Review: Extract video clips with Free Video Cutter

Save time by skipping this clunky, stripped-down video editor.

Tomatosoft's Free Video Cutter is a very basic video editor that extracts and saves clips from a wide range of video types. It's quite easy to use, but it's a bit too basic for our tastes. If you don't like the complexity of more capable tools, though, Free Video Cutter is certainly worth a look. As the name indicates, Free Video Cutter is freeware that runs in a wide range of Windows releases; from NT to 8. Free Video Cutter also requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or better. We tried it in 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium SP1.

Free Video Cutter's compact user interface and basic layout resemble those of many similar tools, with a drag-and-drop file list, preview pane, and start and end point counters. Aside from choosing an output folder, Free Video Cutter's only option is an always-on-top checkbox selected by default. We loaded a 26-minute Flash video, and Free Video Cutter displayed its duration, 368.92 seconds, with no option to change the counter's format. Free Video Cutter works like similar tools: Mark the start and end points, and the software cuts everything in between to be saved or discarded. We looked in vain for player controls to preview the video: There are none. You must drag the slider into position based on the frame displayed. It's also a bit difficult to position the sliders accurately by hand. Update Image buttons refresh the preview pane, an awkward proposition for fine-tuning. But once we'd selected our start and end points and pressed "Start," Free Video Cutter quickly extracted and saved our clip and added "_cut" to the file name (you can change the name, too), and our finished clip played normally.

Free Video Cutter does its job well enough; we just wish it did more. The ability to preview and play videos seems fundamental, and some counter options would be nice to have, too. No doubt some users will find this tool's stripped-down functionality appealing. But with so many alternative video editors available, equally free yet much more easy to use, it's hard to see how Free Video Cutter earns its keep.

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