The best Mice for KM Triggers

KM is a language that begs for lots of triggers. Triggers can be keys on a keyboard or certain buttons on a mouse. Not all mice have buttons that can be detected by KM. Usually it's the multi button mice that can do this. And most such mice are made for Windows with only half of them working well on Macs. That is, the software for the mouse that can reprogram the buttons sometimes only runs on Windows.

But perhaps some KM users aren't aware of the fact that they can get mice that are good for using with KM, in the sense that they have multiple buttons and these buttons can be programmed/configured with software that runs on macOS.

So I'm going to talk about a couple of mice that have worked well for me as a KM trigger-happy user.

The requirements for me are:

  1. the mouse needs to have lots of buttons
  2. the mouse needs to have config software that works in macOS
  3. the buttons shouldn't be all under the thumb, as I prefer buttons in different places

Here are a description of two mice that have worked well for me with KM. The italicized words come from the vendor.

The second last mouse I tried was the Logitech G502. It seemed fully compatible with macOS. I'm looking at it now on my desk here and it seems to have about 7 visible programmable buttons. Many of those buttons are near the thumb but some are around the other fingers too. I can't remember why I switched to a different brand. I think it was okay, but most mice don't last longer than a year or two with me.

Logitech G502 HERO High Performance Gaming Mouse

Logitech G502 HERO high performance gaming mouse. Featuring HERO, our best sensor, 11 programmable buttons, LIGHTSYNC RGB technology & tunable weight.

The current mouse I'm using is the Steelseries model Rival 500. It seems to have 10 or so visible buttons on it, but that doesn't include certain other things like the scrolling wheel left/right buttons. So it's probably around 14 if you count some of those things that some people wouldn't count. I'm quite happy with it. I think it's the best multi-button mouse for macOS. I would buy it again.


Rival 500

The first MOBA/MMO gaming mouse designed to function with the natural movements of your hand. The side button layout is engineered to the natural contours of your thumb.

Considering that most users on this forum are power hungry users who "trigger" all kinds of macros, I'm surprised there isn't an avid thread about the best mice that work with KM. Most of these mice are designed for gamers but as a primary mouse for KM, which requires lots of triggers, they are pretty useful.

Now bear in mind that some mouse buttons will be "recognizable" directly by KM and some buttons may require mapping them to other Scancodes using the mouse's configuration utility. I'm not sure if I can explain why that is, but it's not difficult to address that.

So I recommend that any serious user of KM should get a mouse with programmable buttons.

If some admin thinks that I'm just advertising mice, you can delete this post. But this is really a relevant KM issue in my opinion.


Thank you for this.

The one thing I would say is that if you’re not a mouse user - and I’m not, though I have one - some other input device would be more usable. For example:

  • Elgato Streamdeck, in one of its three forms.
  • External keypad.

I've been using the Logitech MX-1000 for over 10 years now. I use ControllerMate in conjunction with KM and it's been very good. You can only get this mouse used for the most part. Once in awhile you find a brand-new-in-the-box one on eBay. The textured coating on them degrades over the years and gets sticky. I have about 7 of these mice that I've bought over the years (I always take two with me to recording sessions just in case) and they all have suffered from the sticky coating. One day I decided enough was enough and I disassembled them all and got rid of the coating with sandpaper of varying grits while running water over it. I tried some of the other solutions that I found online for the coating problem but none of them worked very well.

That Rival 500 looks really good. My muscle memory is so ingrained now with the MX1000 that it would take a definite effort to make a switch. Having the multi-button mouse really lets me work fast and with much less mousing around the screen to click things. I'm totally with you that a mouse like this is the way to go!

That was a mouse model that I was using before the two in my post above. It was good but something in it broke after a few years and for whatever reason I decided to switch to something else.

I use Logitech g502 and it works fine! Using Logitech software i have set the extra buttons to
Shift-ctrl-alt-cm-f15 and up to f20

It works seamlessly with KBM :smiley:

Interesting - what does ConrollerMate do that KM does not?

I don't use a special mouse. I use the Magic Mouse as well as the Magic Trackpad.
Years ago I bought the app BetterTouchTool and can only do every imaginable action, also in KM.
There are ready-made gestures and you can also create your own.

Also your mouse would be expandable by a lot :wink:

That's a good question. I started using ControllerMate back in the days when I was using Quickeys.

A year or two ago I decided that I'd change all of the mouse software to KM and ditch ControllerMate. I often work on computers that aren't my own and not having to install ControllerMate would be one less step to have to do before being ready to work.

Almost everything I do with the mouse and keyboard is transferrable to KM. I realized however that I do need ControllerMate for some of the things that I'm doing with my X-Keys USB device that wouldn't be easy, and maybe not possible to do with KM. I ended up deciding to just leave things as they are.