What Are The Differences Between Spike And Edged-Blade Protection?

Undercover body armor for covert operations and concealment

Protection from a stabbing attack isn’t always a standard feature of any given ballistic vest. Some ballistic vests may offer limited protection against such a threat, but if it is not identified as a standard of the vest, then it should not be put up against such conditions. According to the testing standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a stabbing attack is categorised into two types: Edged-Blade and Spike. These two categories are established by the probable weapons that are used.

Edged-Blade Instruments

High-quality commercial knives come in many shapes and forms. Relating to NIJ testing standards, they would fall under the Edged-Blade categorisation. This type of weapon has a wide edge and does not come to a really fine point. Although some specialised knives do come to a fine point (i.e. antiquated trench knives, and contemporary planar concave and wedge types), these types of knives do not exactly fit into this category.

When taking into account an Edged-Blade categorised instrument, there is a wide range of weapons that could be considered. The stab vest is designed to protect against either the slashing or concentrated stabbing motion of such an instrument, being that this categorisation of weapon can be used in this way. Even though the “Edged-Blade” knife can be manufactured out of many different materials including titanium, steel, iron, bronze, etc., the certified stab vest should be able to repel any make. Anything as small as a dagger to as large as a machete can be repelled.

The ballistic knife cannot be categorized in the Edged-Blade class being that it isn’t applied with manual power. Most knives of this sort are powered by a spring mechanism that will shoot the blade when triggered. They do not typically use gunpowder or explosive materials.

Spiked Instruments

As opposed to the other type, this weapon categorisation identifies any type of harmful instrument that has a really fine pointed tip. This does include shrapnel that is projected from an explosive as well. Spike protection idyllically refers to an instrument such as a syringe, or anything that has an edge that is similar to that of an ice pick. A potential attacker can fashion just about anything into a harmful weapon, and in a lot of these cases, a makeshift weapon has a sharply-pointed tip. The stab vest is popular among prison guards because the inmates regularly make weapons of this type.

Special Construction of the Stab Vest

The makeup of protective body armour that is primarily used for ballistic protection compared to one that is used for stab protection is different. The stab vest will typically have fibres that are woven more tightly together than that of a principal ballistic vest. While the principal ballistic vest characteristically functions by spreading out the energy of a bullet impact to reduce trauma inflicted by the projectile, the principal stab vest will traditionally have more layers and will apply adequate friction to an “Edged-Blade” or “Spike” instrument to prevent it from penetrating.


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