There are a lot of amazing video sharing platforms these days. Beyond the obvious ones like YouTube and Facebook, you have smartphone specific apps like Tik Tok and IGTV. This being the case, we’re not surprised you’re looking for some top-quality video editing programs. Simply filming the best video isn’t enough these days. You need to know how to edit videos too. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to edit your video files, make them look as professional as possible, and then make them available cross-platform to Windows, Android, or Apple Mac OS, iPhone, and iPad so that as many people as possible can see them .
As if editing video clips wasn’t hard enough already, getting your hands on a decent video editor can end up costing an arm and a leg. Therefore, we’re bringing you a list of all the best FREE video editors.
Best free video editing software
As you’ll probably imagine, a lot of the free video editing programs we’re going to include in this list will be related to more fully featured, yet paid for, versions of the same program. HitFilm Express is one such video editing tool that offers an impressive Pro version of the software for $299. The great thing about the latest free version of HitFilm Express, however, is that it has a lot of features that have come from past Pro versions. Let’s take a closer look.
HitFilm Express uses a timeline editor interface and offers some user-friendly playback options that will help you out when you’re trying to edit your professional video. Impressively, a recent update also added the ability to edit 4K (4096 X 2160) footage, and even the ability to use the power of your GPU, with Nvidia and Intel support, to help with decoding. Other key features include 360 degree editing, special effects, video effects, multicam support, 3D effects, and GoPro support to name but a few. You’ll also be able to publish your videos into multiple output formats.
There are trade-offs, however. For a start, although you don’t have to pay for the free version you will have to ‘earn’ it. You’ll have to mention the developers on social media before they’ll give you access. On top of that, there are also some add-on features like animated text that you’ll have to pay for.
VSDC Free Video Editor
There is an awful lot you can do with the free version of VSDC Video Editor. There are many audio editing features, sound effects, and visual effects available for you to play around with. VSDC also offers green screen capabilities and there are a lot of cool Instagram-like filters that you can use to enhance your footage.
The downsides related to VSDC are mostly related to its interface. Its enhanced feature set make its interface rather complicated and a little daunting for beginners. There is a lot going on here. Fortunately, however, VSDC has a comprehensive YouTube channel filled with video tutorials for all the main features. There is also a paid real-time support service for free users that starts at $10. There is, however, a premium version of VSDC available, which is much cheaper than some of the other premium versions we’ve featured on this list.
Lightworks is a well-known video editor that offers comprehensive control over all the snips and cuts you’ll need to turn your home movies into Hollywood style blockbusters. Lightworks has been used to edit Hollywood movies including Martin Scorsese’s movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
Obviously, the free version isn’t as fully featured as the pro version, which costs $24.99 a month or $437.99 outright. With the free version you’ll only be able to export your movies to YouTube or Vimeo and only with a maximum resolution of 720p. You will, however, be able to import all video formats and use a wide range of the pro features, you’ll just be heavily limited in your video export file format options.
Blender is a rare thing of beauty among free video editing programs. Rather being a free version of a pro product, Blender is a completely free piece of software as it is open source. That means Blender is a community developed product that has been put together by developers all over the world. This isn’t just good because it means the software is free, it also means that new advanced features often come from video editors themselves who’ve noticed a shortcoming in the software’s capabilities.
Cool features that come as standard with Blender include being able to Live Preview your work, which could be made of up to 32 separate tracks each capable of holding video, images, masks, effects, and audio tracks. Other key features include transitions, filters, and speed control.
As you’d expect from a community led program, however, Blender can be a little hard to take in at times and has quite the steep learning curve. There is no set manual explaining how everything works and you won’t be able to rely on official support channels. If you look hard enough though, you should be able to find all the help you need on the online Blender forums or YouTube.
Like HitFilm Express, DaVinci Resolve has a premium version that comes in a $299. The free version of DaVinci Resolve, however, has some very capable features and should be more than enough for all amateur film makers.
DaVinci Resolve has a fully featured editing suite and offers high-resolution editing all the way up to Ultra HD and at an impressive 60 frames per second. Furthermore, it is much easier to use and has a more intuitive interface than the likes of VSDC. DaVinci also offers faster rendering times than the free version of HitFilm Express, which could give this the edge when you’re looking for a free video editing suite.
We’ve outlined five of the best free video editors for you to download for free. Each represent a high level of editing features and could see you producing very professional looking results. We have assumed a certain level of video-editing ability here, with each program catering to video editors who already know what they’re doing. We’ve also not spoken about editing apps like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, which target professionals.
If you’re just getting started with your new hobby and you’re just looking to make a few YouTube videos, we recommend looking for more beginner friendly programs like iMovie or Movie Maker. It is worth pointing out again though, that many of the programs we’ve listed do have online technical support channels, extensive YouTube tutorials, or community-based forums all designed to help you learn how to use your new tools.