Stab, Spike and Ballistic Protection – The Differences

SafeGuard Armour have operated internationally for over 10 years, providing over 5000 bespoke bullet proof vests to hundreds of police, security and military companies across the globe annually.

Here they explain the difference between bullet proof vests and stab/spike proof vests for security personnel.

Many people presume that Ballistic vests also protect the wearer from knives and forms of blade that can cause blunt force trauma.

This isn’t always the case, as stab and spike proof vests are designed to protect the vital organs for a forced blade and will be made from different materials or arrangements of materials to the protective Kevlar needed to dissipate the impact of a bullet or piece of projectile material.

Bullet Proof Vests:

Bullet proof armour protects the wearer from a range of bullets and other projectiles that may be fired at a target from various types of firearm. The types of bullet proof vests available vary in accordance to their levels of protection which are graded by the USA NIJ (National Institute of Justice). Vests can be covert or overt and can also include added panels for extra protection in accordance to the level of threat or class of weapon/danger that is likely to be encountered.

Bullet proof vests are designed to disperse energy from a bullet or projectile via a network of fibres, which are usually designed with Kevlar material. They work in a similar fashion to a football becoming entangled in the netting of a goal.

Stab Proof Vests:

Stab proof vests are designed and engineered in order to protect wearers by catching a weapon as it strikes them. They are manufactured using several layers of extra strong Kevlar materials. Materials that will work as a barrier, resisting a spike or a blade as it is wielded at its target and protecting the vest wearer’s vital organs from stabs or tears.

Stab proof vests will allow for a minimum level of penetration, as they are designed to grab and stop any edge or blade as they penetrate the top layers of Kevlar. However, for this precise reason, certain stab proof vests are no good for stopping bullets, as bullet proof vests are not designed to allow surface penetration, more so to spread impact and reduce force.

Both bullet and stab proof vests are designed in accordance to various levels of protection from the NIJ.

When choosing a vest, users should consider the most likely types of threat in any given situation. For instance, the USA is much more likely to face threats from firearms compared to security forces in the U.K. The U.K security forces that are specialising as bodyguards etc, may want to equip a high level stab proof vests with minimum ballistic protection.

Security forces must also take into consideration the weight and size of the bullet or stab proof vests that they purchase. Should they be wearing covert or overt vests? Should they be carrying back up plates to add to vests should danger levels increase?

Head over to SafeGuardarmour for more information and links to all the latest premium bullet and stab proof vests.