Cutting A Regular SIM To Nano SIM For iPhone 5 [Real-Life Experience]


So, my dear friend Gary per-ordered an iPhone 5 for himself and another one for me the night Apple started taking per-orders in Canada, and as much excited as I was for being among the first few to have reserved one, I was also worried about the whole ‘nano SIM‘ thing. As most of you might know that I’m not located in Canada and in my part of the world, cutting a regular SIM card to nano size seemed to be the only option.

With all those nano SIM “cutting won’t work” claims starting to get on my nerves, I printed a couple of nano SIM cutting guides that I had randomly googled and then tried the process on one of my prepaid SIMs but unfortunately, none worked as it required extreme precision. With just over a week before the iPhone 5 was expected to reach me, I turned to eBay as rumours of a purported nano SIM cutter going on sale started floating around. Since the iPhone 5 hadn’t actually gone on sale by then, authenticity of these cutters was a big question mark. Nonetheless, I took the plunge and ordered one for $25 with a couple of nano SIM to micro SIM adapters. It arrived two days before my scheduled iPhone 5 delivery.

As expected, the iPhone 5 came in a couple of days later and I ripped open the package with all the excitement, and nervousness at the same time, as I had been constantly thinking about getting the cut nano SIM to work for the past whole week. Next, I took out a new regular sized SIM card which was actually a replacement for my older micro SIM from the iPhone 4S, and put it inside the nano SIM cutter. And then, the moment of truth!

The cutter had worked like a charm with an absolute precise cut around the regular SIM card’s chip. I immediately inserted the cut nano SIM into the iPhone 5 and was delighted to find out it was 100% functional. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 😀


  • Ianiv

    I did the same thing, with scissors. Saved $25 😉

  • Usman

    I tried but failed, lol..guess spending $25 was worth saving a $900 investment for me 😀

  • I just did the same thing this morning. Used scissors and worked like a charm. I was worried about the thickness as the micro SIM is a bit thicker, but I didn’t have to shave it down with sandpaper like others I saw online had to do. Mine fits like a glove.

  • A-Rock

    …and how is LTE service on the cut SIM?

  • Frank

    I was thinking of doing it myself, but your experience scared me! I just bought a nano sim cutter for 10$, at least it’ll save me the hastle of doing it myself. Thanks for the tip!

  • pure_4

    Does LTE still work on these cut down sims?

  • Cordova Bay

    I’m sitting in Canada with my unlocked iPhone 5 since last week but I have had no luck getting a nano sim for it. My carrier, Rogers, have told me they only get nano sims with their locked phone inventory. They don’t have any for unlocked phones. I’ve been to other carriers and received the same story. I was told to try Wireless Wave but they said the same as well. Sources for sims, London Drugs and others never received ant nano sims.

    I ordered a nano sim from the Rogers online store with a 5 day delivery. On the 5th day I received an email saying the item wasn’t available but I’d receive notice when it was.

    Don’t believe the stories about how much iPhones cost carriers. They love those locked phones to the point of not caring about unlocked phone customers.

    There is no discount for unlocked phones so they potentially pocket the monthly “recovery” fee and still they like the locked phone situation better. Crazy.

  • Usman


  • Usman

    As good as any regular Nano, coz the chip is identical and untouched!

  • crosseyed_mofo

    tried it out on my t-mobile sim


    ill still pick up an lte one when i get the chance

  • why don’t you just get a nano sim at any Apple Store? They will just hand you one.

  • Coluch

    What if I have a micro sim from my iPhone 4S? Looks like it won’t fit in this cutter

  • Coluch

    Where do you live in Canada?

  • You try looking on Craiglist etc ?

  • Tech

    I thought a LTE sim was required to use LTE service ? I’m still waiting for my unlocked iPhone 5 to be shipped. Still says processing. It’s pissing me off having to constantly check apples website for changes.

