Fender vs Squier Guitars: The Main Differences

Guitars come in a wide variety of types and sizes, each suited to different playing styles and skill levels. Among the many brands available, two names stand out for their enduring popularity and influence: Fender and Squier.

Fender and Squier have a long history in the world of electric guitars, dating back to the early days of the instrument’s popularity. They have continued to be significant players in shaping modern music.

Fender is known worldwide as a leading guitar brand, known for its innovative designs, durable construction, and specific sound.

Squier, a subsidiary of Fender, offers guitars that capture the essence of the Fender experience but at a more affordable price.

In this Killer Rig article, we’ll look into the differences between Fender and Squier guitars. We’ll compare the two in terms of design, materials, sound quality, playability, and price, providing an overview of what each brand has to offer.

Fender vs Squier Guitars: The Main Differences

Squier’s guitars have been made to be lower cost versions of Fender. But just how close are they? Price difference can have a real impact on quality. But does that exist here? Let’s look at the main differences between the two guitar brands.

Design and Materials

The design and materials of Fender and Squier guitars are two of the most obvious contrasts between them.

Premium materials and meticulous design are hallmarks of Fender guitars. Features like alder or ash bodies, maple necks, and rosewood fingerboards. 

Squier guitars, on the other hand, may use cheaper or alternative materials. This might be tonewoods like basswood or agathis for the body. As well as less expensive woods for the neck and fingerboard.

There are other differences that can be found in the finishes. Squier does a good job, but sometimes you may find aesthetic issues. While Fender guitars, being more pricey, have fewer flaws in the finishes.

Are Fender guitars good? Click here!

Production and Craftsmanship

Another key difference is the production and craftsmanship of Fender and Squier. Fender guitars are made in the USA and Mexico.

They are known for their superior craftsmanship and careful attention to every last detail. The two factories are practically identical because of how close they are to one another.

Squier guitars, on the other hand, are manufactured in Indonesia, China, and other countries outside the US.

They might use additional production techniques that save money. Processes are machine-assisted rather than something like hand-finished fretwork.

The quality is still very good, don’t get me wrong. But the work done by hand does produce a more detail-oriented build. This does cost more in the end. And you will find it built into the price.


Pickups play a crucial role in determining the sound of an electric guitar. Fender and Squier have different approaches in this area.

Fender guitars typically feature pickups made themselves or Seymour Duncan. Both are known for their clear, balanced tone and versatility. 

Squier’s guitars may use cheaper pickups made by other manufacturers. By comparison, they don’t have the same level of clarity and definition. Especially when compared to those found on Fender guitars. 

Now, that’s not to say they are terrible. They do sound good for the price point. But this is a comparison article and so the gloves are off! There are many types of pickups used in different models as well. So that also needs to be considered.

Single-coil Pickup.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of a guitar is largely determined by its pickups. This goes without saying, and most players know it.

There are other factors such as the materials and construction. As a result of better material choices, Fender guitars are known for their signature sound. 

This is characterized by articulation, brightness, and definition. Nothing is lost in the sound. You can also find noiseless single-coils come stock on some models. No more hum and buzz from a professional instrument.

Squier’s guitars can still produce a good tone! But the sound may not be as nuanced or refined as that of a Fender. I’m still impressed by a lot of the Squiers I have played.

They do capture that Fender tone quite well, and they can get very close. But when playing them one after the other, the sound difference is noticeable.

Lean how to decode Squier serial numbers here!


Finally, playability is another factor to consider when comparing them. Fender guitars are known for their comfortable, well-balanced feel and smooth playability.

They have features like rolled fingerboards and smooth frets. This makes your playing experience a great one.

Squier guitars may have a slightly different feel due to the use of alternative materials. But they are still designed to be easy to play and comfortable to use. I have to admit this is a tough one!

A Squier that is built perfectly feels almost as good. It’s just you are more likely to experience an issue with a Squier. Not to say it often happens, but if it would, this would be where you will see it. But for playability, both brands are great!

