11 Best Free Video Editor Tools for Beginners

Do you want to learn how to edit videos but aren’t sure where to start? As difficult as learning a new skill often is, the financial cost of video editing software is typically even more of an impediment. If you are not sure where to spend your money — or if you even want to spend money — consider free video editing software to get started.

Video editing tools help users digitally edit video and audio files to create promotional materials, educational guides, short videos and feature length films, to name a few. The best free video editor software for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android can provide the tools you need, on any device. Without video editing tools, we wouldn’t have my favorite short-length video format: the music video.

Topping the list of the 25 most-viewed music videos of all time, is “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. Uploaded on Jan. 12, 2017, “Despacito” received 5.14 million views within its first 24 hours, and has been viewed 4.49 billion times as of Dec. 12, 2017.

Directed by Carlos Perez and produced by Joanna Egozcue and Roxy Quiñones, the music video was filmed in La Perla neighborhood and a popular bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.The video editor deftly cuts between Fonsi and Yankee performing the song, and Zuleyka Rivera wandering through La Perla and dancing at a club. The video editor transforms the long shots of film into, arguably, the music compelling music video of all time.

Without further ado, let’s talk free video editor tools for beginners and get you on your way to video editing mastery. The following list includes video editing tools that are free to download, or include free trials.

Best Free Video Editor Software

Here are the best free video editor software in 2018

  1. Lightworks
  2. VSDC Free Video Editor
  3. DaVinci Resolve
  4. Filmora
  5. Freemake
  6. iMovie
  7. Camtasia
  8. Clipchamp
  9. Shotcut
  10. HitFilm Express
  11. Media 100
For each free video editor I provide:
  • An overview
  • Highlighted features
  • Free and paid options details

I have pulled all of the product details highlighted herein directly from the vendors’ websites. I elucidate the free options so you will know if these products are available as free licenses or temporary free trials. I have also highlighted the paid options so there are no surprises. If you test a free video editor application, like it and want to upgrade, you will understand the cost to do so.

For the best free video editor tools with G2 Crowd verified user reviews, I have included:
  • G2 Crowd star rating
  • Reviews highlighting what users like and dislike
  • User recommendations for those considering the product

Lightworks Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: Lightworks
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars


Overview

Lightworks, a professional non-linear editing (NLE) software (non-destructive to source material), can produce video in SD and HD with up to 4K resolution. (Thelma Schoonmaker used it on “The Wolf of Wall Street.”)

Free option
  • Free license version limited to a 1080p Vimeo export
  • Can’t import 4K video files
  • No Blackmagic or AJA camera support
  • Limited exporting options
Paid option

Lightworks Pro license, including Boris Graffiti and FX packages, costs:

  • $25 per month
  • $175 per year
  • $438 outright
Features
  • Simple and intuitive User Interface
  • Easy timeline editing and trimming
  • Real time ready to use audio and video
  • FX access to royalty-free audio and video content
  • Lo-Res Proxy workflows for 4K export video for YouTube/Vimeo and SD/HD
  • Video tutorials available via Lightworks YouTube channel
What users like

“Lightworks is a very powerful editing processor comparable to paid editing software, such as Adobe Premiere. Creating new projects is incredible intuitive. Once I select my folder of clips and click import, the software starts to analyze all of my clips instantly and all the videos assemble in an orderly fashion.” — Lightworks review by Jason R.

What users dislike

“I don’t really get a sense of where my data is being stored — it’s not intuitive. If you have an assistant editor who knows it well, it’s a non-issue. If you’re on your own, though, it may take you some time to get up to speed.” — Lightworks review by a user in the entertainment industry.

Recommendations to others considering the product

“I’d recommend starting with the trial and comparing it to other programs like Premiere, Final Cut, Vegas, Media Composer and Edius. The program is very unique but it can also be very powerful. The integration with things like Boris FX is very useful.” — Lightworks review by KC M.


VSDC Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: VSDC Free Video Editor
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a


Overview

VSDC is a Windows-based professional NLE suite.

Free option
  • Download and use completely free without restrictions
  • No trial period, watermarks or ads
Paid option
  • Technical support prices start at $10 for Free option
  • Video Editor Pro is available for $19.99
Features
  • Non-linear video editor
  • Visual and audio effects are split into five categories: color correction, object transformation, object filters, transition effects and special effects
  • Blending modes and Instagram-like filters
  • Create different shaped masks for hiding, blurring or highlighting certain elements in your video and apply special effects inside or outside the masked area
  • Easy export to social networks
  • Subpixel accuracy provides smooth animation, rotation, transformation and precise relative positioning
What users say

Be the first to write a VSDC Free Video Editor review!


DaVinci Resolve Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: DaVinci Resolve
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Overview

DaVinci Resolve provides professional tools for video and audio editing in SD, HD and Ultra HD.

