Fender Limited Edition HM Strat review

A blast from the past that may or may not bring out that late-'80s shred instructor vibe in your playing

Fender HM Strat
(Image: © Fender)

Guitar World Verdict

The Fender Limited Edition HM Strat is an improved reissue with enhanced pickups and a Floyd Rose Special double-locking tremolo, eclipsing the original as a superior shred-worthy guitar.


  • +

    Custom-voiced HSS pickups deliver searing high-output.

  • +

    Floyd Rose Special tremolo is perfectly set up.

  • +

    Tall rubberized knobs are ideal for Cathedral-esque swells.

  • +

    Hot finishes.

  • +

    Excellent build.


  • -

    It's not exactly subtle.

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The first time I ever laid eyes on the Fender HM Strat was in the hands of Greg Howe for his 1989 Hot Rock Licks instructional video on (wait for it…) VHS! 

Back then, it appeared Fender had released their own offbeat version of a Superstrat. But for me, I was merely blown away by the look of these guitars with their bright-colored Day-Glo finishes, HSS configuration and, of course, its hot-rodded sound paired with a locking tremolo (it might also have been Howe’s sheer virtuosity that helped make the guitar that much more alluring, but I digress).  

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.