Last updated: 16/10/2022

It doesn’t matter whether your profession is the reason or you simply consciously focus on your own safety. You never know what will happen. You never know what can await you tomorrow. And in order to be able to concentrate fully on the important things, it is very practical not to have to worry about your safety. There are so many occasions when a stab waistcoat is useful and can be used well.

Some people already use them. Maybe at a demonstration. Maybe because they have just survived an attack and want to get used to the outside world again. The list goes on and on. Our stab waistcoat test shows why the waistcoat is not only relevant for security forces.


  • A stab-protection waistcoat provides an enhancement of one’s own safety for every occasion, enabling full concentration on the relevant things in life.
  • Stab waistcoats are now mandatory in many professions and the trend is increasing, as knife attacks on the street are not uncommon.
  • It is not unnatural to wear a stab waistcoat. On the contrary. You’d be surprised how many shirts and jackets have this safety feature underneath.

The Best Stab Vest: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a stab waistcoat

What is a stab waistcoat?

A stab waistcoat protects people from attacks with sharp objects and also absorbs kicks and blows. It is used for self-protection. The blow is distributed over the entire surface of the waistcoat and thus relieves the pain in the affected area. It is often mistakenly assumed that a stab waistcoat is only something for security guards or the police, but nowadays there are also some normal civilians or especially business people who rely on the additional safety.


You don’t have to be a policeman or soldier to need a stab waistcoat.
( / Feo Con Ganas)

Be it on your way to a business meeting or simply for your own sense of security. In this case, it would then be an undergarment waistcoat. Find out exactly what the differences are in the following test. Whether it is prescribed for the job or simply for private use. Protective clothing is being used by more and more people. Major political events also create the need for the stab waistcoat.

It is used more often than you think! We live in a time where a lot happens. Accordingly, on certain occasions, a little more security is good and helps to concentrate more on the essentials. The fact that there are now fashionably appealing versions of the stab waistcoat and that they are hardly noticeable will also follow in the next few lines.

What does a stab waistcoat cost?

The wide variation in price is due to the fact that there are many different types and features of stab waistcoats. For example, whether you want to wear the waistcoat over or under your outfit and for what occasion you want to wear it. There are definitely inexpensive products that provide good protection.

So you definitely won’t go wrong with an entry-level product. The topic of camouflage is also very relevant, as your profession can also be a reason to buy a stab waistcoat. Suppliers are wide-ranging and you may find yourself in shops that would not otherwise attract your interest. These shops have a frequent occurrence throughout the country. The most common locations are:

  • Online stores
  • Equipment shops for armour and protective items
  • Safety shops

Who needs a stab waistcoat?

A stab waistcoat is basically needed by anyone who wants to focus on essential things by having an additional safety product. If you have to worry less about your own safety, you can automatically use it for more productive things and concentrate better. Important business people in a very relevant service now tend to wear a stab waistcoat concealed.

People who may have been victims or even witnesses of an attack often have to deal with certain fears years later. A barely noticeable stab-protection waistcoat could make the first exit easier again after a few weeks. In this way, the affected person can regain security and stops withdrawing. Nowadays, some professions also require the wearing of stab waistcoats.

It doesn’t matter if it is the police or other guardians of the law. But so are many doormen, tram inspectors and drivers. Unfortunately, there have been incidents in the recent past in all these professions that have led to the introduction of such a rule. These people encounter difficult situations every day and, especially with drunken fellow citizens, confrontations occur far too often.


In today’s world, crowds, especially at demonstrations, are often unpredictable.
( / Hans Braxmeier)

Demonstrations are also not uncommon on our planet. Many issues lend themselves to fighting for them and taking to the streets. Both demonstrators and police officers have to be prepared for anything. Objects may be thrown or, in the case of really brutal events, there may also be physical confrontations. That’s where a stab waistcoat makes sense. The situation is often unpredictable.

Police officers business people tram inspectors security guards
Obligated to wear the waistcoat More and more are doing so, but not obligated Obligated to wear the waistcoat More and more often obligated, strongly recommended

What are the alternatives to stab waistcoats?

The stab waistcoat is part of the overall safety equipment and is an integral part of many kits. There is no real alternative to protect the abdominal and chest area and at the same time not attract attention. However, it is of course possible to protect other areas of the body intensively. These include, for example

  • Steel-toed shoes
  • Helmets
  • Gloves
  • Protective underwear
  • Steel-capped gloves

The stab waistcoat can be supplemented but not replaced.

Decision: What types of stab waistcoats are there and which one is right for you?

The stab waistcoat is one of a variety of safety waistcoats. Some of the functions overlap, but others do not. A brief overview of:

Ballistic protection waistcoats

  • Protection from gunfire
  • Specialised for high impact
  • Not created for knives/blades
  • Problems with very sharp objects

Stab waistcoats

  • Depending on the class, immune to the intended type of stab
  • Specialised for pointed objects
  • Few models can deflect bullets
  • Classes vary

Cut-resistant waistcoat

  • Design for cuts
  • knives in particular
  • Little protection against stabs
  • No protection against shots

What distinguishes class K (blade) stab resistant waistcoats and what are their advantages?

