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How to: Cut a Micro SIM Into a Nano SIM for Your Moto X

Today, you are going to learn something you probably never knew you could do. OK, that’s probably not 100% true. I’m sure many of you knew that you could cut down a SIM to a micro SIM, but with nano SIM cards on the horizon, we thought we should point out that the same procedure can be done from micro to nano as well. Phones like the Moto X (and yes, the iPhone 5 too) use nano SIM cards, so should you choose to buy either of them, you’ll either need Verizon (or your carrier of choice) to provide you with a new SIM or you can perform surgery. We tend to prefer surgery (because it’s fun), which is why this tutorial has been born. Also, I have an NFC SIM for use with Isis and didn’t feel like dealing with the process of getting a new one when beginning my Moto X review. I figured the least I could do was show you some action.

Ready to do this?


1. Order a nano SIM cutter. Amazon has plenty of options, though this is the one I used. I think it ran me $7, with free Prime shipping. It’s also a solid hunk of metal, so cutting something into “nano” size somehow felt more manly. Yes, manly.

nano sim cutter

2.  Open the nano cutter box and spread out its goodies for quick access. Yes, that’s sandpaper.
3.  Pull out your micro SIM from whichever phone it is currently resting.

micro SIM to nano SIM

4.  Grab the metal adapter tray, and insert your micro SIM card. Slide them together inside the nano cutter.
5.  Prepare for glory.

micro SIM to nano SIMmicro SIM to nano SIM

6.  Set the nano cutter (with micro SIM insert) face down on a table, and press that bad boy with some force.


micro SIM to nano SIM

micro SIM to nano SIM

7.  There she is, your new nano SIM.

micro SIM to nano SIM

8. Compare it to a real nano SIM, because we can.

nano sim card

9.  Sand the excess paper away so that it fits nicely into the Moto X SIM tray.

nano sim

10.  Insert into Moto X. You win.

micro SIM to nano SIM

  • Dave

    How to make a pizza. Step one order a pizza. I expected this to be how to cut it not how to use a device specifically designed for this purpose

  • Wil Gibson

    I thought about trimming my sim for my Nexus 4, but then realized that I would have no need for a trimmer after that. It’s interesting that you can get these handy tools, but unless you just happen to need to trim sim cards all the time, they aren’t worth having around for the average phone user. Still, cool pictures. I’d never seen the end product until now.

  • Calvin Garner

    For some reason this tutorial made me think of this:


  • paul_cus

    Yet another reason I’m not buying a Moto X.

  • MichaelFranz

    psssh….$7 cutter….sandwheel and a small vice grip will work :p

  • Aaron Galloway

    Who is demanding that we have smaller and smaller sim cards?

  • I totally nodded to the “manly” part. 😀

  • Jason Brown

    i wonder if it’s possible to go from sim to micro sim to nano sim using the original sim card. would be interesting to know if people have done that.

  • Mobile User

    How about Google just fixes Google Maps. Especially on Android….

  • noc007

    Why not just get your provider to issue a new SIM? No provider should deny a replacement.

  • viewthis66

    I love this site, been here since week one, but you guys have gone way too far with the love for this phone. End it, please. Thanks.

    • Reginald Jefferson

      So is it wrong for them to actually like the phone and keep using it?

      • trwb

        Google is spending 500 million to market this phone. Think about it.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Sounds like a rather large marketing budget, but not completely unheard of. Can’t expect John Q. Public to know about their great new phone if you don’t advertise it.

          Remember, very very very few people actually read Droid-Life, compared to the hundreds of millions that can be reached via other advertising means.

          TL;DR: it is not a viable marketing strategy to buy off a website that will ultimately have a terrible RoI.

          • trwb

            When one has a budget that big they can afford a little viral marketing. The people that read this blog usually have friends that come to them for tech advice and then the message spreads, hence viral marketing. It is very effective. People have been marketing this way for a while. One of my old clients at work would pay the local newspaper to write positive articles about his company.

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Affording it and it being a smart move are two different things.

            I know what you’re saying, and sponsored articles appear in papers all the time. However, given the fact that the articles themselves haven’t been especially glowing towards the Moto X (my impression is that they think its a great device but has its issues too), I doubt seriously that they were paid off.

            That said, if you wish to believe they’re being paid to advertise the hell out of it by Google, so be it. Wizard’s Rules and all that.

