Story by Waysun Johnny Tsai, Photos by Waysun Johnny Tsai, Denny Furey and Cung Le
Over the past twelve years of writing, I have had the honor of meeting some really great folks in the knife industry. I’ve met some pretty funny, hardworking – and also some really intense – makers. One of the hardest working makers that I have met, over the past three to four years, is a gent by the name of Denny Furey.
I first noticed Denny, because he was actively promoting his knives on every single Facebook knife page that I can name, and was drawn to the acronym for his company name – Furey’s Urban Combat Knives-Unlimited (F.U.C.K.U.).
I got to know Denny over a timespan of about a year, chatting online a bit, and agreed to meet up with him at his booth at BLADE Show 2018. I was really impressed with his work and was also lucky enough to meet his lovely wife.
As time went on, Denny and I got to know each other better, while he helped me flesh out prototypes for a couple of my knife designs. I have known for a while now that I would eventually write an article about his knives, with the potential for even interviewing him.
I am excited that the day has come to introduce you to my friend, and one of the hardest working makers in the business, Denny Furey.
Knife & Gear Society: Hi Denny, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. If you don’t mind, please introduce yourself to our readers, and share your background with us.
Denny Furey: My name is Denny Furey and I am a full-time custom knife maker, located in Spring, Texas.
I specialize in edged weapons, knives and tools, oriented for self-defense, fighting, military and first responders. I have been a life-long martial arts and combatives student, practitioner and instructor – and still serve as a guest instructor upon request, through Furey Combatives. This background is what started me on the road to becoming an avid knife collector, edged weapons student and instructor.
After relocating from Oklahoma to Texas, a close friend, and professional knife maker, suggested I try my hand at making them as well – considering my background. I jumped in with both feet and found that I had an affinity for developing and producing quality knives, and thus was born Furey’s Urban Combat Knives-Unlimited.
K&GS: You are an Ex-Cop and Veteran, right? How does that play into your knife designs?
DF: I am a military veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Storm/Provide Comfort and the Global War on Terrorism – having served 10-years (both active duty and reserves) in the United States Air Force Security Police/Forces.
I am also a former 20-year law enforcement veteran, having worked numerous aspects of the job – from patrolman to chief of police in the state of Oklahoma. I also served in the capacity of Senior SWAT Operator and Instructor, charged with developing curriculum, to include edged weapons defense and application for SWAT schools.
During these times, I became more focused on utilizing and developing useful and efficient blade techniques and defenses. This background also aided me when I became a knifemaker/bladesmith to develop ergonomic, purpose driven designs that could be used in military and law enforcement applications – but would also appeal to martial artists, combatives participants, and the regular, everyday citizen.
K&GS: How long have you been making knives?
DF: I have been designing and making knives for a little over four years now, having begun in January of 2016.
K&GS: That’s insane, that you have only been doing this for four years and are at the level that you are. A lot of your knives are very unique in design. What style of knife would you say you focus on the most?
DF: I try to make designs that are unique to me and my background, thus being recognizable by those in the field or in the knife/EDC community.
I tend to favor ring style blades, whether they be karambits or ring knives, as I find their retention ability extremely pertinent and useful; especially when escalating force to a firearm or de-escalating to empty hand techniques.
K&GS: Given your company name, most of your knives are designed for combat or self-defense. Is that correct?
DF: Yes, for all intents and purposes, the blades I produce, and build, are utilized as self-defense carry or combat carry. I have a couple of military contracts that I complete yearly for down range military personnel, that are involved in active deployment operations.
K&GS: Tell us a little bit about this crazy Karambit you sent me?
DF: The model is one of my “Kenketsu” (Japanese for Blood Sacrifice).
The non-traditional Wharncliffe blade is angled at 45-degrees and features a 3-inch hollow ground bottom edge and a 1.25-inch top sabre edge. It is made of 3/16-inch 440C (with Cryo Treatment), in a matte black H-series Cerakote finish, with some brushed accents.
The handles are black canvas micarta, with toxic green spacers, liners and pins. I went with a non-traditional blade shape (as most karambits are recurved or hawkbill), as it allows for more ease in sharpening – for those not comfortable with sharpening that style of blade.
K&GS: You have built a solid reputation for your fixed blades, but I’ve noticed that you have recently been introducing several custom folding knife designs. Tell us about those.
DF: I have been developing various folding knife designs for the past year and have begun building initial prototypes in the last four months.
I have designed and begun to build a variety of lock backs, liner locks, and frame locks – both in straight blades and karambits. I am hoping to pitch some of my designs to some companies and see if they would be interested in doing a production run. This would allow for a less expensive model for the public, as all my current folders are hand-made – without the use of the of a CNC machine.
K&GS: All right man, enough playing around. Tell us about the knives that you designed for Cung Le and his new movie?
DF: I was approached through LinkedIn by Cung Le – of MMA, movie and TV fame – a little over a year ago, as he was interested in some of the ring knives I had posted on there. He purchased one of my smaller ringed blades and was impressed by it. He then asked if I would be interested in making a live blade, stunt blade, and F/X blade to appear in a film he would be working on called “The Target.”
Working at his request I developed a ring blade – that will be unique to him and the movie – called the “Arashi” (Japanese for The Storm). The film is still in production at this time but casting call posters and initial publicity photos have already been taken of him holding the blade.
Knife & Gear Society would like to thank Denny Furey for his candor and taking the time to speak with us. We appreciate the opportunity to learn more about him on a personal level and the chance to learn more about his well-crafted blades. K&G
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Website: www.FureysUrbanCombatKnivesUnlimited.comInstagram: @FureyUCKUnlimitedFacebook: @FureysUrbanCombatKnivesUnlimited
SIJO Waysun Johnny Tsai is a Chicago native and the founder of C.U.M.A. Combatives and the C.U.M.A. Survival School. A Master level Instructor, Sijo has over 33 years of combined experience in teaching practical street defense in the civilian, military and law enforcement sectors and is considered one of the World's foremost experts in practical street defense and Combatives. He is a published book, magazine and DVD author, as well as a highly established impact and edged weapons designer. Sijo has knife designs on the market and available through TOPS Knives, Slysteel Knives, Day One Gear, Combat Ready Knives and Grunt Style.
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