5 Best Free Video Editing Software

Video editing has become an essential tool for animators, film students, and people hoping to make a splash on YouTube or Twitch. Many people buy refurbished MacBook airs specifically for this. The king of all video editing tools, Adobe Premiere Pro, is more expensive than most students are willing to pay for. So we’ve compiled some of our favourite video tools for an editor on a budget to bring into their collection.

iMovie

iMovie is available on refurbished Macbook Air computers

Free video editing software is available on every new and refurbished MacBook air the moment you open it up. iMovie is now over twenty years old, and that history has meant its developers have a great understanding of what its users need. Not quite as powerful as some other options on this list, iMovie still packs a punch and does everything a video editor will need.

iMovie supports 4K graphics video editing, high-fidelity filters, and can utilise every feature on a mac device including the newest models’ touch bars to make video editing as intuitive as possible. The interface is aesthetically pleasing and very uncluttered, so the stress is taken out of editing.

Above all, iMovie’s biggest selling point is the deep connection iMovie has to the rest of the Apple ecosystem. Effortlessly import music or videos from iTunes, go back and forth using iMovie on your iPhone or iPad as you edit, and enjoy the simple and intuitive interface that is standardised across Apple products.

iMovie is reflected at the consumer market, and this shows when you’re trying to edit hour-long clips at 4K or trying to compress its large video files. For everyday video editing though, iMovie gets the job done spectacularly well.

 

Lightworks

Video camera looking outside

Lightworks is another of the best free video editors you can get for Mac, designed for quick and easy editing of videos imported into the software. It is incredibly powerful and able to manipulate 4K quality video blisteringly fast while iMovie and others on this list stutter. Lightworks imitates in many ways Avid, the non-linear editing system of choice for those working in the film and video industry. Lightworks was the editing software of choice for movies from Pulp Fiction to Wolf of Wall Street. It is meant to be usable as a professional video editing tool, and it shows.

Lightwork excels especially at quick editing, you can easily add real-time effects, trim video clips, add voiceovers, do multi-cam editing, and more. The free version comes with some limitations, such as the inability to export to higher than 720 HD quality video, but the ease of complex editing makes it hugely popular.

 

Avidemux

Video camera looking towards window sill

Avidemux has a more specific purpose than the rest of the software on our list. If you have a video to configure for a particular speaker setup, the software does a beautiful job. If you also are looking for an incredibly simple video editing tool without a learning curve, Avidemux is excellent.

Avidemux’s interface is its most significant selling point: it is clean, bright, and a large space in the centre of the screen is devoted to showing you your video in action. This makes editing your video incredibly simple to do if you have never edited before.

The software is the most limited on our list, however, there are no flashy transitions or timeline to play with to finetune your clips. If you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use video editing tool, Avidemux is perfect.

 

DaVinci Resolve

Camera pointed at woman working

Similar to Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve has been a staple of high-end film production. Formerly a next-generation colour-grading system, DaVinci Resolve in 2009 became a full video editing tool completely full of features to impress those who want professional level software.

Casual users will be overwhelmed at the number of features available when you first open da Vinci. There is no in-built walkthrough or guides through the litany of features embedded in the tool. The best you get is different ‘pages’ to split up your editing process.

On the other hand, if there is something you want DaVinci to do, there is little you can throw at it that it cannot handle. It is more than able to take on large amounts of high-quality video data at once and has powerful sorting and metadata support to organise your video files. You can also mix audio from within the app itself, an extremely useful feature. Overall, if you want some powerful video editing software, DaVinci Resolve is a great place to start.

 

KineMaster

KineMaster is the only full-featured video editing tool available on Android, and one of the very few (other than iMovie) also available for iOS. For some lightweight video editing on the go, KineMaster is a wonderful app.

Despite being for mobile devices, it cannot edit multiple layers at once, add handwriting and annotations, editing audio tracks and manipulate video at a frame and subframe level. You can also add real-time video and audio directly from your mobile device and share onto YouTube, Facebook, DropBox, and more.

As it is ultimately only a mobile app, KineMaster is not the most powerful piece of software. However, it is more than able to do the video editing needs of vloggers, video journalists, educators, and others.

 

Have you tried up one of these tools? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for a computer to do some video editing on, have a look on our website and buy a refurbished macbook air! We have a wide range of stock available online and our experts are happy for you to get in touch to help you find the right laptop for your needs.