Free option
  • DaVinci Resolve 14
Paid option
  • DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio for $299
Features
  • Professional editing, color correction and Fairlight audio tools for SD, HD and Ultra HD work at up to 60 frames per second
  • Includes virtually every imaginable editing and trimming tool available
  • Includes fully featured Fairlight audio in the same software you use for editing and color correction
  • Picture editors, colorists and sound editors can work in parallel
  • Runs on all major platforms: Mac, Windows and Linux
  • Video tutorials available on Blackmagic Design YouTube channel
What users like

“Resolve is so intuitive, so powerful and so incredibly funneled. You know exactly what you need to do and how to achieve it. If you’re a new user, the sheer amount of options might seem a bit overwhelming, but every single second spent learning is an investment. Especially since Blackmagic offers something that makes this editing software unrivaled: a full-featured free version. Render times are amazing and coupled with the unparalleled color science from Blackmagic, Resolve is a powerhouse.” — DaVinci Resolve review by João D.

What users dislike

“I don’t use it for every project and the learning curve is just steep enough that I often have to relearn how to use certain features. There are so many features that it can be overwhelming.” — DaVinci Resolve review by Brandon P.

Recommendations to others considering the product

“Download the free version and try a test project – you’ll love it straight away, even if it takes a while to learn. You can customize the interface to look like your previous editor for easier transition. Even the paid studio version is much cheaper than the competition.” — DaVinci Resolve review by Marius S.


Filmora Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: Filmora
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars


Overview

Filmora is a Mac-, Windows-, iOS- and Android-based video editor.

Free option
  • Free trial with Filmora watermark
Paid option
  • 1 year license fo $44.99
  • Lifetime license for $59.99
  • Multi-users lifetime license for 2-5 PCs for $179.97
Features
  • 4K editing and GIF support
  • Noise removal, reverse, color tuning and camera shake effects
  • Social Import
  • Precision speed control
  • Frame by frame preview, pan and zoom and 1:1 & portrait Ssupport
  • Add up to 5 text tracks and 10 music tracks to your timeline
  • Picture in picture (PIP) track, audio mixer, advanced text editing
  • Green Screen, split screen and screen recording
  • Selection of color grading presets inspired by popular movies
  • Video Stabilization, tilt shift and audio separation
  • Video tutorials available on Filmora YouTube channel
What users like

“This is a no nonsense product with lots of built in features that a novice or experienced user can use. If I need to quickly put together a video with titles and some effects, I can do so without too much of a learning curve. It enables you to drag and drop media content and save it to many different formats. The best part of this software is the ease of use. I need to get my content out quickly; I am always on a strict deadline. I need solutions that are quick and effective and FIlmora fits that need.” — Filmora review by Alfredo K.

What users dislike

“I signed up for the free version to test it out, only to find out after spending three hours on my first video that it would have the company watermark prominently displayed throughout my video unless I purchased a license.” — Filmora review by Mary E.

Recommendations to others considering the product

“I feel like this is most useful for people who want to learn video editing and cannot afford the software as of yet. I’m certain that with knowledge of how all the features work, it would be an adequate program but at some point you will need to upgrade.” — Filmora review by Brittany B.


Freemake Free Video Editor

Product Name: Freemake
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars


Overview

Freemake provides free video editing software without registration, time limitations or hidden costs.

Free option
  • All Freemake programs are free to download; no trials or limitations
Features
  • Video converter and downloader
  • Convert to MP4, MP3, AVI, WMV, DVD, iPhone, Android
  • Convert YouTube to anything
  • Cut, join and rotate clips
  • Convert movie with subtitles
  • Embed video to websites
  • Video tutorials available on Freemake YouTube channel
What users like

“This is absolutely the best video converter out there — it’s easy to learn for novices and also has strong functionality. It’s free, so try it out.” — Freemake review by Eugene C.

What users dislike

“I’ve had trouble converting files once or twice but normally it works exactly as advertised.” — Freemake review by Jordan W.


iMovie Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: iMovie
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars


Overview

iMovie provides Apple-based video editing software: you can start editing on an iPhone or iPad and then finish on your Mac.

Free option
  • Free for macOS and iOS
Features
  • Select from dozens of styles to add beautifully animated titles and credits
  • Add a broadcast feel to your school report with picture-in-picture and split-screen effects
  • Choose from 10 creative video filters that add a cinematic touch
  • Built-in music, sound effects, and voiceover
What users like

“This video editor is easy to use! it is seriously one of the highest quality, yet simple to use products out there. It has enough features to let you do some real work, yet also is easy enough that your grandma can put a slideshow together of her trip to Branson!” — iMovie review by Ben P.

What users dislike

“Learning iMovie can be challenging. The layout is not “beginning user-friendly.” I don’t like the fact that the color correction for video clips isn’t the easiest to use. In addition, I feel like they need to have more options when it comes overlapping pictures and a wider range of background choices.” — iMovie review by Elizabeth H.

