Nuclear medicine probes turned into the key for the identification and precise location of sentinel lymph nodes and other occult lesions (i.e., tumors) by using the systemic administration of radiotracers. Intraoperative nuclear probes are key in the surgical management of some malignancies as well as in the determination of positive surgical margins, thus reducing the extent and potential surgery morbidity. Depending on their application, nuclear probes are classified into two main categories, namely, counting and imaging. Although counting probes present a simple design, are handheld (to be moved rapidly), and provide only acoustic signals when detecting radiation, imaging probes, also known as cameras, are more hardware-complex and also able to provide images but at the cost of an increased intervention time as displacing the camera has to be done slowly. This review article begins with an introductory section to highlight the relevance of nuclear-based probes and their components as well as the main differences between ionization- (semiconductor) and scintillation-based probes. Then, the most significant performance parameters of the probe are reviewed (i.e., sensitivity, contrast, count rate capabilities, shielding, energy, and spatial resolution), as well as the different types of probes based on the target radiation nature, namely: gamma (γ), beta (β) (positron and electron), and Cherenkov. Various available intraoperative nuclear probes are finally compared in terms of performance to discuss the state-of-the-art of nuclear medicine probes. The manuscript concludes by discussing the ideal probe design and the aspects to be considered when selecting nuclear-medicine probes.