Re: Fluke 87
I have had a Fluke 87 for many years. Even as a tradesman the vast majority of the time I use it for the basic functions that all multimeters can do; A/C and D/C volts, resistance, and continuity. When I work on motors the Capacitance testing function is handy for checking capacitors, and the Frequency function is useful when I am working on Variable Frequency Drives for motors. I have never delved into the electronics oriented functions because electronics are not my area of expertise.
That meter is a bit overkill for the consumer level, but what you get over the Radio Shack unit is accuracy and durability. I get my meters calibration checked fairly regularly, and the Flukes hardly ever need recalibrating. When it comes to detecting short circuits, the fluke is more likely to detect a high resistance short, where a cheapo meter would just indicate "open circuit" ie no short where there actually is one. When dealing with higher voltages, 600v+ I wouldn't trust a consumer level meter. I have seen a cheapo meter that had a meltdown when used on 600v! (I would hope you wouldn't be playing with that stuff!)
It is an excellent meter that will do everything you need and more. If you take care of it, it will serve you well for the rest of your life!
1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig