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Maxvoltar - The Mightiest Mighty Mouse

Maxvoltar is the personal weblog of Tim Van Damme, a freelance interface designer at Made by Elephant.

50° 54' 47" N, 4° 25' 50" E

The Mightiest Mighty Mouse

Even before I bought my first Apple (a 17” MacBook Pro), I knew I was going to switch to the Mac platform, and already started buying Apple peripherals. Besides an Apple Keyboard and an Airport Express, I bought myself a wired Mighty Mouse.

Mighty Mouse

By the time I actually had a Mac, the mouse had already worn down completely. The “nipple” was unresponsive, and the bottom glider-part was flat instead of curvy.

“No problem, I just buy a new one. Maybe I’ll buy the upgraded wireless version of the Mighty Mouse!”

That was a bad idea. The new Mighty Mouse responded with a delay (Bluetooth issues?), the sensor freaked out on glossy surfaces, and weighted a ton (compared to the original one). I tried it for like 2 weeks, gave up, bought myself a Logitech VX Nano, and never looked back.

Today, while we were out shopping, I remembered I still had a gift-card from the in-laws I had to spend in an electronic store. There wasn’t really anything I was interested in, until I saw an original, wired, Mighty Mouse. Since I didn’t have anything to loose, I bought it.

I’m in love again.

Although it’s inferior on paper, the wired version beats the wireless version. Now let’s hope the nipple will endure my intensive, all day long rubbing.


  • Rogie King

    3597 days ago


    I honestly thought in reading this, that your “mightiest” mighty mouse would turn out to be the Logitech MX Revolution. I’m dropping my two bits here. I’ve use both the wired and the wireless mighty mice and both I’ve been horribly dissatisfied with.

    Honestly, the mighty mouse and the old clear plastic keyboard are only Apple products I have ever hated…and I loathe them. I happen to LOVE the newest Apple keyboards. Love them. For me, the Logitech MX Revolution saved my life. No batteries, docking charger, extra programmable buttons and it feels just right. I heart it.

  • Sebastiaan de With

    3597 days ago

    I am a Mighty Mouse fan. Since I got my Mac Pro and the wireless Mighty Mouse that came with it, I’ve been in love with its free scrolling. The only problem is the thing getting stuck and not being able to click both left and right at the same time, but that has never bothered me. Proper maintenance can make a Mighty Mouse work good for months, and makes it last for years.

    I was pretty surprised to read the conclusion, too, just like Rogie. :)

  • Ramy

    3597 days ago

    The reason why the scroll ball is not responsive is probably because it accumulated lots of dust (this happens to everyone, no exception). All you have to do is to clean the scroll ball with an alcohol tampon (it’s the Mac Genius method). You’ll get a lot of dust out of the mouse this way.

    Hope that helps!

  • MaxRD

    3597 days ago

    I’m on my second Mighty Mouse here, and while that ‘nipple’ is what makes it enjoyable to use, it’s also its weakest point, it gets jammed constantly and all the cleaning ends up killing it in the long run. Having said that, I’m going for my third one after this one stops working, it’s design is simply too good to give it up. :)

  • Riddle

    3597 days ago

    I probably represent a minority among Mac users, because I truly despise this Apple-engraved piece of plastic.

    It has a fantastic feature, only one feature. Trackball that allows scrolling in every direction.

    Everthing else is terrible.

    • Only 400dpi resolution. Switching to 1600dpi laser mouse feels like getting supersonic jets in your car.
    • Unified, universal shape for every person in the world. No, thank you. I almost developed RSI because of Mighty Mouse – it’s way too low for my hand.
    • One button with erroneous click detection. Try clicking left + right at the same time or with a tiny delay. Not possible.
    • Side buttons are virtually useless, accidental squeezes are distracting. Who needs them?
    • Trackball (+ lack of any screws) means that you’ll be throwing out 50-effin’-bucks again in a few months. Are you kidding me?

    I’m waiting for Apple to make lightweight aluminum mouse with trackpad area instead of that pesky dirty nipple. That will be worth 50 bucks.

    For now, that’s the only thing I do with MM.

  • Mark Otto

    3597 days ago

    I love my Mighty Mouse—I’ve got the Bluetooth one. And while it weights a lot, goes through batteries like no other, and gets a boatload of dust in the ball, I still love it.

    It looks great, has a good weight to it (which I actually like), and feels nice in the palm of my hand.

  • Wolf

    3597 days ago

    Riddle, you’re not the only Mac user that hates the “mighty” mouse. So many people have complained about the same points.

    Buy a wired Logitech mouse would be my advice to everyone looking for a new mouse.

  • Richard Henry

    3597 days ago

    Every now and then, I flip the mouse upside down and run the ball around on the desk. The dust quickly pops out and then I wipe it up with a cloth, and brush down the ball. I’ve been using a Mighty Mouse for over a year now, and it’s still in pretty good shape.

