A mouse, trackpad, space navigator what is the best for Blender

3DX SpaceNavigator seems useful but I need to know, can you use that device to manipulate bones in a rig? And is it worth paying $300 for one of those? I wear out the middle mouse wheel buttons faster with Blender as it demands so much more out of it but it’s usually the worse button on the mouse and sometimes you press down but I accidentally turn the wheel a bit also which is problematic. Should I get a trackpad for my desktop? I have a drawing pad but I had to disable the 2 buttons on the pan because I kept gripping them unwantedly.

Thing I do know what I want: Cordless

Right now, I am paralyzed with choice as I don’t want to buy 10 gadgets and throw 9 in the drawer collecting dust. But I do want to make using Blender more enjoyable by having the most comfortable interface.

Any advice?

Blender works great with a trackpad on Mac, however I wouldn’t recommend buying a trackpad for Blender if you are on Windows or Linux until trackpad gestures are implemented on these platforms (https://developer.blender.org/D7660).

A SpaceNavigator isn’t used as a replacement for the mouse but as a complement. Nothing’s being manipulated by use of a SpaceNavigator except your view on the model you’re working on. I wouldn’t want to miss my SpaceNavigator anymore for any 3D stuff (be it Blender for my hobby or CAD-work for my profession). It saves me tonnes of click-drag manouvres with my mouse hand per day which means my repetitive strain injury related complaints are kept at bay.

In short: helicopter around the model you work in with one hand (SpaceNavigator) while you work on the model itself with the other hand (mouse).

I have never tried a navigator, maybe I should…

I use a wacom intuos M as a mouse, works wonderfully well except in order to “scroll” I have to use the touch ring on the tablet surface, that means letting go of the stylus or the keyboard.
So, I don’t use it. Thankfully scroll is almost never actually needed (you can zoom with ctrl+mmb, etc) except in the case of proportional editing…