ergonomic device - and it's a shame more manufacturers aren't adopting more radically alternative designs.


March 13, 2010, 2:43 pm

@Xiphias: Yeah, it's a new revision.


March 13, 2010, 11:31 pm

I've recently noticed that 3M has a very big presence in technology. For instance, at my university library, they make the security scanners, the library return system, the cash top-up counters, library checkout system. Everything!


March 14, 2010, 1:11 pm

I have RSI in my wrist and this is the best mice I have come across - for my wrist. Agreed, it is difficult to accurately position until you turn the mouse travel speed down and accept that you have to use your arm more. Then, it becomes very easy. The main bugbear is the apparent "crashing" of the mouse. Unless you keep the thing permanently moving around, it stops tracking for the first few inches of movement. I wonder whether the cable version behaves better (my friend has one which she says is fine) or whether this is something wrong with the newer models. Overall though, I will happily get frustrated with some minor niggles rather that suffer pain - and make my wrist even worse.


March 14, 2010, 2:25 pm

After getting starting to get some signs of RSI, I started using these several years ago (non-wireless), and haven't had any trouble since, apart from some jokes about the look of it at work.

You do quickly get used to it, but it probably isn't quite as accurate as a good quality mouse.

The base lifts your hand off the table by about 1cm, so you need to rest your arm on something about the same height, otherwise it can get uncomfortable.


March 15, 2010, 12:05 am

I used to have RSI too, and now I totally swear by my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Laser Mouse 6000. It might have the longest title for a mouse, but it's completely removed the pain I was suffering in my wrist and tendons along the top of my hand. I can recommend the corresponding keyboard too. Also, my wife had exactly the same problems, and we fixed her up with the same mouse and keyboard and her pain's gone too.

G Hell

March 18, 2010, 2:38 am

"Most obviously, due to the way in which you hold the Ergo Mouse, you have to use your whole arm to move it, making it difficult to use accurately."

That sounds like you normally rest your wrist on the desk when using a normal mouse. One of the ways that I've reduced wrist pain is to avoid resting my arm on anything. It takes a bit of getting used to but is made easier by organising your setup so that the mouse is as close to your body as possible, i.e. definitely *not* to the right of a full-size kwyboard's number pad.


May 16, 2013, 8:47 pm

Anyone with answers would be greatly appreciated,

I'm using the 3M ergo mouse, but cannot enable the middle button to scroll on an "all applications" basis. I cannot scroll in any application except for ADOBE... what gives? Shouldn't this be universal across all apps?

Im am using a brand new macbook air with the most updated IOS. In my system preferences, there is no option for the middle button, just the left and right. I've been looking all over for drivers, but can't figure out what to do. I've even emailed into the 3M website for support and am waiting to hear back.

Please let me know how I can enable scrolling. I really like this mouse, but the lack of scroll is going to be a deal breaker pretty soon.

Ergonomische Maus

August 23, 2013, 1:12 pm

MouseTrapper Advance mouse is an ergonomic mouse, the relief of pain and repetitive
stress injuries associated
with mouse clicking and typing it’s easy to use great innovation


September 22, 2013, 1:06 pm

You can scroll with the 3M by holding the 3rd button (under your fingertips) and moving the mouse up or down.

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