How I converted my Micro SIM into a Nano SIM

By , Sep 14, 2012

Before I get this party started, I just want to say that no, I don’t have an iPhone 5 to absolutely guarantee it’ll work in the device, but all that’s really involved is some pretty basic math.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I cut and shaved my Micro SIM down to Nano SIM sized specifications. It’s not a 100% 1:1 ratio, but the size is very comparable to what you will find in an official Nano SIM. For that reason I’m feeling pretty confident that it will work with my iPhone 5 next Friday.

Take a look inside for the step-by-step video walkthrough that shows how I converted my Micro SIM card to a Nano sized SIM card.

Note: before you start chopping away, read and watch the entire tutorial. Consider the math behind why I believe this should work without a problem, and then judge for yourselves.

Obviously it would be easier to have a real Nano SIM, but for some circumstances, that may not be feasible, hence this tutorial.

First and foremost, let me just say that I got my Nano SIM measurement specifications directly from the ETSI. You can find their Nano SIM specs here.

The specs go a little something like this:

Width: 12.3mm
Height: 8.8mm
Depth: 0.67mm

For a certainty, these minuscule measurements go beyond the scope of any old ruler. For that reason, I pulled out my trusty digital caliper to perform all of the measurements. It’s a pretty cheap caliper that I got off of Amazon, but it’s accurate, and gets the job done.

Next up, the ETSI website says this about the new Nano SIM standard:

It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards.

I don’t know about you, but that leaves me feeling pretty confident, that just like the Micro SIMs before, they can be cut down to size, and still retain full functionality. I’m sold, you? If so, let’s get this show on the road.

The very first thing I did was measure the width, height, and depth of my existing Micro SIM. That way I had a general ballpark idea of what I’d need to trim to make it fit the Nano SIM specs.

Of course, each Micro SIM may be slightly different in measurement, but they should all be roughly the same.

My Micro SIM measured as follows:

Width: 14.99mm
Height: 12.03mm
Depth: 0.81mm

So after doing the math, I’d need to trim 2.69mm from the width, 3.28mm from the height, and perhaps the most challenging part, 0.14mm of depth.

To perform the surgery, I felt that a normal pair of scissors would suffice for the width and height. The depth was a whole different story. To trim down the depth, I decided it would be best to utilize sandpaper. The sandpaper also comes in handy when trimming a few hundredths of a millimeter off of the sides of the SIM card as well.

So basically, it goes a little something like this. Trim a little bit, measure with digital caliper, trim a little bit more, measure — always keeping in mind the width, height, and depth of the actual Nano SIM specifications. You must use caution, and don’t get overly excited about this. Take your time, or else you might cut into the actual chip and ruin your SIM card.

In the end, although I can’t actually test out the final product until I receive my iPhone 5, and it would probably be best for you to wait until you receive your iPhone if you want to try this, I feel confident about the results. The final product looks very close to the Nano SIMs we’ve all seen in pictures, and I also used an old Nokia phone to verify that it could at least detect the SIM’s presence. This means that there’s a very good chance that the surgery went well, and I didn’t sand or cut into any vital connection points.

Obviously I can’t be 100% sure that my Nano SIM works until next Friday, but again, the possibilities look very high.

If you decide to try this, I suggest trying it on a SIM card that you don’t need. You can even do it on one of those old school big SIM cards, since the tech is all the same on the chip.

What do you think?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Jordys.O Jordys Oquendo

    i think you want to buy the iphone 5.

    • Johnathan Jennings

      He already did.

  • http://twitter.com/SimpliApple Simpli Apple

    1. Your shape is wrong. Just using the measurements won’t mean it will fit. Nano sims have a little diagonal cut out and the sim chip must be in the correct place.
    2. The chip in a nano sim is apparently smaller than the micro. So I am assuming it will not work with a larger chip.

    I have already cut down one I had using a template. Looks more accurate than yours because all the sides are the correct length. But since the chip in the sim probably won’t work with the iPhone 5, I think we can forget about it ;(

    • http://www.facebook.com/Jordys.O Jordys Oquendo

      you are very optimist

    • http://www.youtube.com/myjailbreakmovies/ Jeff Benjamin

      Shape wrong? Okay, we shall see on Friday. That looks pretty convincing to me. http://www.iphonefaq.org/images/archives/iphone5-nano-sim-apple.jpg I will be SURE to post back with the results, wrong or right.

      • http://twitter.com/HeitorStifler Heitor Castro 

        Even though if your result is negative (I hope it works), you’re already congratulated for your creativity.

