Platinum nanocubes and nanopolyhedra with tunable size from 5 to 9 nm were synthesized by controlling the reducing rate of metal precursor ions in a one-pot polyol synthesis. A two-stage process is proposed for the simultaneous control of size and shape. In the first stage, the oxidation state of the metal ion precursors determined the nucleation rate and consequently the number of nuclei. The reaction temperature controlled the shape in the second stage by regulation of the growth kinetics. These well-defined nanocrystals were loaded into MCF-17 mesoporous silica for examination of catalytic properties. Pt loadings and dispersions of the supported catalysts were determined by elemental analysis (ICP-MS) and H(2) chemisorption isotherms, respectively. Ethylene hydrogenation rates over the Pt nanocrystals were independent of both size and shape and comparable to Pt single crystals. For pyrrole hydrogenation, the nanocubes enhanced ring-opening ability and thus showed a higher selectivity to n-butylamine as compared to nanopolyhedra.