How Effective Is A Stab Vest Against Knife Attack?

How Effective Is A Stab Vest Against Knife Attack?

The Home Office recommends KR1/SP1 as the level of protection for their police force and this offers a great level of protection against stab, spike, syringe and blunt trauma in a wide variety of situations. The Kr above stands for knife resistance and the SP for spike resistance. These are two quite different things, and can be the difference between serious injury and escaping without a graze. Now let’s take a step back and try to understand under what circumstances a stab vest is most and least effective.


Stab Vest

Understanding Different Types of Blades


When a knife encounters a stab vest, how it responds depends on what type of knife it is. There are two types that we’ll briefly discuss: an engineered blade and a regular household/kitchen knife.

Kitchen Knives


If you were to look at a kitchen knife for instance then most when fully impacted into a wooden block would snap or bend and this is the case for the vast majority of household knives. As soon as a blade starts to bend then its ability to penetrate is compromised. Contrary to what most people think the bigger the knife the less of a threat it is to stab vests.

Engineered Knives


The type of knife that offers the greatest threat is a knife with an engineered blade. An engineered blade is one that when it has been fully impacted into a wooden block would remain effective and retain its original shape. Engineered bladed knives are usually purchased from specialist shops such as hunting shops and are made from high grade steel. These knives when driven into a wooden block will retain their shape and effectiveness. These are the knives that stab vests of certified standard must stop and they must also be effective against pointed weapons that have a small diameter.


CE-Marked Stab Vest

How Does a Stab Vest fare under Ballistic Attack?


There have been tests on stab vest to see if they offer any protection against ballistic attack but although in some low threat ballistics tests they offered a small degree of protection there is nothing good enough to support a claim of it being any form of ballistic vest.

Our Conclusion


In this day and age stab vests should not be reserved solely for our police force. Stab vests are necessary for a great deal of people, and are available in a wide range of designs to suit different environments, jobs and branding.  So for example they are available in High Vis, as a body warmer, for the ambulance service or as a covert article of clothing for concealed wear. Take a look at our impressive range here.

Over to You


Should you like to make an enquiry about any of our stab vests, or if you’d like to request a free trial of one of them, just ring 08450 666699.