Both gain medium design and cavity geometry are known to be important for low threshold operation of semiconductor nanowire lasers. For many applications nanowire lasers need to be transferred from the growth substrate to a low-index substrate; however, the impact of the transfer process on optoelectronic performance has not been studied. Ultrasound, PDMS-assisted and mechanical rubbing are the most commonly used methods for nanowire transfer; each method may cause changes in the fracture point of the nanowire which can potentially affect both length and end-face mirror quality. Here we report on four common approaches for nanowire transfer. Our results show that brief ultrasound and PDMS-assisted transfer lead to optimized optoelectronic performance, as confirmed by ensemble median lasing threshold values of 98 and 104 μJ cm−2 respectively, with nanowires transferred by ultrasound giving a high lasing yield of 72%. The mean threshold difference between samples is shown to be statistically significant: while a significant difference in mean length from different transfer methods is seen, it is shown by SEM that end-facet quality is also affected and plays an important role on threshold gain for this nanowire architecture.