Video editor vs. video maker: What’s the difference?

Man using video editing software at home
(Image credit: Unsplash / Mark Cruz)

When it comes to choosing between a video editor vs. video maker, it’s worth knowing what sort of video you want to produce.  

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Visual content plays a massive role for both companies and creators. Audiences consume an average of 19 hours of video every week. 91% of businesses use video in their content marketing, according to HubSpot. The video editing software market is expected to top $3bn by 2030

Simultaneously fuelling and  feeding into our growing demand for visual content is a massive increase in accessible software for video creation. The best video editing software brings studio-quality post-production tools to the home - whether you’re a professional videographer or just starting out. For webinars and live-streams, the best free screen recorders are fairly simple to set up and often run right in the browser. 

Making video production even easier are the best video makers. These tools are ideal for those who understand the need for high-output, high-quality visuals for websites and social media but lack the skills or production time. 

What’s the difference between a video editor and a video maker? And which should you choose for your next project? 

What is a video editor?

Screenshot of Final Cut Pro applying effects

Editing a video in Apple Final Cut Pro (Image credit: Apple)
  • Professional tool for studio-quality video production

Video editing software lets you trim and rearrange video clips to present a narrative. 

But video editor apps come in all shapes and sizes, for different uses and users. Some video editors, like Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, are very advanced. They feature all the tools skilled filmmakers and creators need to produce videos for film, TV, and online. 

Others are incredibly simple to learn and use, and they offer a great introduction to core editing principles before moving on to premium software. The best video editing software for beginners lets just about anyone cut together films. Some of the best video editing apps on Android and iOS are deceptively powerful, despite their simplified interface. Even many of the best screen screen recorders even include editing tools. 

Alongside video, you’ll also have good control over the placement of audio like music and voiceovers, text and imagery for credits or logos, and visual effects and transitions. 

What is a video maker?

FlexClip online video maker in use

Making a video in FlexClip (Image credit: FlexClip)
  • So simple anyone can use them, ideal for online promotion

Video makers are designed to quickly produce professional-looking short videos. They’re chiefly best for businesses advertising their brand or promoting products. 

Despite video’s importance across the online landscape, one survey from Statista showed 43% of businesses felt challenged by the lack of skills in video production. It’s a skill-gap filled by video makers. You don’t need to know how to learn video editing. You don’t need to invest in the best video editing computer. And they’re not just used by small businesses; even global companies employ video maker apps to build explainer videos, social media ads, brand promos, and more. 

Many templates and stock assets to let you create a video. Pick a design or style you like, add brand imagery and unique text, and render the video. It really is as simple as that. Others offer more depth choices over what you can bring to life on the screen, including graphic design tools, in-depth character animations, and greater control over the arrangement of footage. 

What is the difference between a video editor and a video maker?

The main difference between a video maker and video editing software is scope. 

Fully featured video editors can be used to create videos fit for the big screen, small screen, and every other screen. These tools can be very resource-intensive, and even the best free video editing software run best on devices with a good CPU, GPU, and RAM. Professional video editing tools also require some knowledge of the editing process, and may feel complex to newcomers. 

Video makers are effectively communication and content marketing tools, suited to short and simple messaging. Movement is often limited, and while you can sometimes use your own footage, fewer shots tend to work best as you don’t always have full control over the timeline. Videos are typically exported in small-screen-friendly resolutions, since most end up on websites and social media channels. 

These apps are lightweight and simple to use. The focus is on allowing businesses to produce a lot of videos quickly. And they’re not resource-hogs, so you won’t need the best video editing laptop money can buy. Most run easily in your browser, making them highly accessible. 

Unlike video editors, you won’t be color-correcting and grading footage in a video maker app. You won’t be creating the next CGI-heavy three-hour superhero opus. And while you’ll have access to key filmmaking effects like transitions, there’s no support for visual effects tools. However, true video editors are compatible with all the best VFX software. Some even have it built into the software itself. Adobe Premiere Pro, for example, integrates seamlessly with After Effects, as well as a host of the best After Effects alternatives.  

How should you choose a video editor or video maker?

Choosing between a video maker and video editor comes down to what you want to produce, your overall timeline, and your editing background. 

Select a video maker if your needs are super-simple. They’re ideal for eye-catching social media posts, online advertising, and company videos. Some of these apps let you upload your own footage, but your videos should need as few cuts as possible - for example, a single-shot piece-to-camera or recorded webinar.

Choose video editing software when you’re producing professional-grade content in a high-resolution. Most feature more advanced features, like color correction tools, to help achieve the director’s vision. Beyond being a serious investment - from software to hardware - it also takes time to craft a compelling narrative. Video editing is a long creative process. If you’re skilled with video editing apps and graphic design software, you could easily reproduce the content found in video makers - although that may not be ideal if you’re looking to quickly increase your content library.  

Which are the best apps for video editing and video making?

We've tested, reviewed, and rated a range of video editing software, including the  best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives and Adobe Premiere Pro vs Apple Final Cut Pro.

For full video editing software, we recommend Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Apple Final Cut Pro, and CyberLink PowerDirector

For video makers, we suggest checking out FlexClip, InVideo, Visme, and Animaker.

Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.