Activated carbon-supported Ni and Cu catalysts were prepared by the conventional wetness impregnation method, and their catalytic activity for benzaldehyde hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis was tested at atmospheric pressure in the temperature range of 100–250 °C. Benzyl alcohol, toluene and methylcyclohexane were obtained through consecutive hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis reactions while benzene was formed by a parallel hydrogenolysis reaction. The obtained yields depended on the nature of the metal active phase and reaction conditions. The catalysts were characterized by ICP, BET, TEM and XRD techniques and their reducibilities were determined by hydrogen chemisorption. The factors governing the catalytic performances are discussed.