What Is The Difference Between A Fender Stratocaster And A Squier Stratocaster?

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Written By Sarah Barlow

Chief Music Officer

The guitar manufacturing firm called Squier is also owned by Fender. The difference is that Squier concentrates on producing economical instruments for new artists and musicians looking for an inexpensive alternative.  

Fender is an internationally recognized brand with a stellar reputation in the music instrument industry. This makes it possible for Squier to produce exact replicas of Fender goods, such as Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazz Basses, and Precision Basses. 

Although Squier’s primary goal is to create instruments that are affordable, they ensure that their products match Fender standards. As a result, many beginning and intermediate guitarists find it difficult to decide between the two brands. 

Beginners frequently consider their finances, while intermediate guitarists might question if Squier can match their standards. Some amateur and professional musicians also consider purchasing Squier guitars because of their unmatched price tag and beautiful design. 

Regardless of this, Fender guitars are still prominent and superior compared to its subsidiary company. Both brands offer their pros and cons and share similarities and differences which we are going to tackle in this article to help you choose which Stratocaster is best for you.

Fender Stratocasters

It may be a struggle to decide whether to purchase either a Squier or Fender Stratocaster. However, the Fender American Professional Stratocaster is an unmatched model in this debate despite the fact that Squier is also owned by Fender. Stratocasters have continually been an all-time favorite of various musicians for over 60 years. 

Here are a few reasons why the Stratocaster has captured the hearts of various musicians. 

Fender American Professional VS Player Stratocaster Model Specifications

SpecificationAmerican Professional StratocasterPlayer Stratocaster
Body MaterialAlder Alder
Body FinishGloss Polyurethane FinishGloss PolyesterFinish  (Thicker)
NeckMaple Maple
Neck ShapeDeep C Modern C
Fingerboard MaterialRosewoodPau Ferro/Maple
Number Frets22 frets22 frets
Scale Length25.5 inches25.5 inches
Fingerboard radius9.5inches9.5 inches
Fret SizeNarrow Tall FretsMedium Jumbo
Nut Material Bone Synthetic Bone
Bridge PickupV-Mod II Single-Coil StratPlayer Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil
Controls Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)
Bridge 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Bent Steel Saddles, Pop-In Tremolo Arm, and Cold-Rolled Steel Block2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Bent Steel Saddles

Squire Stratocaster

The standard Squier Stratocaster was made to physically resemble a Fender Stratocaster in every way. However, it had to go through certain specifications and body cuts in order to be economical and budget-friendly. It is, however, still no match for more advanced Fender Stratocaster variants such as the American Professional. 

Instead, it may be fairer to compare it to Fender’s conventional models, like the Player Stratocaster. But if you’re on a tight budget and still want good quality, the Squire Stratocaster may be a way to go. Besides, it’s still manufactured by Fender.

What Is The Difference Between A Fender And Squier Stratocaster?

One of the most significant modifications Squier had to make to reduce their production costs was to manufacture their guitars overseas. Squier guitars are produced in China and Indonesia but they were initially made in Japan. On the other hand, Fender guitars are continuously manufactured in California ever since their release. 

Another notable difference between the two guitars is the material used for the bodies. Squier guitars use Poplar and Agathis instead of Fender’s customary Alder wood since these are the more affordable alternatives. 

Squier guitars have a polyurethane coating, the same as the Fender American Professional series. The same goes for its neck and body, but it is to be expected that Fender’s wood quality, feel, finish, and detailing will be more precise. The 2-point tremolo on the Squier is notably different from the one provided on the American Professional Stratocaster.

Although Squier Stratocasters may not precisely produce the same sounds as Fender Stratocasters, they nonetheless greatly fulfill the function of an electric guitar. They are a great option for aspiring musicians and guitarists who are looking for a high-quality but reasonably-priced electric guitar. Higher Squier versions, like their Affinity Stratocaster, are something you might consider checking if you’re an amateur on a tight budget.

Best And Top-Performing Squier Stratocaster

Several experienced artists have praised a few Squier Stratocasters from their Vintage Modified Series, which includes the Classic Vibe Stratocaster from the 50s and 60s. Compared to the Standard Squier Stratocaster, this model is a much better version. Since its release, reviews have been consistently positive. 

The fingerboard of the Classic Vibe 50s is made from maple, while the 60s is made from rosewood. Both versions have a vintage bridge, a 21-fret maple neck, and an altered body. They also have a single-coil custom vintage pickup. If your budget allows for the Squire Classic Vibe 50s and 60s price tag, purchasing any of these models would be a wise decision, especially since they are also collectible items. Both electric guitars have a slight MIM Stratocaster resemblance to Fender.

Another noteworthy model to consider is the Squier Contemporary Stratocaster. It has cutting-edge specifications and vivid designs. Squier Atomic Humbucking pickups with coil-split options, a dual locking tremolo system, a roasted maple neck, a sculpted neck heel, painted headstocks, and a chrome logo are some of its standout features.

Despite being widely regarded as Fender’s least superior electric guitar, the Standard Squier Stratocaster is nevertheless a compelling option for the price. Additionally, there are the Squire Affinity and Bullet series, which continue to be excellent choices for new and intermediate guitarists. 

Several professional and advanced players also agree that Squier Stratocasters can satisfy players who want Fender Stratocasters but don’t want to pay that much money. But of course, given that it costs two to three times as much as Squier products, Fender’s American Professional Stratocaster definitely has a substantial technological advantage.

Are Fender Guitars Better Than Squier?

It is reasonable to conclude from all of this that Fender Stratocasters are superior to Squier Stratocasters. Fender electric guitars are more sophisticated and include many essential characteristics that guitarists look for in a guitar. Some of Squier’s higher-end models, like the Classic Vibe and Vintage series, cost less than $500 and produce incredible tones that are almost identical to those of a Fender guitar. They were designed to be exceedingly playable and to maintain the high standards set by Fender.

Squier Stratocasters are the best alternatives for beginner and intermediate guitarists who find the price of Fender Stratocasters to be overwhelming. One of the best Squier electric guitars for beginners is its Affinity series Stratocasters. The Queen of The Stone Age, The Marmozets, Mastodon, and Fall-out Boys have all used Squier Stratocasters, despite the fact that they are often referred to as beginner’s Stratocaster. During performances, Squier guitars have served as excellent backup electric guitars for their Fender Stratocasters.


The best Stratocasters are made by Fender, and they come with features that enable them to produce precise tones. Not a single penny is wasted, and they are entirely manufactured from premium materials. 

Squier Stratocasters, on the other hand, use cheaper, more commonly used materials to reduce the cost of production. But to make sure that it complies with Fender standards, these materials were thoroughly examined and tested. Fender supervised the production of Squier electric guitars to preserve their reputation as one of the most reliable producers of musical instruments and amplifiers in the world.

If you want a Stratocaster with more features and superior quality, more materials will be required during the manufacturing process, raising the cost of production and increasing the price of the guitar. The Squier Stratocaster is a good option for you if, for instance, you’re looking for a basic electric guitar that is reasonably priced and of high quality. 

It is still useful to physically check both Squier and Fender Stratocasters to get a sense of what you are getting and which appeals to you more.