12 Best Free Video Editing Software: Comparison Guide for 2021

12 Best Free Video Editing Software: Comparison Guide for 2021
Brian Nuckols

Written by:
Brian Nuckols

May 04, 2021

Are you looking for the best free video editing software?

Here’s a list of the 12 best free video editing software you can use to create beautiful videos to bring your vision to life.

  1. Visme
  2. Apple iMovie
  3. OpenShot
  4. Lightworks
  5. Shotcut
  6. Magisto
  7. VideoPad
  8. WeVideo
  9. VEED.io
  10. DaVinci Resolve
  11. Blender
  12.  VSDC

In this comparison guide, we’ll examine each of these tools, explore the creative options they offer and try to determine which service is best for your needs.

Let’s get started!


12 Top Free Video Editing Software to Level Up Your Video Content

Tool #1: Visme

Tool #2: Apple iMovie

Tool #3: OpenShot

Tool #4: Lightworks

Tool #5: Shotcut

Tool #6: Magisto

Tool #7: VideoPad

Tool #8: WeVideo

Tool #9: VEED.io

Tool #10: DaVinci Resolve

Tool #11: Blender

Tool #12: VSDC


Tool #1: Visme

While Visme is not an advanced video editor like some of the other tools on this list, it's still an excellent choice if you're looking to create social media videos, marketing videos, explainer videos and animated posts for free.

The biggest benefit of using Visme is you get a whole workshop for your brand. Other than videos, you can create animated infographics, video presentations, proposals and reports, and dozens of other content types. You can also add your videos to other projects with a few clicks.

Now that we’ve explored a brief overview of Visme, let’s dive into a more in-depth exploration of all the cool features Visme has to offer.



One of Visme’s best features is that it’s easy to use. Switching from frame to frame in your video is simple, and the tool is built with non-video editors in mind. It’s intuitive, which means many users can go from signing up to making cool videos in minutes.

Visme's video editor has a nice sidebar that allows you to browse through millions of free stock videos and photos. You can also access free, exclusive graphics, such as animated icons, illustrations and characters. The best part is they're all customizable!

Create your own video today!Sign up. It's free.

Additionally, Visme provides several customizable templates that make it simple to create videos. Plus, the template library is restocked often, and there are several stylistic choices available, from minimalist to flashy.

Visme also provides animation functionality that unlocks special video effects more typical of expensive movie maker software like Adobe Premiere Pro.

Finally, you can download your finished products with Visme’s free version without any watermarks. There’s no catch. You can go from nothing to professional social media videos for free using Visme.

Video Templates

Create an engaging video online quickly and easily by getting started with one of Visme’s professionally designed templates. Upload to YouTube, share a video ad on social media and more. Find a video template that your audience will love.



Visme offers a free account that you can use for as long as you like. You can access several free video templates and limited graphic assets.

However, you're unable to download your videos in MP4 format in the free version at this time. You can only share them online via a link or embed them on your website.

To access premium templates, unlimited graphic assets and more download formats, you can upgrade to a paid plan. The MP4 download format is available in the Business plan.

Below are Visme's current pricing plans.

  • Standard: $15/month.
  • Business: $29/user/month.
  • Enterprise: Get in touch for custom pricing.
  • Nonprofits and educators get a special discount.

Create and edit videos easily with Visme!

  • Choose from our customizable video templates
  • Customize fonts and colors to match your brand
  • Access animated design elements that tell your story

Sign up. It's free.


Tool #2: Apple iMovie

iMovie is free video editing software for iOS and macOS. It’s a great free tool that allows you to complete some advanced video and audio editing tasks.

One of Apple’s main selling points is that with just a little training, you can create Hollywood-style video trailers. Also, something valuable to Apple users is that you quickly start editing on iPhone or iPad, then finish on your Mac computer.

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the basics of this iMovie video editor, we’ll explore some of its key features.



iMovie has solid usability for any user who doesn’t have access to some of the more comprehensive video editing tools on the market.

