Agreed you can’t use weak magnets there is always a right tool for the job also pins leave damage to the vest Whenever you puncture a fabric you cause damage damage frays and will wear out a lot faster here’s a pic of a vest that’s had clutch backs and pins
It looks like someone either moved the armor all over the place, or this vest was used as a back drop for a dart board!! There's a huge amount of holes in that fabric that shouldn't be there !!! I would think that if someone was concerned about the fabric having a problem, a small amount of fabric glue (or some other glue) could be applied on the back side, around the pin penetrations with a tooth pick to reinforce the fibers.
If they werent locking clutch backs, that makes sense. They come off so easily. I have to take pins off my uniform every time it goes to the dry cleaner. I've been using the same holes in the fabric with locking clutch backs for over ten years! I don't foresee having this problem with my vest.
As I am working on putting my armor and vest together, my thought is that using magnets would be an excellent method to temporarily align the plates on the vest in preparation for using other fasteners. Possibly use magnets temporarily glued to well marked locations on the plates, then align the plates on the vest and fix them in place with magnets on the inside of the vest. Once all is positioned perfectly - outline the magnet positions on the inside of the vest and remove the loose magnets. Then, simply permanently replace the temporarily attached magnets on the armor plates with pin backs, bolts, or Chicago Screws in your pre-marked locations, and install grommets centered on the marked locations on the vest. Seems like everything ought to then line up pretty easily? Wondering if anybody has tried something like this, or has a better method?