This perspective examines the state-of-the-art of catalysis by metal nanoparticles. We outline various methods for preparing metal nanoparticle suspensions, and highlight the role of the stabilizers and the stabilizing principles. Subsequently, we examine some catalytic applications of homometallic and bimetallic nanoparticle suspensions in a variety of reactions. The cases are divided according to the stabilizing agent: polymers, dendrimers, ionic liquids, surfactants, micelles and micoremulsions, ligands and solid supports. We explain the importance of atom/ion leaching (all too frequent in nanoparticle catalysis, especially for the catalytically active group VIII metals) and consider ways of minimizing it. The future perspectives of nanoparticles as catalysts are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.