There’s a rise in the number of user-generated content on video sharing sites such as YouTube. But precisely what do YouTubers use to edit videos? And most importantly, what are the best free non-linear video editors available?
There are quite a few variables that can determine what the best video editor is for you. The types of content and audience, as well as the capability of your computer, all have a huge part in determining what video editor is best for you. And although there’s no clear-cut answer to these questions, this page will give you some helpful suggestions.
Here’s our list of the 6 best free video editors in the market. Although these programs are robust and can create some fantastic content, you need to make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements for running these video editors before downloading and using them.
1. Davinci Resolve
Davinci Resolve is a cross-platform program that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you’re new to video editing, this powerful software might not be the tool you’re looking for. What YouTubers use to edit videos should help them accomplish their tasks quickly, and not slow them down. This program is best for intermediate and advanced editors and moviemakers.
Davinci Resolve version 16 has a lot less complicated workflow than previous versions. But the interface can still be daunting, especially for first-time users. Different workspaces are available on the interface for working with your edits. These workspaces (known as pages) are lined up at the bottom of the program’s window. These include Media, Cut, Edit, Fusion, Color, and Deliver.
Instead of a complicated Edit page, Davinci Resolve 16 has the Cut page that lets you edit more quickly. The Color page also offers some amazingly powerful color effects that can give your video a professional look.
Davinci Resolve has quite a different style from many traditional video editors, and more powerful too! Note that you’ll need a good graphics card to enjoy using Davinci Resolve, especially if your video is somewhat lengthy.
Shotcut is an open-source video editor that you can use on Mac, Windows, and Linux. This simple video editor is completely free – it has no pro version, so there’s no need for an upgrade. This program is highly recommended for you if you are thinking of starting a YouTube channel and looking for what YouTubers use to edit videos.
At first glance, the interface might not be as intuitive as you’d expect. However, a lot of the tools and features are hidden in the buttons at the top of the window. It has all the traditional elements of a video editor such as filters, trimming, and so on. It also offers a handful of transitions and effects that might not be as flashy as other editing programs but which are okay for a free video editor.
Shotcut supports a wide range of import and export formats, so you can quickly add videos you recorded on most devices, as well as publish them in different formats.
3. Hitfilm Express
Hitfilm Express is another free video editor available for Windows and Mac. Although it is a free program, it is truly remarkable, nonetheless. Beginners to video editing, as well as advanced editors, will be happy with this software because it can create some astonishing results.
You are presented with great ideas when you start the program. You can follow up on these ideas or work with something you already have in mind. The interface is quite similar to many traditional video editors, but its unique features are likely to take some getting used to. It has some great tools, including keying for green-screen effects, layers and masking, advanced cutting tools, video and audio filters, and composition tools, among others.
Hitfilm Express has high-quality animation options that are quite impressive and hard to come by for free. If you feel a little bit overwhelmed by some of its features at first, you can play around with the composition tool, drag and drop clips to the timeline, as well as add effects to your clips.
Note that you do need to register your free copy of this program to remove the watermark.
If you’re wondering what YouTubers use to edit videos when they don’t have a powerful computer, then the VSDC video editor might just be what you’re looking for. VSDC is a free non-linear video editor that lets you create and edit videos in all types of formats. You can even edit 4K videos with VSDC. However, you can only use this software on Windows as it doesn’t support Mac, Linux, and other operating systems.
Finding things on VSDC is quite easy – a lot of the options you’ll need can be assessed by right-clicking different objects on the interface. But you need to be aware that VSDC uses slightly different terms for naming some tools and options.
For example, terms such as “media” and “merge” as used in other video editing programs are called “object” and “sprite” in VSDC. However, it has all the traditional options such as split, cut, rotate, crop, and so on.
VSDC supports HD and 4K exports directly to YouTube. And if you intend to publish your finished video on social media, VSDC offers the option to save your finished video in preset profiles for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, that’s some superb services for a free video editor!
5. OpenShot Video Editor
OpenShot is another high-quality open-source video editor designed for Linux, Mac, and Windows. A lot of beginners who will like to know what YouTubers use to edit videos will find this simple but powerful software impressive. This program creates stunning video projects using a combination of animations, transitions, and time control.
OpenShot has a neat and simple interface – no overwhelming menus and options. You can add your media to the library before dragging them into different tracks. The Effect and Transition features of this program are really fantastic – they are over 400 transitions!
You can create more tracks to layer your audios, images, videos, and even watermarks. Individual tracks can be locked in place or moved up and down. Apart from adjusting tracks, OpenShot also lets you adjust clips on the timeline by rotating, snapping, trimming, alpha, scaling and changing the X, Y locations. Perhaps more interesting is the program’s ability to interactively resize your clips using the transform tool.
With OpenShot, you can slow down, speed up, and reverse the direction of videos using the keyframe animation system. Equally, correcting your video clips is easy with options that allow you to alter gamma, brightness, chroma-key, grayscale, hue, and so on.
Apart from all of these, this open-source video editor is loaded with lots of video effects – some animated – to help you create professional-looking projects. OpenShot lets you export your finished projects in almost any format you can think of – just look in the export dialogue box, and you are sure to find the format you want.
Last on our list of best free video editors for YouTubers is Lightworks. The program is available in Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is one of the powerful tools that many YouTubers use to edit videos.
Lightworks has an interface that is made up of panels such as bins, timelines, and edit review. When you add videos, they are kept in bins. You can drag them from bins to the timeline, and as you work on the clips, you can view them from the edit review panel. Although Lightworks is similar to many video editors, mastering its powerful features and toolkit will take some time for beginner-editors.
The drag and drop method makes it easy to edit clips and shots in Lightworks. The program lets you grade and blend colors to improve your video image easily. Blurs, color correction, and masks are just a few of the effects you can use to edit your clips. In addition to the many preset effects available in Lightworks, you can create custom-made effects to give your video your unique touch.
You can export your project directly to YouTube and even add meta tags to make it easier to find your videos on the web. Keep in mind that your video quality cannot be higher than 720p HD when you are using the free version of Lightworks. Also, the option to export to Blu-ray and DVD is not available in the free version. To use access all of these options, you’ll need to purchase the paid version.
That completes our list of 6 free video editors, which, in our opinion, are the best for YouTubers. Creating fantastic content on YouTube begins with having the right video editing tool. So if you’ve always asked: what do YouTubers use to edit videos? Now you know! Take the time to test these free video editors to be sure that they work on your computer before upgrading to a paid plan if necessary.