CHD1 is a chromodomain-containing protein in the SNF2-like family of ATPases. Here we show that CHD1 exists predominantly as a monomer and functions as an ATP-utilizing chromatin assembly factor. This reaction involves purified CHD1, NAP1 chaperone, core histones and relaxed DNA. CHD1 catalyzes the ATP-dependent transfer of histones from the NAP1 chaperone to the DNA by a processive mechanism that yields regularly spaced nucleosomes. The comparative analysis of CHD1 and ACF revealed that CHD1 assembles chromatin with a shorter nucleosome repeat length than ACF. In addition, ACF, but not CHD1, can assemble chromatin containing histone H1, which is involved in the formation of higher-order chromatin structure and transcriptional repression. These results suggest a role for CHD1 in the assembly of active chromatin and a function of ACF in the assembly of repressive chromatin.