Modern Melee Weapons seem to be traditional melee weapons with stronger,lighter materials and improvements like shock circuitry. Are there examples of modern armors/material designed to stop modern melee weapons?

Could this armor also stop modern crossbows or shock weapons like tasers?


5 Answers 5


Short answer Riot police their armor is made to be resistant to knives and flung bricks and base ball bats, it would work for most of this.

Listed threats Melee weapons, have not gotten much more dangerous than they were in medieval times, Kevlar with a steel plate will stop them.

Crossbows, modern crossbows have much less armor penetration ability than a rifle and far less range, any armor that would stop a rifle will stop them. The only difference is a crossbow bolt will have more momentum and so is more likely to knock you off you feet but it is much worse and breaking armor.

A Taser is really easy to beat. The out layer of the armor has to be conductive, the standard one is a tshirt soaked in salt water, the front metal plate of a bullet proof vest also works. The current runs through the plate not you so you don't get shocked. The same applies to all shock weapons.

Things you didn't mention Most armor fails against heat attacks, the standard in riots is the Molotov cocktail a bottle of flaming gasoline. Even if you armor is fireproof the guy inside can't breath through the smoke and gets burned. This is one of the reasons they carry those riot shields.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're giving Tasers too much credit. A thick jacket or loose outer layer that prevents the probes from connecting properly completely nullifies a Taser. Anything that stops a small steel barb can stop a taser. $\endgroup$
    – UIDAlexD
    May 9, 2018 at 18:10

Shear thickening fluid infused kevlar would do the trick in most cases. It would also have the advantage of flexibility over steel or ceramic plates


With only a few layers of kevlar, you could be reasonably protected from almost any melee/stabbing attacks. Add a decent polymer hardshell below it and you should be set and comfy.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding.SE! When you have a moment, please take our tour and visit our help center to learn more about us. Thank you for this great first post! It answers the OP's question, provides relevant data in-answer (because links become outdated) and has a supporting link for additional reading. Perfect! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    May 9, 2018 at 19:16

knife resistant vests, it called knife resistant but works with axes,swords and maces too enter image description here

It's effective and unlike old metal armors you will not struggle in pain after impact, Yes old metallic armors are still effective against metallic melee weapons but a modern knife made of plastic and glass would just cut through, which doesn't happen to modern knife proof vests.

This is the effect of crossbow darts against stab resistant armors.


As you can see the dart did pierce a bit but didn't trust in, the same crossbow could pass apart a metallic armor or a shield.

These armors are mostly made of layers of plastic, therefore it's resistant to electricity too.

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    $\begingroup$ ?? "Yes old metallic armors are still effective against metallic melee weapons but a modern knife made of plastic and glass would just cut through" Armor doesn't detect the type of material the weapon is made out of all that matters is the hardness and shape and mass $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2016 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ I'm confused, like @sdrawkcabdear. Are modern knives really strong enough to "cut through" steel armor? I've never heard of this. $\endgroup$
    – zeta
    Jun 30, 2016 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ most melee weapons apart from zweihanders or lances weren't made to pass through armor, they were made to cause as much pain as possible until the adversary gets paralyzed. $\endgroup$
    – user22162
    Jun 30, 2016 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @sumelic I was quoting a part of the answer I disagreed with. The answer implies that plastic or glass weapons "just cut through" metal armor which is wrong. Steel armor is much harder and really should deflect softer weapons like plastic. $\endgroup$ Jun 30, 2016 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with this, medieval armor was not just a steel plate, it was plate armor over chainmail over gambeson, and even with just the outer plate armor there's no way you're pushing a knife through it regardless of material in the knife. I feel like this is highly misinformed $\endgroup$
    – BKlassen
    May 9, 2018 at 19:00

Much modern body armour will be effective against many types of melee weapons, since it can resist penetration and spreads the shock of impact over a wide area of the body. Woven armours like Kevlar, Dyneema or Spectra are vulnerable to stabbing attacks by things like icepicks, but since the most vulnerable parts of the body are further protected by plates capable of stopping a bullet, this threat can be mitigated as well.

enter image description here

Indeed, one of the objections to modern body armour is that it is heavy and bulky, so if a person gets into melee range, the soldier or riot police officer is disadvantaged.