As you learn more about the iMovie, you start to discover all the different assets you have at your disposal.

For example, it’s simple to add music to your videos using your audio files. Plus, if you’re editing on your laptop, exporting to many video formats is as easy as one click.

If you’re an iPhone user, you can upload your videos to social media by exporting from the iMovie app.

There are currently 14 themes pre-programmed in iMovie. If you want to get more video themes, you should switch from iMovie to another video editing software like Visme.

In iMovie, you can only create animations if you have a preexisting graphic. To make the graphic, you’ll need to use a tool like Visme.



Apple iMovie is a completely free tool and does not offer any premium pricing plans.


Tool #3: OpenShot

OpenShot is an open-source video editor that works on most operating systems, including Linux. It’s been around for well over ten years.

OpenShot’s mission is to create a stable, accessible, and intuitive tool that makes video editing more accessible.



OpenShot invests a ton of effort into improving usability and accessibility for its users.

One great thing that OpenShot does is open source all of their visual elements, such as their stock icons. This allows users full access to the visuals they want to use in their videos.

Also, OpenShot has invested in a simplified export dialog. This is a fancy way of saying that the videos you export on OpenShot happen fast. No more waiting 45 minutes for your computer to be usable again as you’re waiting for a download.

The tool doesn’t offer any built-in template options, so you’ll need to create and edit your videos from scratch.

OpenShot has some basic animation features. You can check out some video tutorials on their YouTube channel.



OpenShot is a free tool and does not offer any premium pricing options.


Tool #4: Lightworks

Lightworks is known as a non-linear editing system for editing and mastering video files. It was an early development in the non-linear free software movement.

Non-linear editing is a unique form of editing where the original video content is never modified. In short, this can mean a higher video quality for some users.

Now that we’ve explored a basic overview of Lightworks let’s shift to a more detailed overview.



Lightworks is a great video editing tool that’s also easy to use. In fact, reviews consistently show that users enjoy using the tool because of its usability.

It’s known as a user-friendly and intuitive platform that can help photographers and videographers export their videos into various file formats.

If you need to use techniques like compositing, motion tracking or color correction, Lightworks might be a good video editing program for you. Also, you can use this video editing tool on both Windows and macOS.

On the downside, Lightworks does not have any built-in video templates. Also, the animation capabilities are limited. But you can use features like motion graphics and other visual effects to animate videos with some practice.



If you ever need to move beyond a free video editor, Lightworks has some premium options to help improve your video editing workflow.


Tool #5: Shotcut

Shotcut is a free open-source video editing platform that makes video editing accessible for many users. It has a robust free version and is a stable video editor for most users.

It’s one of the best video editing tools for the FreeBSD operating system. Additionally, Shotcut works on Linux, Mac and Windows.

With that brief introduction, let’s shift to our detailed look at some of Shotcut’s features.



Because Shotcut is built for users on the FreeBSD operating systems, its features are not as intuitive for more commonly used operating systems like Windows and Mac.

But for users who are familiar with FreeBSD and Linux, usability will not be a problem. Also, users who want a genuinely free video editor without watermarks will love Shotcut.

Shotcut does not have any built-in template options. If templates are a vital factor for you, a tool like Visme is a better choice.

When it comes to animation, Shotcut offers several options. You can find many Youtube tutorials on ways to animate with Shotcut.



Shotcut is free and does not include any premium pricing options.


Tool #6: Magisto

Magisto is a video editing platform that utilizes the power of artificial intelligence to provide a fast video editing experience and real-time playback for its users.

It’s known as a quick and efficient video editing tool that can help you create social media videos. The platform focuses on helping you go from idea to distribution fast.

Now that we’ve had a brief look at the Magisto platform, we’ll do a deeper dive to look more specifically at some of its features.



The Magisto brand is heavily invested in usability. Their online video editing app has an intuitive interface. There are some built-in analytics to help you measure how much impact you’re having with your video editing projects.

The AI-powered video maker takes care of a lot of analysis and gives feedback. Because it is a novel tool, there is a learning curve to get used to working with the AI editor.

