I'm a hobbyist who makes reproductions of film, game, and television costumes for attending conventions and entering competitions. I have been sewing for 6 years now and have had a pretty good success rate and am comfortable sewing fabric but want to expand the range of skills I have. The next costume I have my eye on making contains a lot of leather and I know I will need the appropriate sewing machine to get it done properly and work with more leather in the future. I do have machines some sites advertise as being 'appropriate' for leather such as my singer 4423 and my all-metal Bernina 1008S but | really doubt their capabilities on thicker fabric and the number of broken needles that would involve. From what I have read I know I need to be looking at a walking foot machine with a compound feed and a servo motor, for garment sewing I want a flatbed, my issue comes from my student's budget of around £600 (I am from the UK) which I know is not a lot and I am looking at 2nd hand machines. As I am making garments my leather shouldn't be too thick, I have attached an image of the first project I wish to embark on as an example, however, I do need to occasionally work on things such as holsters and belts so I guess a machine with an ability to sew a wider range of fabric would be better. Although I know each machine has a range that it is suitable for so may not be able to do everything I want, I am fine hand-stitching small pieces like bags, belts and holsters if the machine I got couldn't handle it (as I am on my current project: Dolores from Westworld). I have a friend who used to work at a leather store and now runs her own small leather goods business, and the grandmother of my boyfriend who worked making leather goods all her life as people to turn to for advice on choosing leather for my projects as I don't have much insight myself as I'm still learning, I'm sorry I can't offer more information.
These are some machines I have spotted on a quick ebay search that I may be able to afford, but I can't really risk buying something that I won't be able to use as I am a student and I'm not going to be able to get more money any time soon, especially with no competitions running currently with the pandemic as I use my prize money to finance my hobby. Some have more details listed in descriptions than others:
Juki DNU 1181 £650 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Juki-DNU-1181-Walking-Foot-Industrial-Sewing-Machine/174268045735?hash=item28932f59a7:g:FBMAAOSwvA9eovz9
Highlead GC-0318 £620 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HIGHLEAD-WALKING-FOOT-LEATHER-SEWING-MACHINE-SILENT-SERVOMOTOR-SPEED-CONTROL/263542363354?
Jack H2-CZ £600 (this one looks computerized which makes me a bit nervous) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jack-H2-CZ-Walking-Foot-Heavy-Duty-Direct-Drive-Industrial-Sewing-Machine/173998146449?hash=item2883190391:g:5ZIAAOSwvT1de8j5
Mitsubishi 4400 £650 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitsubishi-4400-Walking-Foot-Industrial-Sewing-Machine/173922054095?hash=item287e8fefcf:g:ADoAAOSwcchdk3xf
TYPICAL 0302 £650 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TYPICAL-0302-WALKING-FOOT-INDUSTRIAL-SEWING-MACHINE-WITH-SILENT-MOTOR-COMPLETE/263531054622
PFAFF 5487 £550+unknown shipping https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pfaff-Walking-Foot-Chain-Stich-Industrial-Sewing-Machine/264648067285?hash=item3d9e4108d5:g:f9gAAOSw07JeVmeF
Seiko STW-8B £360 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Seiko-walking-foot-industrial-sewing-machine/133409704886?hash=item1f0fd68bb6:g:75gAAOSw1xZeu8LO
Global ????? £400 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Single-Thread-Walking-Foot-Industrial-Sewing-Machine-great-energy-saving-motor/113766756298?hash=item1a7d06efca:g:EmEAAOSwUwtc79Iw
Sunstar KM-560-7 £400 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/industrial-walking-foot-sewing-machine-Sunstar-KM-560-7/114090115062?hash=item1a904cfff6:g:IH0AAOSw4tJeMYgq
Sorry for the long, winding vagueness of this post and how little information I can provide, I would appreciate any recommendations, advice, corrections you can give me in regards to choosing a machine, maintaining one or leather sewing in general. Thank you for any help you give me!
I have also read the pinned 'The Type Of Sewing Machine You Need To Sew Leather' and a couple of other relevant posts