In the present study, residual stress is measured in fiber-reinforced SWCNT/epoxy at weight fractions of 0.1% and 0.5% with a cross-ply layup on a micro-scale. The mechanical properties of the SWCNT/epoxy composites were determined by tensile testing and the Young's modulus of the epoxy increased moderately with the addition of CNTs. The micro-residual stress of the cross-ply CF/epoxy and CNF-reinforced CF/epoxy laminates were measured using a new experimental approach. The micro-hole was milled by laser beam and the surface displacement was recorded by SEM after milling. In order to determine the residual stress from the recorded strain, the calibration matrix was calculated using the finite element method. The residual stress was obtained at a certain hole depth of specimens. The reliability of this approach was assessed by comparing the residual stress measurements from this method and from the standard hole-drilling method. The experimental results of the present approach confirmed that laser hole drilling SEM-DIC has excellent potential as a reliable method for measuring residual stress in polymer nanocomposites. Generally, CNT agglomerates, especially in high weight fractions, increased the micro-residual stress. An analytical method based on classical theory was used to calculate the residual stress and was compared with the experimental results. Good agreement was found between the results of the analytical methods and the experimental measurement.