Magisto is an excellent tool for AI enthusiasts who want to use the new technology to help them with their video editing projects. Additionally, Magisto is great for YouTubers who want sound effects and voice-overs.

When it comes to templates, Magisto takes a different approach. The AI platform suggests new layouts and designs with every upload. Basically, every upload is a new template.

Users who focus on speed and efficiency will love this feature, some users who want more customized options may find it lacking.

With some practice, you can make animated videos using Magisto. You can find tutorials on how to make this happen on their website.



Aside from the free version, Magisto offers some advanced features at premium pricing to help improve your video editing. Check out what you can unlock in the pricing table below.

Make video production easier than ever with Visme.

  • Choose from our fully customizable templates
  • Customize fonts and colors to match your brand
  • Access animated design elements that tell your story

Sign up. It's free.


Tool #7: VideoPad

VideoPad is a free video editor that will help you create professional-quality videos in minutes.

It’s an excellent tool for filmmakers using cameras like the GoPro or techniques like the green screen. You can also easily edit videos from DV camcorders and it has the proper encoding features to deal with all the popular video formats.

With that brief overview out of the way, let's dive into a more detailed breakdown of VideoPad.



VideoPad has an intuitive video editor that helps you take advantage of the numerous features that are available using the tool.

For example, VideoPad makes it easy to burn or upload videos to and from Blu-ray DVDs. This feature is essential for filmmakers who want to use DVD technology to showcase their films.

Additionally, VideoPad has over 50 visual effects that are available right inside of the video editor. The tool also has many templates and overlays within their Video Maker Wizard.

You can take advantage of different themes and stylistic choices to make your video creation process more efficient.

VideoPad also has the functionality to animate objects and visual elements in its video editor. You can check out their help docs that explain the process from start to finish.



If you need more advanced features, VideoPad offers premium pricing plans to help you improve your video editing. Take a look at the pricing options above.


Tool #8: WeVideo

WeVideo is a free, cloud-based video editing tool. It’s known for having a large selection of stock footage that users can take advantage of in their creations.

Also, WeVideo helps creators speed up their production process with its web and mobile app. These apps make it easy to work on your video no matter where you are and what device you’re using.

Let’s shift to a deeper dive into WeVideo to learn more about the features it offers to its users.



First, we’ll explore how WeVideo stacks up when it comes to ease of use. There are a few aspects of WeVideo that create a great user experience.

In particular, WeVideo has features like green screen mode to create a bigger budget look. These features are easy to access from right inside the WeVideo design editor.

Additionally, WeVideo has very low upload wait times. This helps users with varying levels of hardware capacity to have a good experience using the tool.

More advanced features like video stabilization or chroma key are also available using WeVideo.

The template options in WeVideo are relatively extensive. In the WeVideo editor, you have a choice to select and scroll through several templates of varying styles and content.

WeVideo has fairly robust animation capacities. You can animate visual elements within WeVideo by using their clip editor. If you’re getting stuck on this step, the WeVideo YouTube has tutorials that may help you out.



If you need more than what the free video editor can offer, WeVideo has additional options to help improve your video editing capacities. Check out the options above.


Tool #9: VEED.io

VEED.io is a free video editing tool that streamlines the process of captioning and creating social media videos.

Captioning is an essential consideration for both accessibility and performance on social media. VEED combines these two factors and helps you take advantage of both.

It also has a focus on simplicity. You can use VEED.io to get from your idea to a video generating engagement on social media quickly.



VEED.io scores highly when it comes to usability and ease of use. An important part of their brand is the idea that you can create videos with a single click. The drag and drop editor allows you to create videos quickly and easily.

VEED is an excellent choice for teams that want to increase their social media engagement on visual-intensive platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

Captioning is crucial on these platforms to increase engagement and make an impact on your audience. VEED streamlines the captioning process and makes it easy.

The tool has a library of short template options that you can use when using their editor. These templates mean you don’t have to start from scratch.

