This paper investigates the role that particle size and morphology have in determining the final characteristics of a part produced by Direct Laser Deposition. Stainless steel 316L in the form of traditional gas-atomised powder or metal shavings in two size ranges were deposited into multiple-layer thin-walled parts at different process parameters. The walls were characterised, considering properties such as geometry, microstructure, composition, physical and corrosive properties. and results matched to the type of build material. Results showed that using particles of > 150 um ESD offered few functional advantages, leading to a process with lower deposition efficiency and part with lower mechanical properties. Using machined shavings increases deposition efficiency and can reduces gas porosity compared with powder in the same size range, but also results in higher surface oxidation, thought to be due to higher oxidation on the original shavings. This is a barrier for some applications, but the deposition of machined shavings offers significant economic advantages.