Price Range Comparison

One of the most significant differences between Fender and Squier guitars is the price range. Fender guitars are typically much more expensive than Squiers.

Prices start at several hundred dollars and reach into the thousands for a Fender. This high price point reflects the premium materials and craftsmanship that go into every guitar.

Squier guitars, on the other hand, are much more affordable. You will find prices starting at around $100 and reaching into the several hundred.

While Squier guitars may not have the same level of premium materials or craftsmanship. But it’s still a great value for the price!

It’s important to remember that the price range varies depending on the model and features offered. Therefore, it’s wise to compare several models and features. A table with comparable models from both brands may be found below:

Guitar ModelPrice
Squier Bullet Stratocaster$199.99
Fender Player Stratocaster$849.99
Fender American Professional Telecaster$1699.99
Squier 40th Anniversary Telecaster$499.99
Squier Contemporary Jaguar$469.99
Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar$1549.99

Are Fender Guitars Better Than Squier?

When it comes to choosing between Fender and Squier guitars, there isn’t a simple answer. It depends on what you’re looking for in a guitar.

Fender guitars are known for their high quality. They are made with premium materials and are built to last. The craftsmanship in Fender guitars is often regarded as exceptional, with attention to detail in every aspect.

On the other hand, Squier guitars are a great option for beginners or those on a tighter budget. They offer good value for the price and provide a reliable playing experience.

Some Squier models also feature more contemporary or unique designs, which can be attractive to certain players.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to preference and need. If you’re a beginner or conscious about budget, Squier could be the right choice for you.

However, if you’re seeking high-quality craftsmanship and are willing to invest more, then Fender might be the better option.

Stratocaster Comparison

Fender Stratocaster is one of the most iconic electric guitars of all time! Most players know this guitar quite well. It’s available in both Fender and Squier versions.

We now know the differences in materials and sound. But let’s compare the hardware and some of the key differences:

Noiseless Single-coil PickupsFender Designed Alnico Single-coil
Alder Body MaterialNyatoh Body
Rosewood FingerboardIndian Laurel Fingerboard
Bone NutBone Nut
Fender Deluxe Die-cast Sealed Locking TunersVintage-style No Name Tuners

Stratocaster Vs Jaguar: Click Here!

Telecaster Comparison

The Fender Telecaster is another iconic electric guitar. It, too, is available in both Fender and Squier versions. The Telecaster is known for its bright, snappy tone and classic design. This is a workhorse of a guitar! Let’s see how thy compare:

Fender TelecasterSquier Telecaster
Ultra Noiseless Vintage Tele Single-coilFender Designed Alnico Single-coil
Alder Body Nyatoh Body Material
Rosewood FingerboardMaple Fingerboard
Bone NutBone Nut
Fender Deluxe Die-cast Sealed Locking TunersVintage-style Tuners


Fender and Squier are both excellent choices for electric guitar players. There is no doubt. But they offer different benefits and drawbacks. Fender guitars are known for their high-quality experience.

While Squier guitars are a more affordable option. But still offers a solid playing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between a Fender and a Squier guitar comes down to personal preference. You must consider your budget, and what you’re looking for in a guitar.

They both have something to offer and will bring a smile to your face. You have a lot of information here, the next step, the decision. Good luck!


Should I get a Fender or Squier guitar?

If you have the budget, I suggest you get a Fender guitar. They offer a more premium feel and sound. You will own an iconic guitar that you can appreciate for decades!

If you are on a budget or just starting out, then a Squier is perfect. You get a great tone and playability for a steal of a price.

Do any professional guitarists play Squier?

Yes! Even though they are a cheaper alternative, they are still great guitars! So good that even professionals use them.

Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy has a signature model Telecaster. He has also been seen using Squier guitars quite regularly.

Can you play metal on a Squier?

Yes, you can play metal on a Squier guitar. But this is entirely dependent on the guitar model.

For example, a Squier Stratocaster cannot do metal. But a Squier Bullet model with humbucker pickups can!

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Author: Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!