Half-metals are unusual ferromagnets that have electrons at the Fermi level in a single spin state, either spin up or spin down. Of potential interest as sources and analyzers of polarized electrons in spintronic devices, they are usually identified from spin-dependent band-structure calculations. We present a classification scheme for half-metals and then discuss methods for measuring spin polarization based on point contacts or tunnel junctions with ferromagnetic or superconducting counter electrodes. Oxide examples include CrO2, the best-studied half-metal. The half-metallicity tends to be destroyed by increasing temperature and by structural defects. The half-metals that currently offer the best prospects for spintronics applications are those with the highest Curie temperatures, such as magnetite, Fe3O4, and perhaps oxide semiconductors such as Co-doped ZnO.