We present a technique for fabricating nanoelectrode extensions to microcantilevers for multiprobe electrical characterization. For electrical measurements of fragile samples, such as thin films and nanostructures, it is advantageous to combine a small contact force with a small contact area, which can be done by reducing the dimensions of the electrodes to nanoscale dimensions. Here we report a fabrication method of a nanoscale four-point probe utilizing silicon nanowires as templates for metal electrodes. Using nanomanipulation, we attach 200–300 nm wide silicon nanowires to microfabricated cantilevers. By subsequently covering these nanowires with a metallic coating, they are made conducting and at the same time fixed to the cantilevers. These silicon nanowire four-point probes were tested on 7 and 35 nm thick Au films as well as poorly adhering 16 nm thin Au nanowires deposited on a silicon surface through a nanofabricated shadow mask. It was found that the nanowire extensions dramatically reduce the damage of the studied samples, while nearly reproducing the resistivity measurements of the unmodified, but more destructive micro four-point probes. ©2004 American Institute of Physics.