Stab-Proof Vest Maintenance and Care: Tips for Security Professionals

Men with a Knife

When someone mentioned body armor, most of us think about bulletproof vests. However, stabproof vests are also a common form of protective gear that has several use cases.

Firstly, it is important to understand that Bulletproof Armor and Stab resistant Armor are completely different. A typical bulletproof vest isn’t designed to resist knife attacks. It may be able to stop some light slashes and stabs, but they can’t be relied on to stop attacks from spikes, improvised weapons, and needles.

Stab vests are made from materials like Kevlar or Dyneema, which are able to resist the penetration of knives and other sharp objects. These vests are usually not as flexible as ballistics vests, and might even be a little thicker. In many countries, like the UK, where firearms aren’t as common, police officers prefer to wear stab vests instead of bulletproof vests. In the US, Correctional officers, and prison security guards also wear stab vests, since they are much more likely to face knife attacks than gunshots.

However, one thing that is similar about ballistic and stab vests is that they need to be properly maintained with care if you want them to last for a long time.

Cleaning and Storage of stab-proof vests

Like a bulletproof vest, the proper cleaning, and storage of a stab vest is also essential. Here is a quick guide that you can follow.

Firstly, remove the armor panels from your carrier vest. Whether you are cleaning a bulletproof vest or a stab vest, the first step is to remove the armor panels. This is because the vest carrier, which is made from nylon and simple fabrics can be washed normally, however, the armor panels, which may be made from Aramid fibers like Kevlar need to be cleaned more carefully.

As far as the vest is concerned, you can wash it with cold water, and mild detergent. If your carrier vest is made from Nylon, very hot water can damage the integrity of its fibers, and decrease its lifespan. The carrier vest can be washed in the machine, or by hand as well.

Now, let’s move on to the difficult part. You shouldn’t expose the armor panel to water. Moisture can be bad for the Aramid fibers that are used to make most stab vests. Luckily, these armor panels have a waterproof lining that keeps the moisture out. You can use a damp cloth, or soft brush to lightly apply mild soapy water on the exterior of the panel, and clean off any dust, or bacteria. Keep in mind that if the water-resistant liner of the stab vest is damaged, moisture will get in and damage the fibers inside. You should never soak the armor panels in water, or try to fold them.

When you are drying your carrier vest, and armor panels, don’t expose them to direct sunlight for too long, especially if you live in a relatively warm environment. Let the carrier vest air dry, and use a dry cloth to whip the armor panels after you clean them. Don’t put the armor panels back in the carrier vest until both have dried completely.

Moving on, let’s talk about storage.

You should store your body armor in a cool and dry place, where it isn’t exposed to too much sunlight. High temperature and humidity can be quite detrimental to the quality of your armor panels. Also, make sure that your storage spot doesn’t have any points or jagged edges, that could rip the Nylon Carriers or the protective cover on your armor panels.

Make sure that you don’t put heavy weight on your armor panels, and fold or distort their shape in any way. If you are regularly using your armor, then hanging it is alright, however, for long-term storage, lay your armor panels flat, and you can also use an air-tight bag.


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Inspection and Maintenance of stab vests

To make sure that your body armor or stab-proof vest continues to offer the best possible stab protection, you need to pay attention to its condition and inspect it regularly for any kind of damage.

Do a quick inspection of the armor panels, and the carrier vest every few days and check for any kind of cuts, punctures, abrasions, or other types of damage. If any element of your armor system is damaged, you should replace or repair it if possible.

Moreover, when you are wearing your stab-resistant vests, make sure that you aren’t using the straps, and buckles too roughly. With a little bit of care, you can make sure that your vest lasts a long time.

Difference between a stab-resistant vest and a bulletproof vest

Bulletproof vests and stabproof vests may look very similar, however, they are quite different. Bulletproof vests aren’t designed to offer stab protection. That doesn’t mean that they can’t stop some knife attacks, however, when an assailant is using extremely sharp spikes, or knives, they may fail.

On the other hand, a Stab resistant vest is designed specifically to stop knife penetration and stabbing attacks. These vests aren’t rated by the national institute of justice to stop any kind of bullets. They can also offer protection against the impact energy of blunt objects.

Both bulletproof and stabproof armor inserts are made from Kevlar materials, however, some stab vests may also use Dyneema fibers, which are stronger than kevlar and do a better job of catching the blade or spike before it can penetrate through the vest.

A Stab proof vest is also usually more rigid than bulletproof vests. They offer less flexibility, and therefore, may be less comfortable than a bullet proof vest. However, they can be lighter.

These vests are used by security personnel and are commonly worn by customs officers, immigration officers, college campus security, and correctional officers. In the united kingdom, Stab vests are worn by police officers, transit officers, and traffic wardens as well.


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Importance of Training

If you want to use your stab-resistant vests effectively to prevent knife penetration and stabbing attacks from sharp-tipped objects, you need to incorporate them into your training.

Training with your stab vest has multiple advantages. Firstly, it allows you to get used to the weight of the vest, and have a feel of how the vest will affect your movement and maneuverability.

Moreover, a stab vest doesn’t protect every part of your body, and in some cases, you may still be stabbed through the openings under your armpits, or around your collarbone. Therefore, when you are training hand-to-hand combat while wearing a stab-proof vest, you get a more realistic combat experience, instead of thinking that your stab vest will protect you from every attack.

There are several training programs that security professionals can go through to learn more about hand-to-hand combat while wearing a stab proof vest. Many local Jiu-Jitsu Schools teach specific self-defense classes for police and security professionals, and you can take these classes while wearing your stab vests for a more realistic combat experience.


So, Stab proof Vests play an essential role in the protection of many security professionals. They are great at prohibiting knife and edged blade attacks, and they can save you from serious injury. However, like any other form of body armor, maintenance, and proper storage is also essential for stab vests. You need to make sure that you clean your stab vests properly, following the precautions mentioned in this post, and store them in a safe way as well. Hopefully, this post gives you an informative overview of body armor storage and maintenance.