Ax Men

Common Sense Media says

Rugged docu worthwhile despite some rough edges.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The logging business relies on teamwork to be successful. Most of the loggers seem proud of what they do. The dollar value of the wood they harvest is constantly discussed. All the loggers featured are Caucasian men.


Logging is presented as a dangerous business. Loggers handle axes, chain saws, and other cutting tools that can result in loss of limbs. Loggers are shown getting injured, though no blood is seen. One featured logger has a prosthetic hand due to an accident. Loggers are constantly dodging falling timber. Occasional arguments between the loggers.

Not applicable

Frequent use of words like "stupid" and "idiot." Other audible language includes "damn" and "hell." Words like "bitch" and "f--k" are bleeped out.


The four featured logging companies are frequently mentioned by name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One logger refers to himself and his team as "winos."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- which follows four Pacific Northwest logging crews as they risk life and limb to cut timber in remote mountain areas -- highlights the dangers associated with logging (including some of the wounds sustained on the job, like one man's severed fingers). Loggers are occasionally shown getting hurt, and although no blood or graphic images are actually visible, some of these intense moments may be scary to young viewers. Perhaps not surprisingly given the stressful nature of the loggers' lifestyle, there's also a fair amount of strong language ("ass" and "damn"; words like "bitch" and "f--k" are bleeped out).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

AX MEN highlights the very real dangers that timber cutters face when logging in the remote mountain areas of the Pacific Northwest. The men who work for the four featured Oregon logging companies -- Gustafson, J.M. Browning, Stump Branch, and Pihl -- must climb and cut trees and remove logs from areas that machines can't access. Every day out on the rugged slopes is a survival story as they struggle against unpredictable weather and deal with frustrating, dangerous mechanical failures. But with the knowledge that each completed job translates into a paycheck, they willingly risk their lives to get this "green gold" out of the mountains and into the sawmills.

Is it any good?


This reality show offers a gritty look at the everyday lives of the loggers who provide the country with the wood necessary to build new homes, furniture, and other items that many of us take for granted. Viewers get detailed explanations of how trees are cut and hauled up mountains and descriptions of some of the unique tools used to get the jobs done. But the show's main focus is the hazards of the profession, which range from pulling muscles to getting hit by falling timber. Some of these moments actually occur on camera, highlighting the peril of the job. (That said, safety and teamwork are also stressed.)

Though their manners are sometimes rough and their language a bit salty for kids, these hardworking, down-to-earth loggers offer an honest look into their lives. Aware that they're often stereotyped and/or accused of depleting natural resources by those unfamiliar with their industry, the loggers are candid about their vocation and the dangers they face. They note that part of their job includes planting trees to replace the ones they've cut down, and some also make a point of saying that their profession isn't just part of their family heritage but continues the 100-year-old tradition of America's frontier. Their jobs may not be glamorous, but the significance of the work they do certainly hits home.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of shows about dangerous jobs. What do you think compels people to do them? What makes watching them on the job interesting? Do you think these jobs are as dangerous or dramatic as they seem on television, or is that played up for entertainment value? Families can also discuss what loggers and fisherman do to protect the environment while they do their jobs. Can television be used to help these efforts?

TV details

Cast:Jay Browning, Melvin Lardy, Mike Pihl
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Ax Men was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 10, 10, and 10 year old Written byBAMFwelder11 February 8, 2010

AX-Men is BAMF!!

Ax-men is a really great TV series. It has a lot of informative information. I like all of the competition between the logging companies. I also like how its a life threatening situation because of all the heavy equipment that is being used. If a log comes unchecked from the zip line the crew below can get hit by the falling log.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byrafferty May 10, 2011

Get Rid Of Rygaurd

I can 't Stand to watch Rygaurd any more the old man is abussive and vulgar and the show is much more worthy than "all" those idiots ! Shame on your producer to allow them !!!!! Shelby is your new star !!!! He has compassion, fun, courage,just a all around pleasure to watch.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byPlague January 7, 2010

Ax Men

Really good show. I'm a logger myself, so watching this show is only natural for me. The dangers in logging is high, and it is a job people usually take for granted.

What other families should know
Great role models


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