Recommendations to others considering the product

“You cannot expect iMovie to be a pro video editing software because it is not. I would recommend it for students or small businesses that do not need a lot of effort in their videos. You can make a good video but not a professional one due to the lack of features.” — iMovie review by Mariana I.


Camtasia Free Video Editor

Product Name: Camtasia
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Overview

Camtasia provides tools to customize and edit videos.

Free option
  • Free 30-day trial
Paid option
  • Single-user license for $199.00
  • Upgrade current license for $99.50
Features
  • Record your screen, make edits and add effects
  • Make training and support videos: record mouse movement, show keystrokes and add notes
  • Create marketing and demo videos: drag-and-drop editor, motion graphics and music tracks
  • Transform powerpoint presentations and webinars into compelling video
  • Create engaging educational videos
What users like

“The application is easy-to-use and has all of the features I need in a program of this type. The screencasting is very easy and editing it after is not difficult. I feel like I am producing quality products with Camtasia.” — Camtasia review by Jodie D.

What users dislike

“Having used professional software like Sony Vegas and Adobe Premier, I am a little frustrated by the lack of features and the quality of life elements in Camtasia. It’s obviously geared more towards editing screen-captured footage rather than footage taken with a camera. For example, it’s very hard to make precision edits if you’re trying to sync footage to music. The animation options are pretty limited and doing anything beyond simple edits requires some fussy work.” — Camtasia review by Phil A.

Recommendations to others considering the product

“This product is for beginner level video editors creating simple projects. If you hire a veteran film editor working on big projects, Camtasia will be too limited for them. However, it’s an amazing value for training new people to edit videos and it’s perfect for small teams that can’t afford a full time videographer. I was able to get up and running quickly and train two other guys to use it basically in an afternoon!” — Camtasia review by Phil A.


Clipchamp Free Video Editor

Product Name: Clipchamp
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a


Overview

Clipchamp provides a private, browser-based video editor and webcam recorder.

Free option
  • Basic is limited for personal use
Paid option
  • Business is $7.50 per month billed annually or $9 month to month
  • Professional is $82 per month billed annually or $99 month to month
  • Business is $249 per month billed annually or $299 month to month
Features
  • 5 videos per month
  • 5 min per video webcam recordings
  • Unlimited maximum input video length
  • Unlimited maximum input video size
  • Video compression
  • Batch video processing
  • Plugins available for WordPress, Slack and Gmail
  • Video tutorials and training available on Clipchamp YouTube channel
What users say

Be the first to write a Clipchamp review!


Shotcut Free Video Editor

Product Name: Shotcut
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a


Overview

Shotcut is a Windows-, Mac- and Linux-based free and open source, cross-platform video editor.

Free option
  • Free and open-source
Features
  • Support for a wide range of formats
  • Audio features
  • Video effects
  • Editing features
  • No import required meaning native timeline editing
  • Blackmagic Design support for input and preview monitoring
  • Resolution support to 4k
  • Tutorials available
  • Video tutorials and training available on Shotcut YouTube channel
What users say

Be the first to write a Shotcut review!


HitFilm Express Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: HitFilm Express
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a


Overview

HitFilm Express 2017 is a Mac- and Windows-based free editing and VFX software. It is the free version of HitFilm Pro.

Free option
  • HitFilm Express is free to download
Paid option
  • HitFilm Express add-ons are available for purchase starting at $10
Features
  • 2D and 3D effects compositing
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Over 180 visual effects
  • Editor with transitions and unlimited tracks
  • International filmmaking community
  • Video tutorials and training available on HitFilm YouTube channel
What users say

Be the first to write a HitFilm Express review!


Media 100 Best Free Video Editor

Product Name: Media 100
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a


Overview

Media 100 Suite is a macOS-based free professional video editor for for tape or digital.

Free option
  • Free to download
Features
  • Easy-to-use, responsive interface
  • Broad support for 4K, 2K, HD, and SD standards
  • Edit in Media 100 and export their Media 100 timeline to Adobe After Effects for finishing
  • Boris RED is included for integrated transitions and titling on the Media 100 timeline
  • Eye Scream Factory’s “100 Essential Transitions” package is included featuring a variety of designer transition effects including artistic dissolves, glow dissolves, luma dissolves, pullswaps, rays dissolves and Wipes
What users say

Be the first to write a Media 100 review!


Next steps for selecting a best free video editor

Those researching these best free video editor software online can sift through hundreds of verified user reviews on G2 Crowd to find the best option. Video editing tools often integrate with video effects software, as well as animation software and 3D design software. Check out the video editing software category where you can compare products, discover available features and read user reviews.

Learn more about video editing software: 

* Please note: Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.