When assembling furniture or working on some other decorative wood project, you need a hammer that will drive a nail without marring the surface of the wood. Go with the soft-face hammer for job. The faces of soft-face hammers are usually made of plastic or rubber. Use a rubber mallet when you hammer a finished-metal surface.
In addition to creating a pilot hole, lubricating the nail with beeswax and blunting the nail will also keep the wood from splitting. To blunt a nail, simply tap the nail point with your hammer. Also, avoid hammering a nail into the grain of the wood. Use a rubber mallet when you hammer a finished-metal surface.
If you’re driving in nails that are too small to hold between your thumb and forefinger, this handyman tip: Grab a piece of thin cardboard or thick paper and push the nail through it. Instead of holding onto the nail, you hold onto the cardboard. Remove the cardboard before you finish driving the nail.
Never use a hammer with a chipped or cracked head. It’s an accident waiting to happen.