VEED does not invest heavily in animation. While they give you some options for adding stop motion and other effects, you’ll need a tool like Visme to create something more robust.



Other than the free version, VEED offers some premium pricing plans to help you do more. Here’s a screenshot of the detailed pricing table below.


Tool #10: DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve has some unique features that make it an exciting tool to review. Something they highlight as a differentiating factor is the combination of video editing, color correction, visual effects and audio post-production all in one editor.

With that brief introduction in mind, let’s shift to a more detailed exploration of DaVinci Resolve.



Something to note about DaVinci Resolve when it comes to ease of use is how they combine multiple tools into one editor. While this may seem complicated at first, there’s something to be said for having the ability to learn one tool for various jobs.

With that said, the tool does require more time on the front end to learn all of the available functionality. However, if you have multiple use cases for DaVinci Resolve in your workflow, then then the additional front-end time will be well worth the effort.

DaVinci Resolve does not come pre-built with any templates. However, many users on the web do offer templates for sale.

If you’re looking for templates that are free to use, you’ll need to look at a tool like Visme.

As for animation, DaVinci Resolve has limited capabilities. You can take advantage of them using what they call the unified inspector tool.



DaVinci Resolve is free and does not include any premium pricing options.


Tool #11: Blender

Blender is a free and open-source video editing tool that streamlines the process of editing videos. It’s cross-platform and works on Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems.

One thing that’s interesting about Blender is that it operates on a GNU general public license, meaning you have a lot of control and autonomy with the tool.

This is particularly relevant for users that enjoy editing tools and making their customizations.

Blender is an excellent choice for users who need modeling, rendering and 3D animation tools. Additionally, it’s a tool for users who have basic command line and programming skills.



Blender can be challenging to use for many people. It has some complicated features and it can be difficult to get started if you aren’t skilled with things like the command line and basic programming.

However, if you do have that level of literacy, Blender can offer an efficient and stripped-down user interface for you.

Blender goes in a different direction than many of the tools on our list when it comes to templates.

They use a feature called application templates that involve configuring settings while you’re using the tool. When you reboot the tool, a preset layout will render.

Blender has some truly robust animation capabilities. From 3D sculpting to VFX, there are many options for users who are interested in animation.



Blender is free and does not include any premium pricing options.


Tool #12: VSDC

Our final tool to explore is VSDC. It’s a free suite of video editing tools that are designed to help take your video and audio editing skills to the next level.

You can use VSDC to capture your screen, record voiceovers and export a video file into all the most popular file extensions.

Let’s dive into some of its available features.



One of the core features that VSDC promotes is their ease of use. Using VSDC, it’s easy to achieve a number of important, and sometimes complex, video editing tasks.

For example, you can take advantage of techniques like motion tracking, audio waveform editing and multi-color chroma key to isolate and remove colors.

These features are easily accessible from within the VSDC video editor.

VSDC does not come with prebuilt video templates in their free video editor, and the video editor offers little potential for animation.



VSDC offers premium plans to help you create better videos with more advanced features.

Make video production easier than ever with Visme.

  • Choose from our fully customizable templates
  • Customize fonts and colors to match your brand
  • Access animated design elements that tell your story

Sign up. It's free.


Looking for a Free Video Editing Software?

If you're still looking for free video editing software that offers a robust set of features, we suggest you look at your own use case.

If you’re looking to create and edit short videos for social media and marketing purposes, Visme offers everything you need at an affordable price.

You can access features like:

  • Dozens of customizable video templates for various use cases.
  • Pre-animated and customizable icons, illustrations, characters and more.
  • Timeline editor for layering audio, video and text easily.
  • Free libraries of millions of stock videos, audio clips and photos.
  • The ability to share your videos online, embed them or download them in MP4.

Get started with a free Visme account and take it for a test drive for as long as you like.

Create Stunning Content!

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    About the Author

    Brian Nuckols is a writer working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enjoys communicating visionary ideas in clear, action oriented language. When he’s not working on content for a transformative company you can find him analyzing dreams, creating music, and writing poetry.

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