      • M Last

        nice job!
        didn’t miss to make angel cut (right on the top)?
        really hope this method will work

      • englishmike

        Hi Jeff
        I messed around and did this with an old Red Pocket sim last night and it worked ok in my old Nokia device so I’m pretty sure it will work on the 5 but…..
        I’m on Straight Talk and the micro sim “chip” is smaller than the Red Pocket micro sim one.
        The Straight Talk is like the one in the middle of the 3 sims picture you have up, it’s a longer chip so not sure what to do about that. Any ideas?
        Cheers
        Mike

      • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

        I read an article where they talked to the guy that made the nano sim and he said that this method won’t work again because the nano sim isn’t just smaller but it’s also 15% thinner. So make sure you try and make it thinner as well other wise it will be too thick and won’t fit in the sim tray.

      • Tony P.

        Well Jeff Benjamin I tried it with a sim I wasn’t using and it said no service,meaning it would activate if I had that one going or the one I tried later that already had service and wallah it worked,I made sure the sim would go in and easily,which it did,and I’m using my phone now to tell you about it,which was a great help,but I did go another way after I got the idea from you,I just filed them both down with my toenail clippers and they both worked,because the other way was just to much work,and I made sure to put my little slant corner on the right side of the chip. Again thanks for the video it gave me the idea to try it that way.

    • Debb Young

      Exactly correct! Thankyou, this is my experience with trimming micro’s to nano’s. the ST microsim chip is too long after vitting the paperboard away. Cannot be used in iphone 5 until ST reduces the chip size. I had to instead use an AT&t microchip trimmed to iphone 5 nano size, works great.

  • http://twitter.com/wmyolo William Melendez

    Good work there Jeff, I hope it works out for you, and if it doesn’t oh well. Effort is what matters!

  • http://twitter.com/HeitorStifler Heitor Castro 

    I thought converting a SIM to a Micro SIM was a little bit hard, but now I’ve changed my idea, haha.

  • Maru_The_Cat

    You’re risky Jeff lol. I don’t know if I could do that haha. Anyways, good luck next Friday. Let’s see a nice review from idownloadblog.com ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marlon-Greg-Ceballe/1261923209 Marlon Greg Ceballe

    Well i’ve done this before from normal sim to micro sim. If i’m buying an iPhone 5, i’ll be changing sim coz this just won’t work for what i’ve converted. My sim card is from 1999. And micro is its last form.

  • MPP

    awesome work man!! i think its going to work!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gjantonini Joey Antonini

    I read some where that the iPhone 5 will not work with a cut down micro sim in it. I dunno though

  • http://twitter.com/kenaan200 kenaan amri

    Nice work
    Thanx for this great video

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1003412005 Rick Cain

    Thanks Jeff! This will be my route to have an iPhone 5 on StraightTalk if you’re successful.

  • Guest

    Hi Jeff

    I messed around and did this with an old Red Pocket sim last night and it worked ok in my old Nokia device so I’m pretty sure it will work on the 5 but…..

    I’m on Straight Talk and the micro sim “chip” is smaller than the Red Pocket micro sim one.

    The Straight Talk is like the one in the middle of the 3 sims picture you have up, it’s a longer chip so not sure what to do about that. Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Mike

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ba-Tongxue/100003554938315 Ba Tongxue

    Nice. Jeff.
    Just remember to tell us if this self-cut nano card works on the iPhone 5 when you have it on hand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/curt.zirlott Curt Zirlott

    What about the diagonal cut to know the correct position?

  • johndhynes

    I tried that last year, cutting down a mini into a micro and it seemed to fit, but it did not work for some reason, maybe because I didn’t have a caliper. But AT&T gave me one for free.

  • http://twitter.com/khalids19 Khalid Salim

    Nooo

  • http://www.facebook.com/luisreyespr Luis

    My tactic: cut all the plastic borders. Still doesn’t fit? Keep cutting more.

  • Omid

    As you surely know some people have cut down a “conventional” SIM (2FF) in a MicroSIM (3FF) with a knife or with a pair of scissors. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes not. Reason that this method functioned was that the 2FF and the 3FF SIM card has the same thickness. The thickness of the Nano-SIM is reduced by about 15 percent – so we think that a reducing only in size is not working.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    What is the point to this? Isn’t ur 5 gonna come with a nano?

  • JerseyD

    I don’t understand the point of this. Anytime I’ve needed a new sim micro or regular, I just go to the AT&T store and they program it give it to me for free. I expect the same to be true for nano. Also wouldn’t you want to have the tech that was deigned for iPhone 5 inside of it?

    • PayanPayjor

      ! what about those not living in the US? -.- don’t be selfish!

