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There are many different ways to handle hamsters, although not all of them are the correct way.  Make sure your hamster smells you, and knows you're there before you try to pick it up.  Otherwise you will probably be nipped, and it isn't the best feeling.  Hold your hamster close to your body, and as low as possible.  This will make it feel secure, and if he jumps it won't be a long fall.  Another way you can pick up your hamster is by the scruff of the neck.  I don't believe this hurts them, because it is the way the mom carries her babies. It also allows you to look at the teeth. Some people don't feel comfortable picking them up this way though.  

Proper way to scruff a hamster.

This way of handling could possibly hurt
the hamster.