The three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic flow and heat transfer of Sisko nanofluid across a bidirectional stretching sheet are examined numerically. Nonlinear thermal radiation is incorporated into the energy equation. The reduced governing PDEs are solved by using the bvp5c Matlab package. The local Nusselt number and wall friction are computed at different pertinent parameters. With the help of graphical illustrations, we studied the momentum and thermal boundary layer behavior. It is found that the flow and thermal boundary layers of Cu-water nanofluid are higher than the methanol-Cu nanofluid. © 2017 Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.