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Military Grade Drop Protection: What Does This Mean?

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

what is military grade drop protection

Military standard drop protection generally refers to standard MIL STD 810G, which the Department of Defense developed to test how well a device handles environmental stressors.

Though the standard encompasses temperature, humidity, dust resistance, and more, people often focus only on its drop test, or test 516.6 for shock, since many companies use this evaluation to market their phone cases.

Less commonly, you may also see mentions of standard MIL-STD-810H, a newer version of MIL-STD-810G.

What Does Military-Grade Drop Protection Mean?

Unfortunately, military-grade drop protection doesn’t mean the device is battle-ready or that the military tested it, unless you’re using army-issued equipment.

In the context of everyday consumer goods, it simply means the manufacturer claims its device has drop protection.

  • First, companies don’t actually need to conduct any tests to make their claims, since no organization or rule forces them to do so. As a result, the durability of products can vary, even if they all have “military-grade drop protection.”
  • Another issue you need to keep in mind is that businesses can conduct the testing themselves and not an independent lab. They may also use up to five samples to complete the trial, so the evaluation won’t measure cumulative damage well.
  • Additionally, because military-grade tests weren’t designed for consumer goods, manufacturers are free to interpret the results and decide what qualifies as a passing grade.

Hence, it’s probably best to take these drop protection claims with a grain of salt, whether you’re buying a phone case, laptop, or other electronics.

What Are the Standard Tests to Receive This Certification?


Are you curious about military drop tests?

Here is what MIL-STD-810G specifies when it comes to testing:

  • The device is dropped 26 times from a height of four feet.
  • The drop surface is concrete topped by two inches of plywood.

For standard MIL-STD-810H, the device is also dropped 26 times, but onto steel reinforced with concrete and from a height of five feet rather than four.


What is military-grade drop protection? It’s a useful standard for determining the durability of equipment in military applications.

For everyday items, however, its implementation leaves a lot to be desired, since you can’t trust manufacturers to always test their products properly, if at all.

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