All PC mice, and even more gaming-oriented mice, incorporate legs that raise the entire lower part of the mouse a bit. The function of these legs is twofold: first, separate the sensor a bit of the mouse from the surface so that it can focus better (this is especially important in optical mice), and second, they favor a better glide on any surface since they are normally made of Teflon (PTFE) or other very slippery material.
Why change the mouse legs?
There may be a number of reasons why you want to change the feet on your mouse, the first of which is obviously because the device no longer glides properly on the surface. These legs are made of a very slippery material that causes very little friction and therefore has a wear very low, but in the end the use is the use and they end up wearing down to the point that they can be almost nothing.
The second reason may be because you are not satisfied with the friction that the mouse has on your table or mat and you want to improve it; For this, there are companies that sell various leg kits that claim that they are much better than those that manufacturers incorporate from the factory … we are not going to judge that now, but of course there are many people who have opted for these third-party solutions with The goal of improving the ease with which your mouse glides on the mouse pad.
The third reason has more to do with simply “taking away” than with changing; In most mice, the manufacturer “hides” the screws to be able to access the inside of the mouse under these sliding feet, so we will be forced to remove them to access the screws that allow us to open the mouse (whether to repair something, to clean it inside, etc.). This is in fact the most frequent reason and that, in addition, you want the original legs not to be damaged so that they can be put back in their place.
How often or under what circumstances is it done?
There is no definite time when you say that the time has come to change the mouse’s paws; just when you notice that it no longer slides as it should, take a look at the bottom of the device to see if the legs are not equally worn, even if some of them have come to nothing.
Likewise, as we have mentioned before, it is also possible that you want to open the mouse, because as seen in the image above, the manufacturer almost always hides the screws under these legs and we will have to remove these legs to access them … in this situation we It is important that they are not reformed or damaged to be able to put them back in their place, and that is when you have to take special care not to damage anything.
How to change mouse legs without breaking anything
The easiest and most direct way, but also the wrong way to remove the mouse legs, is to put a flat tool -such as a screwdriver- to pry and literally tear them off, but this, as you can see in the image above, will deform them, and if you want putting them back in place to continue using them is when you will have problems.
What problems? Very simple: they will no longer be completely flat, they will have bumps, ridges and valleys, and they will no longer slide the same. In addition, these protrusions will cause the mouse to limp, since it will not be at the same distance from the surface in all its points of support.
Be very careful with this, never remove the mouse legs in this way unless you are changing them for new ones because the original ones will be practically unusable.
The correct way to do this is, with the mouse disconnected (obviously) and with the help of a hair dryer, heat the area of the feet so that the adhesive is loosened. It is important that it is a hair dryer or some other source capable of pushing heat quickly on the legs, but not so much heat that it can melt them (therefore do not even think about leaving the mouse on a radiator because then you could damage it). We repeat, the ideal instrument is a hair dryer.
Be patient, try not to point at the sensor, and be careful not to use too much heat. Normally with about 20 seconds pointing at each leg you should already see that, if you touch it with a screwdriver (we do not recommend doing it with your finger because the surface will be quite hot), the leg will move by itself.
This means that the adhesive is soft and that you can now pull up on the Teflon leg to remove it. Normally with the help of a flat screwdriver you can do it effortlessly, although even with your fingers it shouldn’t cost much (if you wait 10-15 seconds after removing the dryer it shouldn’t burn to hurt you anymore).
Once you have removed the original Teflon legs of the mouse, you can change them for the new ones, access the screws if you wanted to open it, or whatever you had to do. Be careful when removing the original legs not to leave them face down on any surface, leave them with the adhesive facing up so that they do not get stuck elsewhere.
To put them back on, simply heat the legs for a few seconds with the dryer (this time 5-10 seconds should be enough to soften the adhesive again) and put them in place, in this case pressing well to make sure they have they are perfectly fixed again.