I've had a few of the $5 multimeter for a long time now (before I even knew you could get it for $5 at Harbor Freight). It's as accurate for measuring resistance, AC voltage, and DC voltage as the $25 basic multimeter I bought from Radio Shack. I can't say that I've bothered with its lame current-measuring ability, which can only handle very small DC current and no AC current.
I've never needed to test a transistor, but based on its performance in resistance and voltage, I imagine it would suffice for that too.
I had to google the $14 meter to see its specifications, here's an excerpt:
- Voltage measurements: AC 500V and DC 500V max.
- Current measurements: DC 10A max.
- Resistance measurements: 2Mohm
- DC voltage: 200m/2/20/200/1000V
- AC voltage: 200m/2/20/200/750V
- DC current: 2/20/200n/2/20/200u/2/20m/200m/20A
- AC current: 20/200m/2A
- Resistance: 2/20/2000m/2/20/200k/2M
- Overload protection: 200mA 250V fuse (20A-range is not fuse-protected)
- Auto Power off
So, you're not going to measure how much current your tablesaw is using anyway. I'd guess that it's good enough for laymen and amateurs like myself.