Rutile TiO2 nanoparticles have been synthesized by direct hydrolysis method using TiCl3, TiCl4 as starting materials, yielding two different morphologies. The hydrolysis of TiCl3 resulted in needlelike rutile titania with the specific surface area of 74.5m2/g, while round particles about 200~400 nm with small acicular at edge, with specific area as high as 175m2/g, were obtained using TiCl4 as starting materials. The precipitates from TiCl4 hydrolysis could be changed into anatase phase without filtering and separation by varying pH of the system. The phenomenon was explained from the viewpoint of structure. The photocatalysed properties of rutile powders were compared with those of anatase of the same specific surface area. Rutile powders with initial crystalline size of 7 nm were found to have higher photocatalysed activity in the phenol degradation reaction than that which anatase has. The high activity of the as prepared lab-made rutile was attributed to the abundance of hydroxy groups in powders, which was proved by TG data, making the degradation reaction have more active sites. The agglomeration form of the rutile powder makes it easy for separation and reuse.