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The mouse is a wonderful invention, but every one I've ever bought other than the very most basic has failed me in one way or another.

Hopefully the collective wisdom of the superuser community can help me.

I'm currently using my second MS Intellimouse Explorer. I bought the first one because of the reviews but the mouse-wheel failed me after a year or so (got sticky, took it apart, fundamentally broke it working out how to fix). I naively thought this might be a one-off but it's happened to me again. Now I'm just frankly annoyed, as they're not cheap really for something to regularly replace.

I don't really care about the cost so much - good mice are all in the same relative bracket; I'm not really a gamer, although some get me hooked for a bit -- and I don't want to keep buying batteries.

To keep this question StackExchange-friendly, I'm not going to ask directly for specific recommendations.

What I want to know, categorically, is what to look for.

Build quality is important - what do I look for in a manufacturer or product description that means it probably won't break? Which manufactures generally score highly in this regard?

I generally, now, regard only wireless mice as acceptable - is this a reasonable conclusion? Gradual failure in my mind is total failure!

What have I missed?

Ta y'all

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With the old classic mouse the chief points of failure were the cable and the wheels that tracked the ball motion. A wireless optical mouse eliminates these failure modes, so reliability is easily 10x better. I find that the first point of failure now is that the Teflon "feet" fall off. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 3 '13 at 0:28

I honestly think, when it comes to mice, there is no definitive list of features to look for.

Manufacturers undoubtedly test their mice for durability, but Im fairly positive they dont replicate a mouse in the real world. A robot clicking a button 1,000,000 times in a lab isnt the same as a house filled with pet hair, dust, sweat, soda, food particles, and angry gamers.

I have bought my fair share of expensive mice to replace the $8 mouse connected to my primary PC. They have had metal frames, braided cords, and every conceivable bell and whistle. They have all ended up in the trash and I go back to my cheap $8 mouse.

This isnt to say cheap mice are better. I have had cheap mice fail within weeks of purchase.

I dont think there is one manufacturer or mouse that is guaranteed to be the best. In the end, I think its just trial and error. You just have to find the mouse that works for you.

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