I blew out a good B&K meter some years ago and replaced it with an inexpensive one that's not quite as accurate or talented. For someone new to electronics
, I'd suggest any $25 meter from a big-box store (WalMart, Target) that has a 10-amp range on it. They're enough to start with, and when you do make a mistake, you'll only lose $25. If you don't make a mistake, then you buy the good Fluke and you'll have a second meter for the times when you want to read two things at once.
meters have some quirks (they'll read pulsed DC as both DC and false AC, showing false AC levels on something like an alternator
output) that the Flukes don't have, but that's not nomally an issue. They'll also be less accurate, but when you are looking at battery
voltages in the 12.60 volt range, the "absolute" accuracy difference of 1/2% compared to 2% isn't going to make or break the deal most times.
I've found Radio
Shack, Home Depot, etc. all to be terribly overpriced on basic meters. Like 2x-3x higher than at the WalMart and Target auto departments.