          • trwb

            Who knows what is really happening. I find it hard to tell if anyone is being truthful on any of the tech blogs/sites these days. Viral marketing when combined with traditional marketing can very effective, even if the articles are not glowing. Just getting someone to think about a product is half the battle.

  • Jonathan

    Kellex, thank you for the very thorough writeup, but if any of the new Droids are like the last generation, this won’t be necessary. These devices ship with nano-SIM’s already installed in the slot waiting to be activated. No need to pop into Verizon (though company-owned stores will provide one at no charge).

    • JoshGroff

      Maybe he’s emotionally attached to his old SIM card.

  • Sony Xperia V GPS

    So, this goes to show that I need to have a Moto X and order a nano cutter from the Amazon just to get the Nano sim? I think there’s a lot cheaper ways on how to achieve this. http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/

  • moelsen8

    “Yes that’s sandpaper.” Haha 😛

  • ajjaeger

    I went into a Verizon store and got a free micro SIM from when I upgraded my Bionic to a Galaxy SIV. I seriously contemplated doing this the night it arrived when I realized I needed a micro SIM. Best of luck all!

  • Garo.j

    I went to my local tmobile store
    And they had a sim cutter there
    They cut my sim and i was out
    Of there in less then five min.

    • Monk

      They ended up ruining mine…. but i got some free accessories for it

      • noc007

        They shouldn’t even cut it. They should just issue you a new SIM. It hardly costs them anything.

        • Monk

          They did give me a new one also… but let me pick up to $20 worth of extras

  • Godzilla

    Micro Bris

  • Knlegend1

    Now I have a SIM cutter…..

  • imnotmikal

    I can’t wait to have to do this.

    Yes, I’m still planning on getting the X. :]

    • Gnex

      Same here. WE BFF??

      • imnotmikal


  • Sporttster

    How bout how to turn it into a sd slot card for the X :'(

  • asdfasd

    Droid-Life still unnecessarily thumping the phone nobody wants to buy.

    • Butters619

      Just because you don’t want the phone doesn’t mean nobody wants it. Sure it’s not the spec beast some desire, but it has the same GPU as the SGS4 and One and actually beat both in graphics tests (even off screen 1080p) and browser tests. It also has the same size screen as the One, but in a package that is significantly smaller. Tack on on screen keys, nearly stock Android, and better battery life and you have a decent argument for a phone.

      • XvierX

        I’m still eager to get this phone on Verizon the day it’s available. I won’t bother explaining why because it’s my money and I can spend it as I chose. :p

        • breadable

          I’m getting more hopeful that the phone and pricing will quickly evolve and these negative first impressions people are getting before handling the phone will seem more silly…

          Or if I see one in the store and don’t like it I just won’t buy it

    • EC8CH

      What would be awesome is a Moto X retail price trimming tool.

      I’d buy that for a dollar.

  • bakdroid

    So let me get this straight…..instead of crawling out of your parent’s basements and going to the Verizon store to get a free Nano SIM you buy a cutter online to do it yourself. O.o

    Seriously, have people become this stupid….

    • You’ll never understand geeks’ fun. So stop bothering..

    • chris420o

      u can then use an adapter and switch back to another micro sim phone…its actually pretty nice idea i didnt think u could cut them and they still work…helps avoid all the activation nonsense

  • Radgatt

    Well there is the option of just going into the store and getting a nano sim…unless getting a new sim isn’t free

    • abqnm

      Depends on the carrier and the rep at the store. Verizon and T-Mobile will usually give you a SIM a the store for no charge. Smaller carriers and overseas carriers…I am sure many of them charge. Plus when cutting you now have the adapters so you have a universal SIM.

  • kyle

    this how to article was beautifully written, for some reason I chuckled through the entire thing. maybe because of step 5 I continued to read the remaining amount of the article in a spartan voice

  • Ben Leonard

    sweet. i would be all over this if i was getting a x

  • brkshr

    I prefer the butcher knife method. It’s a cheaper option.

    • JoshGroff

      That’s not a knife, THIS is a knife.

      • breadable

        Who down votes a Crocodile Dundee reference!!?!

        Damn kids these days

        • JoshGroff

          Looks like someone came in and downvoted all of my posts, kind of odd.

