How I converted my Micro SIM into a Nano SIM

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?