This post is in honor of my sister's sore fingers after hanging pictures. Very simple tips that people just don't think of but wished that had. Here are a couple of nailing tips that I hope you find useful.
Most finger smacks from a hammer occurs when the hammer head skims off the nail head because the hammer head is too smooth. To help avoid this I keep the head of my hammer "roughen up". My Dad taught me this many years ago. Look at the hammer head to see if the surface is smooth like glass. If you can scrape your fingernail across the head surface and it feels smooth, then it needs to roughened. What I do is I vigorously rub the hammer head back and forth on rough concrete a for about 5 seconds. This will make small surface scratches on the hammer head and will reduce the chance of the head slipping off the nail.....this really make a difference.
When driving very small nails (or any nail if you are not a good nailer) just keep a pair of needlenose pliers around.
Needlenose pliers have many uses, one being you can hold the nail in the tip of the pliers to drive the nail and not smack your fingers.