Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.
I’m old school. I’ve got a standard sized SIM card. A card of this size has been around for quite some time and over the years my Orange SIM has prostituted itself with so many handsets I’ve lost count. It’s only when I actually call Orange and they say, “So you’re calling about your HTC Desire?” that I suddenly realise how many times I swapped.

However, today I had chance to take my battered SIM card out and put it into a device requiring a micro SIM. So, I did what any normal person would do. I called Orange / EE and asked them to send me a Micro SIM.

“Sure thing, we’ll post one out”, they said. Now I just need to wait for Mr Postman, then put the new SIM into my new phone, call Orange, transfer my details to the new micro SIM, then I’m away.

But it’s Saturday evening, so I know Orange can’t send the SIM out today. It won’t go out tomorrow, and it might go out Monday. I could get it Tuesday or Wednesday. Hmm.. My patience ran out about 15 seconds ago, so I decided to chop up my existing SIM.

Before I start I have to say that this isn’t something you should try without backup. I’ve got my backup – I know Orange will be sending me a new micro SIM, so if I get this wrong then heck, I just wait a few days.

YouTube is full of card-cutters, as is Google. Me, I’ve got some scissors and sellotape. What could go wrong? Well, first I should mention that I’ve got something else too – a micro SIM. Wait, wait, I’ve not gone mad. This isn’t the right one, this is one I’ve had hanging around for a while. I’m going to use it as a template in a way.

First, I should explain that your existing SIM card might look a bit different to mine. You should check which contacts are well worn on your SIM. You should have three rows of contacts which have obvious scratching or wear – these are the important ones. Mine only has two columns with three contacts in each so I can’t go too far wrong…. hopefully :)

My first plan is to line up the grooves between each contact. I don’t intend to completely cover the SIM contacts on the existing SIM – I want to be able to see them poking out of the side like this…

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.

..then I’m going to tape it down and cut along the top and bottom. At least now I know that I’ve got the right height and the contacts are in the right postition vertically. Now sure, you could get a pen-knife out here, but I stuck it together with some sellotape and cut it carefully with the kitchen scissors. :)

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.

OK, now I’ve done that I’m left with a very thin Orange SIM. It’s too wide though still, so now I take my micro SIM “template” and line it up so that the vertical groove in the centre of the SIM cards match, then I tape it into place. Don’t forget, it doesn’t matter that my micro SIM “template” is hanging off the bottom here, because I’m cutting along the sides of the card using the top card as the template. Cut carefully along the sides.

Then, we’re left with a weird looking SIM. I just need to cut the corner off, so I pop my “template SIM” ontop of the now-square Orange SIM and cut carefully along that corner.

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.

The result seems pretty naff. Surely that can’t work … can it?

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.

Somehow it slides into the new phone without issue and, even more amazingly, the phone fires up and displays “EE”. It worked absolutely flawlessly. I’m pretty amazed :)

So, just sometimes, if you’re careful (and have a backup plan plus another micro SIM), you can get away with hacking at your existing standard SIM !

Create your own micro SIM. Just hack it with scissors.



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  • Anonymous

    Very nice! I bought a cutter for a few pounds and it worked very well, except for some rough edges. So I borrowed my wife’s nail file and smoothed out the rough edges and it’s all perfect. Rather this than wait for a new SIM and the likelihood of a different, less beneficial plan.

  • Martin

    Good job Leigh, I found a pdf template for sim cards. Could be handy for people if they don’t have a sim to use like you did.

    As you say, if you don’t feel confident and don’t have a new sim on the way, then wait.

  • Btw, it *is* possible (although even more fiddly) to cut a micro-sim down to a nano sim for use in an iPhone. In most cases it actually requires cutting away some of the actual chip though so it’s not for the faint hearted! I did mine though :)

  • Paul

    2% battery ??? LOL
    So after all that, you had to charge it up and wait anyway – he he he

  • Chris Higs

    When I got my Note II I didn’t want to wait for a micro SIM to be delievered so cut my own. Took a few alterations to get it to work without the phone not recognising it and every now and then would stop reading it.

    I got a tiny piece of paper, rolled it up, pushed it between the SIM and the holder to wedge it nicely in place and it’s been fine for 6 months.