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HOSDB 2007 (knife and spike resistance)

HOSDB 2007 knife and spike resistance focuses on knives and spikes. HOSDB 2007 was published in 2007, and since then one of the most normally used standards for stab and spike proof vests, which is also reflected in many other European stab/spike standards and the US NIJ standard 0115.00, as they are very similar to each other regarding the test method and the test blades that are used. 

HOSDB 2007 against Knives and spikes was revised in 2017 and replaced by the new HOSDB Standard 2017. However, you will still be able to buy body armor tested after the “old standard” for many years to come. HOSDB 2007 has focus on the English police, and is divided into 3 different protection levels, which we will describe in the text below. 

  • KR1 & KR1 + SP1 are the lowest protection level and needs to be tested against 24 joules. This level is the lowest and is recommended to use in low risk areas where it can be used as covert or overt body armor.
  • KR2 & KR2 + SP2 are the in-between protection level and needs to be tested against 33 joules. Level 2 stab proof vests are primarily recommended for overt use, but can also be used as covert body armor.
  • KR3 & KR3 + SP3 are the highest protection level and needs to be tested against 43 joules. This level is recommended for high risk areas where the body armor is worn in a short period as it often will be heavy at this level. Level 3 stab resistant vests are recommended for overt use. 

All 3 of the stab and spike proof levels can be combined with bullet proof protection. This results in a multi vest that offers protection against bullets and stab/spike attacks. 

Engineered blades used for the HOSDB 2007 test

The KR (knife) level is designed to stop knives, and the test knife used for this represent the knives that a policeman could meet on the street. The HOSDB / P1 / B knife blade is used, which is edged on 1 side. It is a engineered blade which is extremely strong, and can be hit multiple times into a wooden block.

The SP (Spike) level is designed to stop spikes. There is a particular focus on prison officers as they are more likely to be exposed to a spike. For this the HOSDB / SP / B spikes is used, which is 4.5 mm thin.

Note that by British standard one can easily buy a stab proof vest that only have been tested against knives (KR), Spikes (SP) or both (KR+SP). It is therefore important to look into whether you need a knife resistant vest, or a vest that both stop the knife and spike threat. In reality it should be called a stab proof vest, spike proof vest or stab- and spike proof vest as this gives a better understanding, of what you are buying.


  • SP (spike) can only penetrate once out of 10 strikes. 
  • KR (knife), it is also only allowed to have 1 penetration below 30 mm. 

For the British HOSDB 2007 standard against knives and spikes, the knife (KR) cannot penetrate more than 7 mm at the E1 press and 20 mm at the E2 press. For the Spike (SP), it cannot penetrate the vest at all, because spikes easier can penetrate the body than a knife. 

Make sure to buy a stab proof vest that is tested according to HOSDB 2007

Many stab proof vests come without certificates and have never been tested in a laboratory. This also means that a stab proof vest certainly won’t be approved for the lowest level within HOSDB 2007 against knife or spikes or against any other international standard, forexample the NIJ standard 0115.00. 

Therefore, always make sure that the stab proof vest is at least approved for a certain stab proof standard, where there is a stab proof test for how many joules the vest is able to stop. There are many cheap and insecure “stab proof vests” that cannot stop more than 5-10 joules, which means it can be penetrated very easy. 

Many “sellers” sell their stab proof vests, as being a bullet proof and a stab proof vest. However it is limited how many of these vests which offer both bullet and stab protection. Many sellers who have no experience with body armor, doesn’t know that to make a vest both bullet and stab proof, you need to apply both stab and bullet resistant fibers. You can read more here about here when your body armor is stab proof or not?