          • brkshr

            Always nice having a laugh in the morning :cheers:

            I think someone has been mass down voting articles lately. Kinda annoying

          • breadable

            Someone is grumpy about the Moto X specs…

        • cman

          Best crocodile dundee is when he takes the guys coke and puts in in a boiling pot to clear up the guys sinuses.

  • Gnex

    Too bad I’m gonna have to wait until November. Ugh.

  • Geekdad

    Is this how Ron did it?

    • Jaxon Wright

      he already had a phone with a nano sim, and plans on getting another. But you should buy a moto X

      • JoshGroff

        That’s the best one I’ve seen so far. Upvote for creativity.

      • JoshGroff

        That’s the best one I’ve seen so far. Upvote for creativity.

      • Ian

        Upvote for the topical rehash 🙂

      • David Verba

        This may never get old 🙂

  • James

    Babooey to you all!

  • thelolotov

    Aren’t these things small enough? Where does it end with you people, they’re easy enough to lose as it is!

    • Butters619

      How often do you take out your SIM where you have to be worried about losing it?

      • thelolotov

        How often do you take yours out, look at it, and think “This is too big, needs to be smaller.”?

        • JoshGroff

          Smaller phone = less space
          SIM tray is smaller to make room for other components, SIM needs to be smaller in order to fit in the tray.

          • thelolotov

            I’m joshing with ya, dude. I know why they’re doing it. Just like how they fucked us over with removable batteries to shave a few millimeters off.

          • JoshGroff

            Large deciding factor that pushed me to the S4. I like being able to change/upgrade my battery, even if I don’t need to do it often.

        • Ibrick

          Every morning?

  • jeradc

    You could shorten this howto to: Step 1) Buy cutter Step 2) Use cutter.

    • Indeed, but then I wouldn’t get to take a bunch of pictures. 😛

      • michael arazan

        Step 11. Charge people a few dollars to do this for them and make your money back on the sim cutter

        Step 12. Profit

    • Tony Stark

      Or: Step 1) Go to your Mobile Store Step 2) Ask for a nano sim

      • Eric R.

        That’s no fun! B-)

      • DanSan

        there should be a meme for that..

        needs nano sim, store has in stock. orders from amazon, waited 3 days lol

      • Ian

        I’d waste more than $7 in gas and time doing that.

        • Paul Hansen

          $7 in gas? What are you driving and how far away is it? The nearest Verizon store to me is like 5 miles away and there are a few others within 15 miles. @ 25 mpg and Chicago’s terrible gas prices I’m still paying ~$2 in fuel (probably a little less) and 15-20 minutes of my time tops. I get it if your store is like 30 miles away but that just sucks for you lol. If so then yes, that makes sense 😛

          • Ian

            “…and time” My time is very valuable. I may only have to go 3 miles but with traffic that makes about a 45 minute venture assuming I don’t have to stand in the service line at VZW.

          • Kevin

            LOL at not having to stand in the service line. Where I am, if you go to the Verizon store, it’s a 45 minute ordeal at minimum.

          • Paul Hansen

            Gotcha. Where I’m at it seems like there are more VZW locations than there are Starbucks (now that I think about it I’m actually kinda curious if that’s true) so the lines are never really long. I feel a little bad for some of the sales reps in our area because there are almost too many people selling to make any money (commision). Any time I go to one of the stores around here I’m in and out in ~5-10 min. I wouldn’t spend 45 min either tbh.

    • jessica702

      what Stanley implied I am
      blown away that some one able to make $6239 in a few weeks on the
      internet. have you seen this site link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Dana

    I’ve used scissors before. it’s pretty simple. e.g. swiss army knife scissors have enough precision.

    nice to know a cheap tool is out there though. thanks!

    • Tool also comes with adapters, so if you need to use your SIM in a micro SIM phone afterwards, you can. Not a bad little purchase.

      • Dana

        Neat! thanks for the tip. I guess I should have watched the video. =]

      • EdubE24

        Just make sure your card is in the adaptor tight. I used an adapter switching from my iPhone to my Gnex and bent one of the connections in the SIM tray.

    • When I bought my Nexus 4 I also bought one of these SIM cutters (to bring my Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM down to mini). The Nexus 4 arrived the day before the SIM cutter did, so I finally got impatient and cut it myself using my swiss army knife scissors. Worked perfectly. And the plus side was the next day the cutter arrived which included the adapters I was able to use on the AT&T SIM to switch my girlfriend’s iPhone 3GS to Straight Talk as well.