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An invaluable reference for any user of thermocouples

You will find THIS one of the most useful collections of data on the subject of thermocouples. Every contact temperature sensor measures ITS OWN TEMPERATURE so to measure an object, the sensor and the object have to be at the same temperature. This is achieved through good mechanical design, and if you want more information on this subject please ask. But even if the design is correct, thermocouples have inherent measurement errors just due to their tolerances. For example type K thermopcouples have a tolerance of +/-2.2C or 0.75%. They are usable to well above 1000C - so you may get an error of 7.5C in the sensor itself.

The different thermocouple types have different tolerances in different temperature ranges, and in many case special tolerance wires are available with reduced errors. The link above has these tolerances listed according to International standards. 

On top of those errors, come cold junction errors and electronic processing/display errors - we have an article that is quite comprehensive - describing all these factors - and it is available on request.