The axial performance of cutter grinders will have direct effects on the precision of ground cutters. Therefore, error elimination will be beneficial for the precision improvement of cutter grinders. One of the main axial error sources is the spindle thermal displacement. General cutter grinders are not equipped with the cooling systems, because of their relative lower rotating frequencies (<8000 rpm), small working range and slower thermal gradient. On condition without cooling, there will be obvious thermal errors at the beginning hours of operations or the restarting of machines. That will cause materials waste and lower working efficiency. In this investigation, an efficient measurement system and the compensation mechanism have been established for the minimization of thermal displacements. About 80% of the thermal displacement can be reduced and the thermal displacement error becomes less than 5 mu m. With this solution, the precision of cutter grinders can be improved. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.