How to cut your own micro-SIM card

Find out how to trim your own micro-SIM card for use in phones that require this new format.

SIM cards were long forgotten until a few years ago when Apple introduced the micro-SIM in its iPhone 4.

Hardly measuring the size of a fingernail, the micro-SIM was created to accommodate the shrinking width of smartphones and tablets.

Since then, more phone and tablet manufacturers, like Samsung, have adopted this format. The only problem is, however, that not all carriers offer micro-SIM cards. So, what are the options for someone who wants to use an unlocked, micro-SIM-compatible phone, without a carrier that supports it?

A DIY, of course.

Here's the good news: there's really no difference between a regular SIM and a micro-SIM. They both use the same, exact chip, but the micro-SIM simply has less plastic encasing it.

Naturally, it didn't take long for the Internet to figure out that a regular SIM could be trimmed down to the size of a micro-SIM at little cost.


If you need to trim your SIM card to a micro-SIM size, here are your options:

1. Head to and search for a micro-SIM cutter, like this one. It works like a hole punch. When it arrives, you'll simply place your SIM card in the tray and punch out a smaller size. As a bonus, you'll also receive two adapters, which will allow you to put the micro-SIM card back into a regular-size SIM slot later on.

2. Do it yourself. If you need to trim your micro-SIM card immediately, print out this free template and follow the instructions on the page. It's crucial that you take your time with this project, because if you make a mistake, you'll have to purchase a new SIM card. For the best results, use a sharp pair of scissors and always cut less first and trim (or file) later, if need be.

3. Find out if your carrier's store will do it. When Always On host Molly Wood needed to fit her T-Mobile SIM card in the Samsung Galaxy S3's micro-SIM slot, she went to her carrier's store. They were able to trim it with a SIM cutter they had on hand. Call ahead and find out if your carrier's store has a micro-SIM cutter.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.


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