This can be mitigated through two means. Firstly, soldiers or riot police need to be trained in a martial art which is adapted for combat wearing full Individual Protective Ensemble (IPE). The Japanese police and army use Yoshinkan Aikido, but other martial arts could be adapted or developed. This also includes the use of melee weapons that the soldiers or police use, modern examples being batons, tasers, teargas and pepperspray dispensers and so on. Uniforms could be further adapted by having hardened bosses on the elbows and knees for striking, and gloves with hardened plates over the knuckles.

The second mitigation would be to develop lighter and more articulated armour. Modern armour is designed against bullets and shell fragments moving at high velocity, which requires a different solution than traditional armour designed against cut and thrust weapons. A suit of modern armour might be made out of titanium, which is very light and strong, but expensive, or ceramic plates, which shatter to disperse the energy of a strike. A ceramic plate armour suit will resemble scale armour so even repeated strikes won't totally eliminate the protection of the armour.


Ok I think you folks are a little misinformed. Metal armor is not used because it's expensive and for a person to be fully protected you would end up with an armor that weighs more than you do if your using steel. I don't know about anyone else but I'm not a fan of being unable to move.

Titanium is the best (currently) for weight and protection but it is expensive and you are still looking at 50 to 75 lbs of material or more in the armor alone thus why we don't have full suits of armor anywhere its just not cost effective.

The comment about metal armors not being effective vs modern blades it a misnomer vs a steel plate no single knife will penetrate unless you have a very weak plate or a large amount of force most blades will skid off the surface of solid plate. Now, chainmail is a different story and has been defeated by knives in the past and suffers from poor protection from stabbing attacks however slashing attacks tend to be deflected you will still receive a portion of the impact from the attack.

Crossbows, depending on how powerful one is, generally don't have a place in modern combat due to the slow reload and limited range but you can build a crossbow that can defeat nearly anything you just need bolts that wont explode from the accelerating forces a good for instance a guy made a bow out of a truck spring and the crossbow suffered stress failure because he used one out of a vehicle that had been on the road nearly 1 million miles thats a lot of miles to get stress fractures but i digress his crossbow would have had approximately 300-500lbs of power what this means is it would have been able to punch thru a car the ppl inside and out the other side without stopping

My point is you can make a armor invulnerable but you run into multiple issues the first unofficial rule is that the stronger the armor the heavier it weighs there is no getting around that sadly. the second is that the better the protection the less mobility you have while this plays into the weight rule its actually different in that you have to begin reducing mobility to protect the joints think later plate armor of the 18th century vs that of the 12th mobility had almost completely vanished for knights and they needed help just to mount a horse but unless they were to fall down in combat they were for all intents and purposes immune to damage from a soldier with anything short of a armor breaking weapon (mace, battle axe, war pick, lance, war hammer)

modern armor conventions really only protect as much of the wearer as they can while minimizing end cost and weight which ends up being ceramics Kevlar and possibly a steel plate

Each has their own weakness Kevlar is not a good protection vs arrows or knife blades because the points of these types of weapon are highly pointed putting all of the force into one spot and using a cutting action to penetrate which results in reduced but still traumatic bodily harm

Ceramic shatters when it gets hit but that very nature means that its great vs a bullet or 2 before it becomes totally ineffective and its light weight means many modern armors use ceramics to help mitigate impact and penetration it also is inflexible and thus prone to damage from falling etc.

Steel is heavy and inflexible but it has great benefits over ceramic in that you can shoot a steel plate many many times and it will simply absorb the impacts with no issue however the weight and inflexibility make it a unpleasant option for some.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding, Ironmongoose! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox useful. Have fun! $\endgroup$ May 9, 2018 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ Your tone could use some work but that's true of many people, otherwise the information you present is relevant and probably useful to the OP. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 9, 2018 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! Unless you're referring to something much heavier and bulkier than standard full plate armour, things like armour "weigh[ing] more than you do if you're using steel" and "being unable to move" overestimate the weight and agility of armour - full plate armour would weigh less than 50kg (this would be specifically for jousting) and could be as light as 20kg and was surprisingly mobile, as shown e.g. in this video. Another fairly detailed video can be found here $\endgroup$ May 9, 2018 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ First thing on my mind: In XVIII century plate armor was rarely the full plate we have seen at the end of Middle Ages and beginning of Renaissance, it was generally half-armor or 3/4 armor without leg protection and made to be resistant to bullets at least on a distance. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2018 at 19:14

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