    This said, I’m pretty convinced it’s a heap of crap and I’m probably going to be going for a Logitech MX Revolution.

    @Ramy: You’re thinking of an alcohol pad. A tampon isn’t for cleaning your mouse nipples.

  • Virginia Murdoch

    3597 days ago

    After my third Mighty Mouse died from the increasingly dramatic lengths I had to go to to clean it, I decided I’d switch. First, I got the Microsoft Arc – which I like, mostly, except for the incredibly clicky, slow scroll-wheel – and then I got a Logitech VX Revolution, which unfortunately has a problem with its free-scroll and thus forces me to use its incredibly clicky, slow scroll.

    It’s a great pity that the Mighty Mouse’s killer feature – the fantastic, responsive, subtle scroll nipple – is also its downfall. If they could make it less likely to accumulate dust, or easier to clean, I’d be thrilled.

  • Mike Piontek

    3596 days ago

    I love the wireless Mighty Mouse. I used to have problems with various Bluetooth mouses, but on my latest iMac (aluminum model) everything works great.

    I just wish they’d give them a slight redesign to make it possible to take them apart without destroying them. Once you get inside the scroll ball is super easy to clean and get it working like new. I’ve had two die on me and no amount of cleaning (without opening them) would get them working again.

    Despite the problems, still the best mouse I’ve ever used.

  • 555

    3596 days ago

    I’ve got a love hate relationship with mine. I’ve had a few now and noticed that some are much more resilient than others (mainly measured in squeezyness). I have a wireless one that sits in a box and agree its just too heavy for everyday use and use a wired at home and in the office. But dammmmmmn do I miss the feeling of a cheap ass regular MS mouse. I was tempted by an MX rev but wonder if I could cope without the clitterball or the squeezy sides to fire up expose. Not to mention the fact I’d have a fiddly little USB receiver to look after / not lose.

  • perezvila

    3596 days ago

    ever since i got my wacom pen tablet, i felt in love with it.
    i’m a mac lover, all the way, since i got my now forgotten i-book. But this wacom sweety makes me very happy.
    and works out great!

  • Tyler Galpin

    3596 days ago

    A few years back, I too was looking for a new mouse to replace an aging Logitech one.

    I HIGHLY recommend the Razer Pro|Click mouse made especially for mac (and comes in white!). Not only is it comfortable and natural to use, its blazing fast and highly customizable.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one if this one were to stop working (it has lasted me 3 years so far with little wear!).

  • matthew Smith

    3596 days ago

    nipple. nipple. nipple. Just trying to increase your rankings man :P

    I’m literally still laughing from that last sentence.

    I love my mighty mouse, but my first one was much worse than this one. Maybe I started washing my hands more? Either way, I now rarely have issues. Mine’s wired, and I love it. The simplicity of that little… nipple… helps me move on the screen adeptly and without much work at all.

    I hope this one works for ya.


  • Johannes Gorset

    3596 days ago

    I’m with Riddle on this. That mouse and the previous Apple keyboard… awful. I love the new keyboard though, and I’ve been using a Logitech G9 for the past few months.

  • Henrik

    3596 days ago

    I used a wet microfiber fabric, with a little bit of soap to clean my Mighty Mouse nipple. I turned the mouse upside down and rubbed the nipple in the fabric – now it’s working again :)

  • Denise Haze

    3595 days ago

    I may use your method, start buying computer stuff that is Mac only, I’ve had so many trouble with my desktop pc, viruses and failed updates, I may have to switch to mac. I guess having shiny new peripherals may push me in the direction even faster – never though of doing it that way – cool idea!

  • Juul Coolen

    3595 days ago

    I have the wireless Mighty Mouse myself and although I’ve been using it for over a year now I’m not that satisfied with it. The dusty “nipple”, the quirky pointer acceleration and the almost impossible right-click.

    I guess I wasn’t bothered to look for a different one. Maybe because it isn’t that bad or maybe because there aren’t that many alternatives (with Mac support) I can think of.

    I like how the mouse looks, how it matches the rest of my setup, but it isn’t without it flaws.

  • Matthew

    3595 days ago

    Hi, long time MM user here. Yes, the nipple does need cleaning sometimes but asides from that it’s great. My only beef with the one which came with my work’s Mac Pro is the ludicrously short cable. So today Im trying my own Bluetooth MM. No delay issues so far.

  • Cory

    3591 days ago

    We threw out 5 of those from the office today. We are all “mac-ies” but we are all using Microsoft or logitec mouses.

    Mac mouses let us down time and time again.

  • Vanez

    3570 days ago

    it’s been more than a year that i am using mighty mouse! I did get the same problem but after cleaning it, it just works again!

    The Logitech VX Nano is sooo right-handy! it just makes it difficult for a lefty as I am to use the mouse! Don’t know if it is also available for left-hander

    and uhmmm, Ramy: tampon? It’s for a girl, not for uhmmm … mouse, or cat….and also, a girl doesn’t even use tampon to clean her nipples

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