  • http://www.postlinearity.com gregorylent

    don’t you have to trim some of the metal?

  • srikanth boga

    great effort, hope it works

  • Duda

    A big question. The iPhone 5 Nano-SIM Tray should be a metal tray. Do you think we have problems with short circuits?

  • Steve

    I am sure this will work. For those of you worried about cutting to the correct shape buy a cutter on eBay. Nano’s have been know about since the beginning of the year (when Apple requested its royalty free Nano patent) so the shape is tried and tested. Obviously we didn’t know about them being slimmer but sanding is easy with a little patience.

  • englishmike

    I HAVE A NANO SIM CUTTER!!

    Anyone in the Fort Lauderdale area I’ll cut your sim to size for $20!

    Can meet at Starbucks in Las Olas to do the deed!! LOL

  • elleff

    Just received my iPhone 5, cut my SIM down and it fit without sanding, so far it’s working fine :)

  • JeremyWM

    It works! I’m in Australia and just got my new iPhone 5 and my new carrier (Exetel) didn’t have any nano-sims in stock. So i chopped down my old micro sim as per instructions and after a carrier update my iPhone is showing up in iTunes. Sweet! Thought i’d have to wait a week until the nano sims were in stock. Thanks heaps mate . BTW didn’t use callipers, used the sim tray to get it correct size. Only had to shave a tiny bit of the back off to make it thinner, there’s a bit of extra space available inside the phone.

  • http://twitter.com/ExWoW MiKey

    it works!
    Germany – Vodafone
    Just do as instructed by Jeff and then place the SIM in the tray face-down.
    THANKS!

  • healeydave

    Woohoo, I can confirm this works!!! I filed down my Micro SIM to Nano SIM size and its working in my iPhone 5

  • http://twitter.com/biko01 Greg Kowalski

    Worked for me too. I’m Sydney (got iPhone unlocked from Apple ordered week ago). Cutting along golden part is so easy. I also used tray to fit it in (didn’t measure anything). I didn’t even sand it! It was Optus sim. Fits perfectly and going through iTunes restore from last iPhone 4 backup. Great stuff! I still have TPG nanosim coming in a few days but at least I can use phone over the weekend.

  • zach

    have you tried it in the iphone 5 yet ? does it work ?

    • http://twitter.com/jasoncaine1 jpcaine

      I just tried it out in my five and it worked perfectly. I didn’t the measuring tool jeff used…i just kept cutting until it was small enough to fit…lol

      • http://twitter.com/iride26s fuckwitheme ™

        What company or u with

  • Kabal

    same in Germany! iPhone 5 with micro sim cut to nano sim! Thanks for your advice!

  • am0_oma

    is it work?

  • indy

    Guess it didn’t work, u didn’t made any comment

  • Gero

    Worked fine for me. But I sanded more than I cut off the plastic too close to the golden pin-out contacts. I even sanded off some of the metal – but my handcrafted nano-SIM works perfectly in my iPhone 5. I initially had concerns about short-circuiting the pins with the alu card tray, but no issues so far.

  • Debb Young

    I have an iphone 5 and a Straight Talk micro sim from an iphone 4, ive already reduced an AT&T microsim from another phone to fit my iphone 5, but to do ut with my ST microsim will be difficult not from trimming it, that was easy!, but because the ST microsim “chip” is slightly longer than a microchip used in iphone 4, has anyone noticed this?! You certainly cannot trim the chip! Good luck with that!

  • Debb Young

    I recieved my iPhone 5 via AT&T today. I didnt want to change numbers so i trimmed my AT&T iphone 4’s micro down to nano size, i didnt even need to make it thinner as mentioned. I just cut away what wasnt needed and used also a nail file to neaten it up. Thickness is not an issue people, as my newly created nano sim is up and running my Iphone 5 now!

  • chum bucket

    Hey Jeff If I’m getting a verizon iphone 5 and I have a verizon micro sim now, will i be able to convert it to a nano sim so i can use it in the iphone 5?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001756865888 John A. Young

    its Nov 30, I took my Straight Talk sim, longer chip & all and filed it to fit my iPhone 5 tray and it does work, in case anyone stumbles over this thread. Touche AT&T!

  • Tony P.

    Thanks for the video I didn’t look at the specs of my phone to notice it needed a nano sim,I’ve had my new phone every since last Thursday and can’t do nothing with it,I had the idea to try something like this,because the cutter I ordered doesn’t arrive until next month,I may give it a try,but I’m skeptic about it working,since I messed up a sim for my other phone,which I lost all the data because of it,I hope it works for you and anyone else who tries it.