Probes for CNC machine tools, as every measurement device, have accuracy limited by random errors and by systematic errors. Random errors of these probes are described by a parameter called unidirectional repeatability. Manufacturers of probes for CNC machine tools usually specify only this parameter, while parameters describing systematic errors of the probes, such as pre-travel variation or triggering radius variation, are used rarely. Systematic errors of the probes, linked to the differences in pre-travel values for different measurement directions, can be corrected or compensated, but it is not a widely used procedure. In this paper, the share of systematic errors and random errors in total error of exemplary probes are determined. In the case of simple, kinematic probes, systematic errors are much greater than random errors, so compensation would significantly reduce the probing error. Moreover, it shows that in the case of kinematic probes commonly specified unidirectional repeatability is significantly better than 2D performance. However, in the case of more precise strain-gauge probe systematic errors are of the same order as random errors, which means that errors correction or compensation, in this case, would not yield any significant benefits.
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