The BEST Episodes of Ax Men
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2021
The History Channel presents the first non-fiction show about the lives of the Pacific Northwest timber cutters and the dangers they face. From the same team responsible for Ice Road Truckers, this new series will take a look at the legacy of the pioneers who laid the foundations for future generations of loggers.
#1 - Rygaard vs. Rygaard
Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Mar 11, 2012
After years of infighting, Jimmy and James Smith seek the help of a professional anger management counselor. Gabe Rygaard unveils a bold new plan to run two yarders on the same site. In Oregon, one of Big Gun's greenhorns faces the end of the line. In the swamp, Shelby takes on an assistant who puts him in his place. And in the mountains of Virginia, a new crew of horse loggers is out to show the world that they can run with the big boys.
#2 - This Means War
Season 4 - Episode 14 - Aired Mar 20, 2011
From coast to coast, logging companies are willing to do anything to stay on top. At Browning, the crew gambles on a slipping skyline. In the bayou, Shelby puts his swamp buggy to the test pulling one of the biggest logs of the season. At Rygaard, Craig mounts an assault to get rid of Dave. In Florida, Joe Collins takes the plunge into the black waters of the Suwannee while S&S tries to regroup with the help of local deckhand Casey Roberson. And in Canada, Lemare receives devastating news that could end their season before it ever gets going.
#3 - Ax Is Back
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 8, 2012
It's a new season of Ax Men and a new battle for "king of the mountain." Papac returns as reigning king of the mountain, but the stress of maintaining the title pushes hook tender Coatsy over the edge. Rygaard's dangerous blowdown site fights them at every turn. Shelby Stanga needs to start this season strong, but a gruesome accident puts him dead in the water. Veteran Pihl cutter Levi Brown breaks out on his own, and a new yarder company joins the competition. S&S logging returns to Florida to log against new rivals, but infighting trumps the competition.
#4 - Burning the Bear
Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Apr 1, 2012
In the swamp, the battle between Shelby Stanga and his nemesis Richard comes to a head. On the river, Buck and Swilley's boat goes boom. At Big Gun, one of their greenhorns shows his dark side. And at Papac, Joe and Coatsy bury the hatchet.
#5 - Fight to the Finish Line
Season 6 - Episode 20 - Aired Jun 2, 2013
In the dramatic Ax Men season conclusion, Shelby hits the lake with a squad of assistants to have one last confrontation with Richard. In Florida, the Dreadknots and S&S struggle to pull enough logs to help out their ailing leader, Jimmy. In Canada, Gord's whip cracking doesn't help as their final site offers lethal challenges. And in Washington, Craig Rygaard and the crew push to finish on time, and Gabe has a surprise for his father on his last day as a logger.
#6 - Final Countdown
Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 24, 2011
It's time to finish the season strong. In Florida, the Log-Off is locked in a dead heat, and with Joe and Swilley sidelined after sinking their second boat, Jimmy and James are poised to take the top spot. Swamp man Shelby Stanga's log buyer is due in the morning, but a bite from a water moccasin may kill his plans for success. At Rygaard, Craig kicks Dave off the landing, but one moment of inattention could be the end for former chaser. At Browning, the crew battles a patch of tangled timber, and north of the border, the men of Lemare are racing to stay ahead of winter storms that could shut them down at any time.
#7 - Fever Pitch
Season 4 - Episode 19 - Aired May 1, 2011
Across logging country, the final push begins. At Papac, Joe Linderborg's reign on the yarder has everyone running scared. At Browning, Jay receives devastating news that could mean the end of his career. On the Suwannee, S&S and Collins almost come to blows over a pair of logs. In the swamp, Shelby mounts his final and most important mission of the season--saving his Log Dog. And at Rygaard, one chaser blows up and bows out of the competition for good.
#8 - Tipping Point
Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 27, 2011
Logging country is coming unglued. Rygaard is a war zone when the battle between chasers threatens to tear apart the entire crew. At Papac Alaska, Joe and Coatsy let the fists fly. In Florida, Jimmy suffers a season-ending injury. In the swamp, Shelby Stanga pushes his Log Dog past the tipping point... and for Pihl, the end is sooner than they think.
#9 - Untethered
Season 10 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 12, 2019
Jason Rygaard races to clear a hillside in time to fill four logging trucks; Jay R Harkness fights to control the untethered Tigercat on a steep, snow-covered mountainside; Bucking Billy and his son Hogan battle a forest of hang-ups and widow-makers.
#10 - Down and Dirty
Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 18, 2012
The season hits the halfway mark, and everyone is upping his game. In the swamp, Shelby and cousin Belinda are under the gun to find a huge Cypress. In Florida, S&S hires a new diver but says goodbye to an old one. In Montana, the cowboys of Siderius must break in their greenhorn without breaking him for good. And at Rygaard, two yarders bring in twice the wood and twice the trouble.
#11 - The Mouth from the South
Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired Apr 3, 2011
There's a new crop of loggers in Ax Men country... but fitting in with the old guard ain't easy. In Louisiana, a beauty queen quickly pushes all of Shelby's buttons at once. At Lemare, Steve and the greenhorn butt heads that ends with one of them quitting. In Florida, S&S's newest deckhand gets more Jimmy Smith than he can handle. At Papac Alaska, Joe and Coatsy get a chance to bury the hatchet... but at Rygaard, the bad blood between Craig and Dave is worse than ever and is on the verge of tearing the crew apart.
