Backlash is a
When machining by hand, you generally know which way the backlash is going and can compensate for it. Most software allows for a backlash compensation but all that does is turn the crank enough to take up the backlash when you change directions. You can't reliably cut circles and arcs with this because the cutting force will either push/pull the cutter into the backlash either before or after the compensation move happens.
That said, if you're taking light enough cuts that a bit of pressure on the gibs/locks can prevent the cutter from self-feeding, it can work ok. Just don't get too excited about complex curvy shapes if you don't eliminate physical backlash first. You can also use "CNC Assist" for some jobs, where you insert stops and comments like "LOCK THE Y AXIS" (do some machining with X) "UNLOCK THE Y AXIS" and so forth.
My own strategy will be to try to plan my machining cuts so that backlash adjustments aren't necessary while in a cut. Instead, I'd take the cutter away from the part, change directions and then do another cut. If this is unsatisfactory then I'll try anti-backlash nuts. If I'm not too old to be machining by that point, I may install ball screws or just scrap the entire works and get a real machine.
Thanks for suggesting this area.