Scroll wheel encoders change how a scroll wheel will feel and function. They do not affect the actual clicking of the mouse wheel, but rather feeling of the actual scrolling and rotations. There are both mechanical and optical scroll wheel encoders. We will mostly be talking about mechanical wheel encoders on this page since they are the most common.
NOTE: When replacing encoders, you WILL need to solder them. You can easily destroy your device if you aren't sure what you are doing. We recommend practicing with some old broken electronics before jumping into modding your current gear.
Quick Encoder Comparison
Here is a quick comparison between the encoders we sell. Feel free to keep reading this page for further information on each one.
Scrolling smoothness - Kailh (smoothest) > TTC Gold > Japanese ALPS > TTC Office (most defined)
Force required for scrolling - Japanese ALPS (heaviest) > TTC Office > TTC Gold > Kailh (lightest)
If you prefer a heavier and well defined scroll, you should go for the Japanese ALPS or the TTC Office.
For the lightest and smoothest scroll, you should go for a Kailh encoder.
For something in between, not too heavy and not too light, we would recommend the TTC Gold.
Some mouse manufacturers (for example, Zowie) use optical scroll wheel encoders instead of mechanical encoders. These encoders work based on electrical signals rather than the detection of physical rotations. Optical encoders are not interchangeable or replaceable by mechanical encoders. If your device uses an optical encoder, it wont support any of the mechanical encoders that we offer.
The most important thing when it comes to replacing a mechanical encoder is the height compatibility. While tactility is personal preference, the height of the encoder will determine which encoder is actually compatible your device.
Measuring your Encoder Height
If you are unsure of which encoder height you need for your device, you need to measure the height of the current encoder. Some encoders will have a small number engraved somewhere on it (for example, an engraved 9 means 9mm height) - but if you aren't 100% sure, you should always double check just to be safe.
To measure the height of your scroll wheel encoder, you need to take a measurement (in mm) from the base of the mounting plate to the center of the encoder wheel holder. Demonstration below:
This is a Kailh 9mm encoder. Measuring from the center of the wheel holder to the base of the mounting plate.
Mechanical Encoder Differences
Kailh switches and encoders are becoming much more popular recently due to the availability and quality. The Kailh ALPS mechanical encoders are super quiet and smooth while still maintaining nice defined steps. These are a great option to go along with your Kailh replacement switches!
TTC makes a few different scroll wheel encoders, but the gold variant is the most popular. It's a very durable and tactile encoder, and a safe choice if you need a replacement and aren't sure what to go with. They seem to be a great balance between smoothness and tactility, and fall towards the middle of the encoders that we sell.
TTC has also recently released an office set of encoders. They are slightly more budget friendly compared to gaming encoders. They are designed with office mice in mind, but they still feel sturdy and well built. We don't think you will regret using these in gaming mice if you enjoy heavier scrolling.
Japanese ALPS encoders are the most tactile encoders on the market with the most noise and tensioning, with a satisfying feel and feedback. These are not for everybody, but if you love the feeling and feedback of a heavier scroll with well defined steps, these might be a good pick for you!
Here are all known encoder heights. This list will be updated as we learn new information and verify each height.
G-Wolves Skoll-L 13mm (thanks /u/snessim!)
Logitech G203 10mm
Model O- 9mm
Roccat KPU 9mm
G Pro Wireless 8mm
G Pro Wireless X Superlight 8mm