#12 - Hell Hole
Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 29, 2012
At Papac Alaska, the site is turned upside down when the yarder operator walks off in the middle of the day. In Florida, Swilley's determination to beat S&S in the Suwannee River Log Off leads to a life threatening mistake. With their leader still in the hospital, Big Gun Logging loses control of the Ole Keasy site. At Rygaard, the rigging crew is learning safety lessons the hard way. And in the swamp, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
#13 - Man Down
Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired Apr 17, 2011
As the logging season winds down, the pressure to produce, heats up. In Alaska, a family emergency takes Mark from the yarder seat and with no time for a shut down... Papac calls on the only guy with experience running the massive machine: Joe Linderborg. Meanwhile the men of Rygaard are feasting at the Honey Hole, pulling big wood and riding high. Down south on the Suwannee, Jimmy and James try to close the gap in the Log-Off while Joe and Swilley just try to get back on the water. And in the Louisiana bayou, a ghost threatens to derail Shelby.
#14 - Where's Willy
Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired Apr 8, 2012
On the mountain, Gabe's two-yarder plan goes further off track when one crew member defects to the other team. Big Gun races their tightest deadline yet, while in Alaska, Joe and the new guy get into it. On the river, an accident could take S&S out of the Log-Off for good, and in the swamp, Shelby's trusty assistant Willy goes missing.
#15 - Fresh Meat
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired May 4, 2009
New faces are welcomed to the fraternity of men known as Ax Men. Rygaard and Conner Aviation hope their new greenhorns fare better than the last class. At Pihl, a missing cutter sends the crew on a search mission, and tempers at S&S Aqua Logging reach crisis level.
#16 - Blast Off
Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 10, 2011
From Canada to Louisiana, desperate times call for desperate measures. At Lemare, a washed out road threatens to trap their logs on the landing... until Gord decides to blast half the mountainside to make new gravel. At Rygaard, Gabe's got a surprise for his crew to put them back on track, while in Oregon, Jay Browning has a close call with a barberchair. In Louisiana, Shelby's bringing in a surprising new assistant: his wife Donna. And in Florida, Joe and Swilley hook a bigger log than they can handle and end up sinking their boat in the process.
#17 - Let 'Er Rip
Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 25, 2012
As the season moves on, everyone's going to greater lengths to stay on top. At Papac, an accident sends one man over the edge of the landing. In horse country, the loggers take to new heights in order to get the final tree of the job on the ground. At Siderius, greenhorn Jesse Kelleher is in need of redemption. And in the bayou, the swamp man gets into a shootout with another logger who's after Shelby's profits.
#18 - Family Rivalry
Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 29, 2012
At Rygaard, Gabe's two yarder sides are reunited, but the infighting that's plagued them all year is worse than ever. In Florida, the alliance between Team Buck and James Smith comes to a bitter end. At Papac, Joe's hard-yarding style sends the rigging crew running for cover. In the swamp, Shelby Stanga won't stop until he gets his revenge. And in New Hampshire, two new teams of ox loggers enter the race.
#19 - Manhunt
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 2, 2011
At Papac Alaska, time is running out for missing logger Van Huffman. At Rygaard, Gabe gambles on a helicopter... and loses. At Pihl, rigging slinger Eric Davis is rushed to the hospital after a gruesome fall. In Louisiana, Shelby pulls an all-nighter to save his dog Piss Willy. And in Florida, Collins puts the Smith boys in their place.
#20 - Steel Knot
Season 10 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 1, 2019
Danny Pihl gambles on horsepower to untangle a massive steel knot that's shut down the jobsite. Rygaard blows out the cobwebs as the company begins logging on their massive, new job. Wade Etienne battles rising mud, trying to get his logs off the jobsite and Buckin' Billy's forced to take down multiple trees at the same time.
#21 - The Reckoning (1)
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired May 18, 2009
The final week of logging's toughest season begins. Impossible goals leave no room for error, as each crew races the clock. While Rygaard and Browning are locked in a fight to the finish, Conner Aviation battles for survival. At Pihl, one man won't survive the week.
#22 - The Ax Stops Here
Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired May 20, 2012
It's the nail-biting conclusion of the race to be crowned King of the Mountain. While Papac battles to bring their yarder operator back from the brink, Craig Rygaard forces Gabe to choose between him and Dave. At Big Gun, Levi drops a bomb, while in the swamps of Louisiana, Shelby's in a desperate race to find swamp gold. And in Florida, the Great Suwannee River Log-Off comes to a close, but when Jimmy doesn't like the results, he takes matters into his own hands.
#23 - Day from Hell
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 26, 2010
On the edge of America's final frontier, it's every logger's worst nightmare: one of Papac's men has disappeared into thin air. Logging country is rattled to its core when logger Van Huffman goes missing in Alaska's remote wilderness. But when Papac's crew braves the harsh terrain and weather that batters Suemez Island, they find many reasons for concern and few for hope. Down south, the mountain's newbies are in hot water. At Pihl, Leah creates an upender that threatens the entire crew and at Rygaard, Dave's "work ethic" meets Craig's wrath. In Louisiana, Shelby messes with a lethal dose of TNT that could sink him and his swamp friends for good, while the Collins crew lands on the wrong end of a runaway boat.
#24 - Uphill Battle
Season 10 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 25, 2019
Brandon Harkness fights his way up a mountainside in the 29-ton Tigercat; Mike Pihl get his 52-ton yarder lodged between trees; Wade Ettiene's "Big Mama" takes a two-inch steel sawtooth to her face; and Buckin' Billy's son Hogan loses his grip while cutting a tree 60-feet off the ground.
#25 - The Ax Falls
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 27, 2009
Dead weight must be shed. Inexperienced hook tender Jesse Browning, junior pilot Steve Smith and greenhorn Brad Hewitt all have their heads on the chopping block. They've been struggling since day one, but their company bosses are out of patience and out of options. Only one will survive the week.