  • ShaolinX

    Hey Usman, which cutter is that and where did you order it from? Thanks very much.

  • nosnoop

    You can buy a cutter from sunsky-online for only $5.

  • Cordova Bay

    I am in Victoria (you know – the capital of British Columbia) but there are no Apple Stores on Vancouver Island. I think they have 4 stores in Vancouver but that requires either a flight (very expensive) or a ferry trip ($about $150 return) taking most of a day if you time the ferries well.

    I did talk to Apple support last Friday and they told me Apple stores are not providing any nano sims to anyone. They actually suggested I “cut up your current sim and use that” as the “off the record” solution.

    When I bought my first iPhone with the mini-sim Apple actually provided one that worked with my carrier. Not sure why they aren’t doing it again with this sim format change.

    It’s silly that people around the country are waiting for iPhone 5s and I have had one for more than a week that is just an expensive paper weight.

  • Ray

    I got mine at Best Buy. When the woman opened her drawer where the SIM cards where, there had to be 40-50 for each carrier. I don’t think there are any problems getting SIM cards. Very strange.

  • Cordova Bay

    I’d love for this to be my experience. When I tried to get one at Future Shop (same company as Best Buy) I was told (as I have been told by everyone at the carriers and other 3rd party) they receive the iPhone 5s and nano sims in lock step. That is, they get 5 iPhones, they get 5 nano sims.

    Thanks for your feedback… I just spent over 2 hours on the phone with Apple. So far, no solutions.

  • Christopher Jones

    back when the 4S came out, I cut my own Fido sim with an exacto knife to the micro size: worked perfectly. I haven’t tried it with the nano size, but I understand how much more accurate you need to get.

    Just a word of warning, I know some companies run a wire around the parimeter of the sim card, so if it gets cut, the sim will no longer work. They would do this to force you to pay for a smaller sim card. I know Fido does not do that, and I believe Rogers might not as well. I cannot vouch for the other companies though. So just a word of warning.

  • Usman

    Here’s the eBay link:

    Brand New Sim Card to Nano Sim Card Cutter for iPhone 5

  • Kraken

    He mentioned BestBuy, not Future Slop (sister company, but NOT the same) There were tons of nano sims at the local Best Buy. Absolutely no problems getting them.

  • Kraken

    Yes, you need the new LTE sim to use the LTE service. People who just cut their current 3G cards will only get 3G service.

  • Usman

    Not every nano SIM is LTE-enabled and not every LTE-enabled SIM is nano sized. The point is, if it’s a regular SIM with LTE capabilities, it will remain as such whether you cut it to micro size or nano!

    Basically, the article only confirms that a regular sized SIM, if cut properly, fits and works 100% with iPhone 5.

  • pmarcovi

    Go to a Koodo kiosk or store and you can get a nano sim for $10. They got some good plans too, much better than Rogers.

  • i used a pocket knife and worked like a charm!

  • some_dude

    Call up Rogers, tell them to send you a nano sim or you are going to cancel!!!!!!
    and get one from the competition Bell or Telus.
    And when Rogers tries to charge you an ECF, tell them F&*4off, cause you tried to continue your account with them but they would not cooporate!
    This is ridiculous, you just want to use your new iPhone with your account on Rogers.

  • ShaolinX

    Ahh, thank you Usman. It appears the link doesn’t work anymore, unfortunately. I’d like to bring one along when I travel to Asia next month, as I cannot easily get on one of the Japanese networks unless I do something completely unethical like ask a Japanese friend to get one from Docomo or Softbank. So, I’ll be stuck with cutting down a sim. Cheers, appreciate the info anyways.

  • Kraken

    Of course. Perhaps I should of worded it differently, but the point was that in order to get LTE service, it has to be an LTE sim weather it be nano sized or not.

  • yvrgal
  • Prailor

    i can see newer sim working if cut, but older ones not soo much

  • Heisenberg

    you can order a Nano Sim for $10 from your provider