Class K is the most common and specialises in all types of blades and knives. Well over half of all attacks with stabbing weapons fall into this area. Many criminals equip themselves with kitchen knives to inflict damage. Knives fit well in the hand and can be used with great precision. They are also very sharp and usually pointed, which aggravates the damage.

All these aspects need to be cushioned for the class K stab waistcoat. These blades are often used during railway controls or police operations. But unfortunately, passers-by are also often threatened without reason. In precisely such moments, this version of the waistcoat is particularly suitable.


Everyday objects such as kitchen knives are the most common opponent of the stab waistcoat.
( / PublicDomainPictures)

What distinguishes class D (spike) stab waistcoats and what are their advantages?

Class D focuses on screwdrivers and similar products. Dorn means that they are particularly thin and pointed weapons. Actually, they are mostly tools or household products, but as you can see, they are so relevant in crime that it is a class just for them.

Even when working with all kinds of tools, an accident can happen. That’s why people sometimes put on a stab waistcoat to protect themselves. You protect your most important organs this way. So it should be worth considering!

What distinguishes class I (injection cannula) stab waistcoats and what are their advantages?

Class I is the protection against needles, syringes and other extremely sharp, but often also infected and unclean objects. Infection is usually the worst evil, so your focus is just as much on not letting any pests through. For example, this waistcoat is often used by caregivers of unpredictable patients.

But it is also used by police officers who might approach a junkie area and take preventive action. There is always a risk of infection, so this is a good first step to reduce the risk. If you regularly have to deal with harmful substances, we clearly recommend this class.

What distinguishes class W (thrown objects) in stab waistcoats and what are its advantages?

Class W includes protection against things like sticks, bottles and blunt objects that are suitable for throwing. Often used at demonstrations when they have a higher potential to escalate. Many people, whether police or demonstrators, have suffered serious injuries from thrown objects. Bottles, on the other hand, sometimes fly when hooligans clash at football matches.

This class is also involved in operations of this kind. This means that protection is provided against both pointed and blunt objects that hit hard with force. In addition, shards may be involved if a bottle breaks on impact. So it is the class with the greatest versatility, as you can never know exactly what will be used as a throwing object in a heated moment.

There is also the division into classes, which says something about the resistance:

Now that you know what types of objects are distinguished, there is also the classification in joules. This shows exactly what the respective waistcoat can and cannot withstand. At a glance, what exactly you need in connection with your current knowledge.

Class K1 Class K2 Class K3 Class K4
anything under 25 joules anything under 45 joules up to 65 joules 65+ joules
light protection medium protection strong protection extra strong protection

Joule, is the unit with which all types of energy are measured. Whether it is the energy of impact, as in this case, or even the amount of work and heat. Named after James Prescott Joule.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate stab waistcoats based on these factors


Depending on the purpose of the stab protection waistcoat and especially on what other clothing it is to be worn with, it is relevant whether it is an upper or lower waistcoat. Let’s assume we are talking about a businessman who is carrying out an important order or courier. He wants to remain incognito at all costs and not be recognised.

A visible waistcoat would directly signal that this is an attractive target with high relevance and, moreover, certainly a large yield. In this case, of course, an under-vest makes sense. It is quasi invisible and also compatible with the clothing of a business person.

A heavy and compact waistcoat is usually also more conspicuous.

Inspectors on trams and bouncers often use this type of stab waistcoat. It is lighter and therefore less durable than a large overt waistcoat, but has the advantage of fashion and camouflage. Police officers on a demonstration or security units, on the other hand, prefer the other version. The overt waistcoat. This signals preparation and protection. This deters potential attackers or ensures that drunk people, for example, might change their minds. Police officers and security guards appear directly with a much greater authority when there is a uniform and, in this case, the part of a uniform.

So the question arises as to what the stab waistcoat is supposed to say and whether it is supposed to provide attention or camouflage. Different professions, however, do not give the choice freely and prescribe a certain variant.

Accuracy of fit

Like any other garment, the stab-protection waistcoat must fit perfectly to reveal its true beauty. In this case, however, it is of course again for safety. It is very important that the waistcoat fits tightly and securely with Velcro fastenings close to the body. Furthermore, it must not become too tight and pinch. Sometimes the resulting pain does not develop until later and it is quite possible that the possibilities for correction are then already limited.

There must be no space between the body and the waistcoat!

We recommend that you try on the waistcoat in the shop and use the knowledge you have gained when buying it. The fit is out of all proportion to jumpers or T-shirts, where you are probably familiar with your sizes, but even there there are differences. Once the steel plate is well placed in the chest area and the other aspects are taken into account, you have found your size.

Facts worth knowing about stab vests

Are stab waistcoats also bulletproof?

First and foremost, stab waistcoats are not bulletproof and focus on the actual blades and points. However, a handful of ‘ballistic waistcoats’, or bulletproof vests have the same. Here, however, we recommend doing accurate research regarding the product, as there is ultimately reason behind the separation of these two products.

How do you clean a stab waistcoat?

Normally, the steel plate in the chest area can simply be removed and thus the whole waistcoat itself can be cleaned without any problems. Like other items of clothing, simply put it in the washing machine. Nothing happens!

Image source: Dmitriy Nushtaev /