Shotcut Free Video Editor Review in 2021 – Is it Good Enough for New YouTubers?

Shotcut is a free and open source video editing software without watermark which lets you edit 4K videos on cross platforms i.e Windows, macOS and Linux. This software is said to be one of the best free video editing software for new YouTubers. Is it true? Let’s find out in this detail review of Shotcut in 2021.

Like many other open source software, Shotcut offers a wide array of video editing features completely free of charge. You can cut, trim your video, add transition between clips, add text to the video, special effect as well as a bunch of advance effect like chroma key, video keyframe, color grading tools etc. without any restriction. And, finally, export your project into different video formats without watermark on the output. It’s great! Because many other so called “free video editors” will leave a huge watermark on the output when you want to get your project exported.


  • Free, no watermark on the output.
  • Easy to use and lightweight.
  • Has basic video editing features and load of audio effect.
  • Includes chroma key, advance color correction tools, video keyframes and more advance features.


  • Workflow is slightly different compare to other beginner video editors.
  • Difficult to learn if you don’t have prior video editing experiences.

So, if you’re tired of the watermark, Shotcut will definitely the option for you. Okay, let’s dive deeper into the program to let you know all the capability of this free video editor. To download the latest version of Shotcut, click here! You can also watch below tutorial video on YouTube for better visual.

The Interface

Shotcut offers a classic timeline editing window which you will find it very easy to navigate. Many professional video editing software has this type of user interface where you have the preview window at the center, the timeline at the bottom and a media library where you can drag and drop your videos, images and audio into the editor for further editing. Once you got your clips imported into the media library, you can easily set in point, or out point for your clip, then drag and drop it on to the timeline to create a video track. All in all, the user interface is very intuitive and logically arranged. You can also switch back and forth at the editing modes, or change the layout of the software at the menu toolbar too. In brief, if you’re new to Shotcut, it will take some times to figure out everything. But, it won’t take long I promise!

Video Editing Tools

Like I mentioned earlier at the beginning of this post, Shotcut has all the basic video editing feature plus some advance tools like chroma key, video keyframe and color grating tools. With Shotcut, you can easily cut, trim out unwanted part of the clips, add text to your videos as well as crop filters, scale effect and more. You can also add video keyframes to control the size, position and opacity of the clip if you want. Each advance option will have more parameter that you can adjust to get the look that you want.

The Filters

When editing videos in Shotcut, whenever you want to add a special effect for your video, or audio, you will need to add a filter. There are video filters and audio filters in the program. For example, when you want to adjust the volume of the background music, you will need to add Gain/volume filter at the audio filter. When you want to adjust the color of your clips, you will need to add Color grading filter. If you want to remove a green background in the video, you will need to add Chroma key filter. This workflow is very similar to other professional video editing software you see on the internet i.e Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, but slightly different, compare to other beginner-friendly video editors such as Filmora X, or Movavi. By the way, you’ll need to learn the workflow if you want to continue using this free video editor.

The Editing Modes

When editing videos in Shotcut, you can easily switch from editing mode to color mode, or audio mode which is a useful way to polish your video once you finished building your story at the timeline. By switching to Color mode, you can start color grading your footage to create the style that you want, or switching to Audio mode where you can start working with sound design and so on. In my opinion, this is a nice and useful feature to help you improve your video quality.

The Performance

Like other video editing software which require high end machine to get smooth playback and editing preview, Shotcut’s system requirement is almost the same. You will need a powerful enough computer to run the software smoothly, or get fast rendering speed, especially when you want to add a bunch of filters to your project. If you want to edit video with Shotcut on a low end computer, don’t forget to lower down the preview scaling to get better playback. The default preview scaling of Shotcut is 720p, but you can lower to 540p or 360p if you want.

Export Options

Shotcut offers different export options and hardware configurations. Added to that, you can also continue editing your project while it’s exporting your timeline. It’s very handy when you’re working on a big project which need to export a part of the timeline but don’t want to stop your work. All in all, There are various video formats, and codecs for you to choose in Shotcut.

The Bottom Line

Shotcut is good free video editor for beginners, YouTubers and those of you who want to learn how to edit video, and even new YouTubers who are looking for a free video editing software to help them edit videos and upload to YouTube. But, if you want more built-in preset, title templates and video effect etc., you may need to try other premium software like Filmora, or Movavi video editor. These affordable video editors are also user-friendly software and has more presets than this free software.


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