Material Selection for Gaming Mouse Skates: PTFE vs. Glass vs. Ceramic vs. Sapphire

Material Selection for Gaming Mouse Skates: PTFE vs. Glass vs. Ceramic vs. Sapphire

In the past, there wasnt much selection of mouse feet material, just Teflon/ PTFE, yet there were many types of mousepads choices. Since friction by definition must take into account two surfaces, it took a surprisingly long time for gamers to start considering alternative skating material. 

In this article, we will explore and measure the pros and cons of different mouse feet from some popular brands. Full disclosure: we SAPPHIRESKATES sell our own product, which will be included in the comparison. But the purpose of this article isn't to declare it better than the others (I personally am a fan and customer of all the brands ive included in the tests).

One more thing before we begin: I want to make it clear that I am not arguing that low friction is better or that there is an ideal level of friction. Rather, I want to demonstrate the amount of friction so customers can make choices that are better suited to their preferences.

(Friction test data - coming soon)

The classic material for quality mouse feet. PTFE is used in just about every industry in some form. It's known to have a very low coefficient of friction. For gamers, it's generally accepted that PTFE is one of the best choices and is the most popular.


The cost of raw material is cheap.

It can be easily cut to fit the shape of the channel of the mouse bottom.

Typically larger surface area coverage which means less flex of mouse bottom. 

It has low friction.


It's a very soft material. 

Softness means that it easily undergoes elastic (temporary) deformation and plastic deformation (permanent). 

Scratches easily.

 Verdict: PTFE is practical and is obviously quite good. The problem with PTFE is that its performance is dependent on keeping everything in good condition. (I've personally been frustrated with PTFE since every time I want to access the mouse internals, I need to remove the skates. If I remove the ptfe, they are never the same after). It isnt a bad or good choice. It's ideal for those who want greater coverage and "feel" or the mouse movements. 


(Testing - coming soon)

(Friction test data - coming soon)

This is the most popular alternative mouse feet material, probably pioneered by the brand Lexip. Now, there are several others.

We do have to be very careful of the usage of the word "ceramic" here. Ceramic is a very broad term and can have different meanings to different people. Even sapphire can be considered a ceramic in some cases. You can think of ceramic as a non-organic solid that is moldable to various shapes.

The ceramic skates ive tested measure very well in terms of low friction glide. 


Typically very low friction 

Can come in a variety of shapes (like Glorious skates that fit their channel) 

High hardness / difficult to scratch 


The cons of ceramic are highly dependent on the manufacturer implementation due to the broadness of the term. 

They are not unscratchable and therefore may eventually require replacement. 

For the universal skates made of ceramics, I've found that G-wolves were too small and lexip were too large, but both were high quality and performed well, offering solid customer value.

(Friction test data - coming soon)

As with ceramic, glass is also an extremely broad term but by definition, it is amorphous rather than crystalline like sapphire. Many different elements and compounds can be used as the raw material to form glass. This is a relatively new material to be used in skates. The brand I am looking at is Lethal. However, I require more time with glass skates before sharing the analysis here.

(Friction test data - coming soon)

Unlike glass, sapphire has a non-random repeating crystalline structure. Sapphire is a highly unique material that is seen in a lot of scientific, optical, and mechanical scenarios such as in watch crystals, bearings, and lenses. I selected Sapphire for the mouse skates I designed because I found it to be a "holy grail" material for mouse feet that has more benefits with less downsides.


Extremely scratch resistant. 9 mohs hardness - on this scale, only a diamond is higher. 

Low coefficient of friction. 

Hydrophobic / doesn't feel sticky 


Far more difficult to make, due to sapphire not being able to be cast in a mold, nor easily cut. Requires specialized tools (diamond tipped cutting and polish).

A lot more expensive per set.


You have many great choices on the market for mouse skates now, depending on your preference and your mousepad. PTFE skates generally provide higher friction (not because PTFE has an inherently higher coefficient of friction) but provide greater support for the mouse's bottom plate. They are the most susceptible to scratches and dust and require replacing them. 

Ceramic gives a very high level of glide and doesn't require replacement often at all, but eventually will need to be replaced.

Sapphire has many of the advantages of the other materials but with the highest durability and should, in theory, last a lifetime for soft/medium mousepad users. The cost of entry is significantly higher than the other options but you would save on the cost of replacements.