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The Best Episodes of Ax Men

Updated October 13, 2018 896 votes 25 voters155 items

There are so many good episodes of Ax Men, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Curse of Kalina" the best, or is "Lost in the Fog" your favorite episode of Ax Men? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of Ax Men are, let's rank every Ax Men episode from best to worst.

Ax Men on History is a reality TV series that highlights the dangers of working in logging crews and covers the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Louisiana, and Florida. Ax Men was cancelled after nine seasons, concluding in 2016, nearly seven years after its debut on March 9, 2008.

Vote up your favorite episodes of Ax Men, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one Ax Men episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

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  • 1
    Season 2 Episode 7: The mountain seeks its revenge. Weather traps R&R's helicopter pilot in the fog. Trees fight back against Pihl's timber fallers. Rivers mount their defense, threatening to rip Jimmy Smith's barge in half. At Rygaard, logging is turned upside down when they move to a new downhill logging site.
  • 2
    Season 1 Episode 2: Just days into the fall logging season, the Ax Men are already being put to the test. J.M. Browning races to meet a big deadline. Stump Branch Logging tempts fate by jury-rigging their old equipment. The Gustafson Company races mother nature as they attempt to build a road to access their logging site.
  • 3
    Season 1 Episode 10: Thanksgiving is over, but the return to work brings more trouble for the Ax Men. Back from a devastating two-week layoff, the Gustafson crew now faces a nearly impossible deadline. As the deadline at Pig Farm approaches, half of the Pihl crew skips work, leaving greenhorn Cody to pick up the slack.
  • 4
    Season 1 Episode 1: Deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, rugged men make their living doing one of the deadliest jobs in the world. Their mission is to retrieve timber on mountainsides too steep to access with machines, but it's no easy task. Plagued by mechanical failures, relentless weather, and unpredictable terrain, these brave men risk their lives retrieving the timber with which we built our country.
  • 5
    Season 1 Episode 6: Logging giants throughout Oregon are falling. Two of the biggest - J.M. Browning and Gustafson Logging - are fighting to survive. Jay Browning, usually flush with lucrative deals, is forced to make tough decisions. Gustafson Logging is down but not out. Smaller outfits, like Stump Branch and Pihl, find winning strategies in their young leaders.
  • 6
    Season 1 Episode 5: The Ax Men are reeling from the news of upcoming layoffs. While Gustafson Logging tries to get back on track, Browning races to meet a big deadline. Pihl Logging is now under the gun to finish their Pig Farm job, and to find more work. Despite Melvin's best efforts to keep up with his old equipment, Stump Branch loses one of its most important machines.
  • 7
    Season 2 Episode 11: The gap between winners and losers is narrowing. Rygaard's new greenhorn battles to prove himself, while Conner Aviation's substitute pilot gets wild with the chopper. Dwayne Dethlefs leaves Pihl Logging high and dry, while the Aqua Loggers are sunk by bad weather. At Browning, Jesse's crew tries to catch Rygaard's lead.
  • 8
    Season 2 Episode 13: As the logging season winds to a close, the drama heats up. Conner fights off defeat, while the men of Pihl fight each other. Jimmy's barge refuses to budge, and for Browning and Rygaard, eleventh hour catastrophes send the competition down to the wire.
  • 9
    Season 5 Episode 20: 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.
  • 10
    Season 7 Episode 9: The Rygaard family is back on the mountain and firing on all cylinders, until new yarder team Oakes Logging crashes onto the site, challenging Gabe face-to-face for the title of King of the Mountain.
  • 11
    Season 1 Episode 8: In the wake of the plummeting logging market, the Ax Men are barely surviving. The Gustafson bosses have a close call while taking over for their laid-off crew. An old hook tender returns to the Browning team, stopping Jesse's ascension to company management. Pihl loses a crucial member of the team as it struggles to finish Pig Farm.
  • 12
    Season 6 Episode 18: In Louisiana, after Shelby and DaVi have an argument, Shelby makes it up to DaVi by giving him a very unusual gift. In Washington, Gabe Rygaard rushes his crew to finish the site, which leads to careless and dangerous decisions.
  • 13
    Season 2 Episode 3: The battle to be crowned king of the mountains has just begun - and already, men are bowing out of the race. Rygaard's greenhorn struggles to earn the respect of his crew, while Jay Browning's $30,000 gamble on new equipment craps out. Jimmy Smith and his new deckhand, son James, try to reel in the log of their lives. And one of the mountain's most beloved Ax Men will hang up his saw for good.
  • 14
    Season 3 Episode 10: Jimmy and James come face-to-face with the 12-foot gator that has stalked them for weeks. In the swamps of Louisiana, Shelby goes solo on a challenging mission. At Rygaard, greenhorn Dave disappears and at Browning, a string of setbacks makes Jay question if the Kalina job is cursed. The rookie pilots at Conner get the ride of their lives.
  • 15
    Season 5 Episode 6: It's a fight to the death between Shelby Stanga and a massive standing tree. At Rygaard, the bad blood between Dave and Fernando boils over. In Alaska, Papac's men are on the run when two machines get tangled up while in Florida, Buck and Swilley raise the stakes. And in Montana, the newcomers from Siderius Logging are gambling on life and limb.
  • 16
    Season 8 Episode 12: Shelby Stanga is still without his jet boat, but fortunately he has his trusty assistant Davi and his Go-Devil to pick up the slack.
  • 17
    Season 1 Episode 7: The season is halfway through, and the gap between winners and losers is widening. Stump Branch tests a new but more dangerous logging strategy... and it poses great danger to the men in the rigging. The Pihl men play while the bosses are away. Browning Logging is a team divided.
  • 18
    Season 3 Episode 8: The loggers struggle to get back on track after losing a man. At Browning, a weak cable threatens to kill half the crew, while the only remaining greenhorn at Rygaard is in the line of fire during a log-alanche. Shelby's camera crew gets lost in the swamp overnight. In Florida, Jimmy and James set out alone and score the season's first big catch.
  • 19
    Season 4 Episode 15: 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.
  • 20
    Season 6 Episode 3: It s week three and logging country is falling apart. In the swamp, Shelby must rely on niece Stephanie and cousin Belinda to do his dirty work. At Rygaard, the rigging guys formulate a plan to get rid of DJ.
  • 21
    Season 7 Episode 10: In the bayou, Shelby goes diving in gator infested waters. Up north, rivals Rygaard and Oakes square off on a way road and a Rygaard driver is nearly killed when his truck flips.
  • 22
    Season 5 Episode 4: 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.
  • 23
    Season 7 Episode 4: It's week three and the surprises keep on coming. In Washington, Gabe's king of the mountain title is in the hands of a novice crew, until he gets some help from an unlikely family member.
  • 24
    Season 9 Episode 12: In Alaska, Mike Papac is forced to step in as Joe and Coatsey's arguments threaten to bring the job to a grinding halt. While at Rygaard, Gabe gives son Aiden a baptism of fire.
  • 25
    Season 9 Episode 15: The battle for King of the Mountain all comes down to this. Up in Alaska, Papac Logging is barely holding onto their lead.