RC test prints are a good idea if you are going to be doing any dodging or burning - it can often take a few tries to get it right. And making a 5x7 full frame test print at the start can tell you a lot about the image and how you want to crop it. After getting the print 'mostly right' on RC [with a large pile of 'mostly wrong' prints at the bottom of the trash barrel] you can move to the final FB paper.
Usually small test strips, and final test prints, are best made on the paper you will be using for the final print. You can expect differences in both exposure and contrast when moving from the RC to the FB version of the "same" paper.
Enlarging meters have a terrible reputation. You can find them in most darkrooms sitting in the junk box under the bench. Not surprising as most of them are next to useless when making a fine print.
You have to control exposure to 1/10th of a stop or better - about 1 second in 15 seconds. You can be a bit sloppier at grade 2, but at grades 3 1/2 and up your exposure has to be very accurate.
You need to measure better than you control: if you want to cut a bit of wood to the nearest inch your tape measure has to measure to 1/2 inch or better.
So you need a meter that can meter to 1/20th of a stop or better. The Darkroom Automation meter measures to 1/100th of a stop - a bit of overkill but 1/100th is the next digit over from 1/10th and the resolution can be useful for checking local contrast, evenness of enlarger illumination and when using the meter as a densitometer for Zone System work. I believe the metering portion of the RH units works in 1/24ths of a stop, but someone from RH would have to comment.
The Ilford EM-10 is a comparator. It can tell you if two levels of illumination are identical. Some have tried to calibrate the Ilford unit - but you need a very accurate enlarging meter to do the calibration. You can't accurately calibrate a meter to a projected step tablet as the effective densities of the tablet are changed by Callier effect, flare, stray light, variations in illumination and vignetting.