What Is the Most Commonly Used Cut in Video Editing?

Video editing is the process of manipulating and rearranging video shots to create a new work. It is an art that requires technical skills, creativity, and attention to detail.

One of the most important aspects of video editing is cutting. Cutting refers to the process of removing unwanted footage from a video clip or joining various clips together to form a cohesive story.

In video editing, there are various types of cuts that editors use to achieve different effects. Some cuts are used for continuity, while others are used for creative purposes.

But what is the most commonly used cut in video editing? The answer is the ‘cut’ or ‘hard cut.’

What is a hard cut?

A hard cut is a straightforward transition between two clips where one clip ends abruptly, and the next clip begins immediately. There is no transition effect applied between the two clips, which creates an abrupt change in visuals or sound.

This type of cut is widely used in video editing because it’s simple and effective. It’s often used to maintain continuity between shots or to create contrast between different scenes.

Why do editors use hard cuts?

Editors use hard cuts for various reasons:

  • Continuity: Hard cuts are useful when you want to maintain continuity between shots. For example, when filming an interview, you may want to switch between different angles without interrupting the flow of conversation.
  • Pace: Hard cuts can be used to create a fast-paced sequence by quickly changing from one shot to another.
  • Emphasis: Hard cuts can be used to emphasize a specific moment or action within a scene.
  • Creative expression: Hard cuts can also be used creatively by juxtaposing two contrasting images or sounds.

The advantages and disadvantages of hard cuts

Like any editing technique, hard cuts have their advantages and disadvantages.


  • Hard cuts are quick and easy to execute.
  • They maintain continuity between shots.
  • They can be used to create contrast between different scenes.


  • Hard cuts can be jarring and disruptive if not executed correctly.
  • They may not be suitable for every type of video or scene.
  • They may not provide enough time for the audience to process the information on the screen.

Tips for using hard cuts effectively

To use hard cuts effectively, here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead: Before executing a hard cut, make sure it’s appropriate for the scene and fits with the overall story you’re trying to tell.
  • Edit for rhythm: Use hard cuts to create a rhythm within your video. For example, if you want to create a fast-paced action sequence, use quick, successive hard cuts.
  • Add sound effects: To make a hard cut less jarring, add sound effects that bridge the gap between the two clips.

    This can also add depth and emotion to your video.

  • Vary your shots: Using only one type of cut can make your video feel monotonous. Mix in other types of cuts (like fades or dissolves) to keep things interesting.

In conclusion

Hard cuts are the most commonly used cut in video editing. They are simple yet effective in maintaining continuity and creating contrast between different scenes.

However, like any editing technique, using hard cuts requires careful planning and execution to ensure they are used effectively. With the right approach, hard cuts can add depth, rhythm, and emotion to your video projects.